As a member of the Tyler Independent School District (TISD) Foundation Board of Directors, and as a former school teacher himself, Russell Patterson knows that improving public education is vital to the future of our nation as well as our community. It is the goal of the foundation to serve as a catalyst for uniting community members, businesses, and schools to support and encourage TISD.
The foundation provides resources to inspire learning, enrich teaching, and enhance opportunities for area students through the support of exemplary programs that are not normally funded by tax dollars. To raise these funds, the foundation holds an annual fundraising campaign which includes their largest, single-day fundraising event, the Gil Hitt Memorial Golf Tournament. They also submit grants and appeal to area organizations and foundations. The money raised is returned to the district through teacher and campus grants. The foundation also gives financial support for the annual event A Night of Shining Stars, which recognizes the top twenty TISD graduates and National Merit Scholars from both Tyler high schools and the teachers that most influenced their academic journey.
As a foundation board member, Mr. Patterson is serving as the co-chair for the 19th Annual Gil Hitt Memorial Golf Tournament. As an active community volunteer, he is also a member of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Tyler, and the Rotary Club of Tyler, where he serves as the New Generations Chair.
“My life has been blessed in many ways,” Mr. Patterson said. “Volunteering gives me the opportunity, however small, to be a blessing in the lives of others.”
Originally from Tyler, Mr. Patterson has resided in the community for 28 years. He and his wife, Diana, have been married for seven years and are the parents of two-year-old identical twin girls, Katherine Ann and Reagan Elizabeth. Mr. Patterson is a graduate of Robert. E. Lee High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his master’s degree in education administration from The University of Texas at Tyler. Mr. Patterson is the owner of Patterson Commercial Property Group. He and his family are members of First Christian Church.
“I cannot think of a place that I’d rather raise my children than Tyler, Texas. The generous and giving people of our community will serve as the perfect role models for my girls as they get older,” Mr. Patterson said.