Superintendent to be honored with Distinguished Alumni Award

Gabe TrujilloPLAINVIEW – Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, superintendent in Nacogdoches will be recognized as one of Wayland Baptist University’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award winners during a Feb. 18 banquet held as part of the WBU Homecoming celebration in Plainview.

A native of Roswell, N.M., Dr. Trujillo came to Wayland with a challenging background: oldest of four children born to a military father from migrant family and a Dominican mother with a third-grade education. He channeled those challenges into his own education following a stint in the US Air Force, earning his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Wayland in 1993. He continued with a master’s degree in educational leadership in 1995 and began working in the Plainview school system alongside his high school sweetheart-turned-wife Deborah, a 1994 and 1997 graduate.

Dr. Trujillo moved into campus administration while in Plainview ISD, then continued as principal in Duncanville before moving into district leadership roles in Grand Prairie ISD, serving as area superintendent for nearly four years. In April 2020, he moved to Nacogdoches ISD to become superintendent of schools. He continued his own education with a superintendent certification at Texas Tech and the Doctor of Education degree from Texas A&M Commerce, which he earned in 2018.

He has served on several boards including local economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and others. He has served as a leader in Boy Scouts and in other civic and nonprofit organizations. He has been recognized by the Texas Elementary Principals and Administrators Association and the Texas Association of Secondary Principals at several levels and enjoys being a servant leader and building relationships.

“Dr. Gabe Trujillo has impacted many throughout his career in education, from students to fellow educators, and has gained the reputation of being a decisive, steadfast and thoughtful leader while at Nacogdoches,” said Teresa Young, director of alumni services. “We are proud to add our own recognition to his list of accolades and believe he is most worthy of this honor.”

The Blue and Gold Banquet is set for 6 p.m. on Friday on the Plainview campus. It is open to alumni and friends for $15 per person, which includes a barbecue dinner. Besides Trujillo, other honorees include Dr. Nelson Hayashida, professor and chaplain; Dr. Glenda Payas, retired dentist; Dr. Emily Smith, epidemiologist and researcher; young alumni honoree Johnny Terra; and benefactor honoree Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Mattox.

The dinner is just one piece of the homecoming weekend lineup that can be found online at Registration is available online at that site. For more information, contact Young at (806) 291-3600.