- Category: County News
- Published on 15 January 2013
- Written by Gladewater Mirror
One of the 2013 Stars Over Longview is actually a Gladewater superstar. Judy Burlison, former city councilwoman and community dynamo at volunteering won the recognition for a lifetime of service.
Burlison, a retired teacher whose 35-year career, with 25 of them spent at Longview's Forest Park Middle School had an impact on generations of school children. As a language arts, math, Spanish and ESL (English as a second language), gifted and talented, and special needs teacher, Burlison dedicated a good part of her life to ensuring literacy and helping children to develop the character to build lives on.
She extended that commitment through a secondary career as an adjunct instructor of ESL for Kilgore College teaching career professionals English as a second language, as well as teaching a course in Longview to prepare immigrants for their citizenship test.
The dedicated teacher also served as president and vice president of Longview's chapter of the Texas State Teacher's Association. After moving to Gladewater and upon retirement a year later, Burlison began to demonstrate the same kind of commitment to her community.
She spearheaded the reforming of the Friends of the Library recruiting over 200 members to raise thousands of dollars to supplement the library's limited budget to purchase computers, fund the summer reading program, purchase books and improve the facility.
Burlison also initiated, organized and guided the city's recycling program in association with Gene Keenen and Allied Waste. Despite a serious stroke that has slowed the dynamo a bit, she still continues to work closely with the Chamber of Commerce on this significant community program. She served as coordinator every month for five years for the recycling project and still continues to support this huge community effort.
Named Gladewater's Woman of the Year in 2009 for her outstanding service to the city, her service also includes membership in the Chamber of Commerce, Garden Club, the Arts Council and Gladewater Area Ladies' Association.
Not surprisingly, the 20-year member of Longview's Saint Michael's Episcopal Church spent years as a volunteer in the nursery, hosted the vestry members' retreat, and worked as kitchen volunteer and party hostess.
Despite her prolific services to education, community and church, Burlison cited her family as her crowning achievement. Married 51-years to Delbert Burlison, she is the proud mother of Shellye Clodfelter and Brett Burlison and mother-in-law to Chris Clodfelter and Teresa Burlison. Her grandchildren Christopher Clodfelter, 9, Matthew HuVar, 15, and Aleks Legan, 23, also topped her life list.
Burlison's cited favorite quote captures the essence of the devoted community volunteer's deepest motivation: "In a hundred years it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child."
That is what Judy Burlison has done. From education, to literacy, to improving the environment, she has made her corner of the world a better place for all those who share it with her. As a result, her contributions will be recognized Jan. 8 at Maude Cobb Convention Center as one of 12 Stars Over Longview-Women Who Rise to the Occasion sponsored by Longview Regional Medical Center.