Brenham ISD supporters gathered today (Friday) to commemorate the 146th anniversary of the school district and honor four of its outstanding alumni.
Crowds filled the Blinn College Student Center Banquet Room for a luncheon to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s distinguished alumni honorees: Cheryl DaBera, a community leader and advocate for excellence in education; Michael O’Shea, who is nationally and internationally recognized in the field of athletic training; the late Ray Rodenbeck, a business leader and proud member of the first Brenham Cub baseball team to go to the state semi-finals; and Don Sharp, who has spent 50 years in the TV news industry.
DaBera graduated from Brenham High School in 1978 and has exemplified a life of public service and excellence in education. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Sam Houston State University in 1982 with a major in Special Education and Speech Pathology and Audiology, with certifications in Early Childhood Education and Instruction of the Mentally Retarded. From 1982 to 1987 she was a classroom teacher, speech therapist and ARD Committee chair in Houston. She was a Unit Program Coordinator at the Brenham State School from 1987-1989. In 2005 she completed her Master’s degree with a major in Instructional Leadership. DaBera served as Elementary Principal and Federal Programs Monitor in Burton ISD from 2005-2013 and was the campus leader who collaborated with parents in the new school building project. During her career, she trained teachers and parents in such topics as “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” and “Total Transformation Training Interventions for Parents” and participated in campus and district decision making, effectiveness and compliance, early intervention programs and crisis intervention. For her efforts, she was recognized as an inductee in Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 1996.
Active in her church and community, DaBera has been a member and President of many organizations, including Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Sigma Chi Chi Professional Women’s Club.
DaBera is a member of Delta Gamma Society International. She currently serves as a Youth Director, Scholarship Committee Chair and Secretary of the Board of Directors for Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church in Brenham. In addition, she is the current secretary of Camptown Cemetery Association and has been recognized by the Texas Ten Historical Explorers, Inc.
DaBera challenged the audience to be the best support system possible for all children.
DaBera currently lives in Chappell Hill, Texas. She is married to Raymond C. DaBera and is the mother of four children: Raymond Wright, Chenille DaBera Cage, Steven M. Kendricks and Fletcher DaBera. Through her outstanding dedication and guidance to hundreds of students throughout their academic journeys, she has humbly magnified her own achievements.
O’Shea graduated from Brenham High School in 1963 and went on to become nationally and internationally recognized as a giant in the field of athletic training. He attended Blinn College, where he served as a student athletic trainer. Later, he honed his athletic trainer skills as he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1968 from the University in Texas-Austin. During his time with the US Air Force (USAF Academy) from 1970-1973, he served as an assistant athletic trainer. He earned his master’s degree in health and physical education from Kent State University in Ohio. He then began as an assistant athletic trainer and later the head athletic trainer with the NFL Baltimore Colts from 1973-78. During this time he also worked with the AAU track and field teams as an athletic trainer. In the years between 1979 to 1993, he went on to the University of Miami and the University of Louisville as the head football athletic trainer. In 1993, he returned to Texas to work with the University of Houston and became the Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Sports Medicine. O’Shea served in that role at the University of Houston for 27 years, retiring in January of 2020.
With a certification in the National Athletic Trainers Association as well as a Texas Athletic Trainer License, he has enjoyed a profession that requires a unique expertise that he was always willing to share. The role of athletic trainer brought O’Shea the opportunity to teach and mentor and his achievements brought many varied honors and awards. These include being named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year from the US Air Force Academy in 1971, Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1987, University of Houston Heart and Soul Award in 2006, Texas State Senate and House of Representatives Life Saving Honor in 2013, University of Houston Chairs Award Recipient in 2017, National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Brenham High School Football Hall of Honor in 2018. In addition, O’Shea published the book, The History and Development of the National Athletic Trainers Association in 1981.
O’Shea said his journey has taken him all around the world, but he will always call Brenham home.
After 45 years of marriage, O’Shea’s first wife, Annette, passed away in 2017. He married Suzanne Blankenship early in 2020 and they currently reside in Sugar Land, Texas. O’Shea’s son and daughter-in-law, Chad and wife Melissa, have 3 children. His daughter, Julie, is married to Toby Holmes and they have two children.
Rodenbeck (deceased) graduated from Brenham High School in 1966, a proud member of the first Brenham Cub baseball team to go to the baseball state semi-finals. He pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University in 1970 and worked for Sealy Mattress Co, Inc. for 46 years prior to his death. He was named Regional Vice President for Sealy, National Plant Manager of the Year, and was listed in Who’s Who Among American Managers. His leadership ability extended beyond his business into his community and throughout his life he was involved in giving back to others, especially the youth.
Rodenbeck was a member and/or officer in the Brenham Jaycees, Exchange Club, and Elks organizations. He also served on the Blinn College Board of Trustees, Prime Bank’s Advisory Board, the Washington County Economic Development Board and the Industrial Foundation. He coached baseball and softball for 26 years, including Little League and All-Stars for boys and girls and served as President of the Little League Association for many years, then was instrumental in the formation of the Brenham Cub and Cubette Alumni Associations. He was a partner in promoting quail raising and management in Texas. Among his many other contributions, he employed Brenham State School clients to help promote their confidence and independence.
Theresa Rodenbeck, Ray Rodenbeck’s wife, accepted the award on his behalf and said while his career brought him many accolades, he would consider this to be one of the greatest.
Throughout his life, Ray Rodenbeck was very dedicated to his faith, family, profession and community. His church affiliation was Zion Lutheran Church in Brenham, where he served as a choir member, Sunday School teacher, and President of the congregation. His family includes his wife, his father Walter Rodenbeck, and his son, Ryan Rodenbeck and wife, Ann; and daughter Rachel Rodenbeck Parker. He was also the proud grandfather of four grandchildren. A community leader who did so much for so many, Rodenbeck’s passing left a legacy of commitment, success and service.
Sharp graduated from Pickard High School in 1964, and left on a train to San Diego, California right after his high school graduation. Yet he has always remembered his Brenham roots, returning home often to spend time with family and friends and to share his adventures after 50 years in the TV news industry. He attended San Diego College, majoring in Industrial Arts, then San Diego University, majoring in General Education. Other certifications include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd FCC Licenses from the Powell School of Electronics, a Microwave Training Institute certificate in design satellite uplinks, and an FAA Drone Pilot’s License.
In San Diego, Sharp worked with KGTV as a news photographer and editor. In 1979, he supervised the first live news helicopter feed in San Francisco and in 1984, he designed, developed and installed the only live cameras on the Golden Gate/San Mateo/San Francisco Bridges. Among many awards and achievements, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in 2005. He was the recipient of six Emmy Awards from NATAS and was featured in the book, Live, Local, Broken News. He co-authored the book, Microwave Basic Principles and in 2009 was inducted into the Associated Press Television and Radio Association Hall of Fame. In 2015 Sharp coordinated the San Francisco coverage of “Super Bowl 50” and was an FCC Frequency Coordinator for San Francisco. Recently Sharp was inducted into NATAS again, and this time he was presented the Gold Circle in recognition of 50 years in Television.
Sharp praised the Brenham school system for providing him what he needed to succeed and said he was very grateful for the recognition.
Sharp has served Post Oak Baptist Church faithfully and remembers his “church at home” where he has fond memories. He is currently living in Sausalito, California, with his wife, Debra (Chambers) Sharp and is the father of two adult daughters, Shelly and Sherice Sharp. He has three granddaughters and one grandson. He retired in 2018 and continues to serve as a speaker at local community events for youth, where his stories and enthusiasm are an inspiration to many.