The words of Eleanor Roosevelt ring so true for Kate Whitfield. "One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes." Over the past 20 years, Kate made the choice to serve and volunteer in our community. She calls it her "kids volunteering career." Her choices speak volumes of the impact she has made in educating and enriching the lives of others and this community's young people.

As an attorney in Grayson County District Attorney's office of Bob Jarvis she convinced him to adopt the W.H.O. program as their community service project. This program teaches students it is not okay for someone to hit or touch them in a hurtful way then gives them the tools to advocate for themselves. She has served on the Volunteer Services Council of Texoma Community Partners (formerly MHMR) and been an active volunteer for that agency for 21 + years including serving as a member of the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Kids Entertaining Kids Fundraising committee. She is also a member of the Grayson County Bar Association, was part of the Wellness Community Impact Team for the Grayson County United Way, served on the 2014 Advisory Board for 'Beyond ABC: Assessing Children's Health in the North Texas Corridor'' and currently is a member of the 'Kids Matter" committee of Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG) and is a semi regular volunteer at The Grace United Methodist monthly Free Legal Clinic.

In 2009, she assisted with ACES after school program which focused on academic assistance, enrichment, family and parental support services and college and workforce readiness. She has been a volunteer reader for elementary kids and a GO Fun presenter to 5th graders on issues of the healthy eating, fitness and character development. However, her proudest accomplishment is the nine years of service to the Sherman ISO School Board as an elected volunteer. She claims 7,192 students are the inspiration that inspires her to continue her kids' volunteering career.

As a school board member, she has served as board president twice and twice as vice-president, she has worked tirelessly to minimize the state funding impact on the classroom, she advocated for science and education based abstinence programs and is a graduate of a yearlong Texas Association of School Boards Leadership program which she completed in 2011 receiving certification as a 'Master Trustee'. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting changed how we educate and protect our children and she continued education by attending day long training entitled "Practical Considerations after the Sandy Hook Shooting". After new Open Carry legislation, in January 2016 she was enrolled in an online course to educate herself on the impact of firearms on district property.

Kate also showed leadership as president of the Friends of Sherman Library, is the past president of the Child and Family Guidance Center Board and member of the Early Childhood Intervention.

Eleanor Roosevelt raised her voice for the individuals in our country who could not. For the past 20 years, whether in the court house, the classroom or the boardroom, Kate Whitfield has exemplified this action by raising her voice and advocating for the children of our community. As Democrat, she has worked diligently in the Democratic belief that everyone should receive a quality education.

Kate Whitfield is the 2016 recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt award.