Pillar Recognition & Banquet

The 2017 NEF Pillar Recognition and Banquet, presented by Raba Kistner, was Thursday, Sept. 21, at Valero Energy Corporation and honored six amazing NISD graduates, the 2017-18 Pillars of Character. The evening included meeting the Pillars over dinner, silent and live auctions, and high energy student performances featuring Dorothy and her friends from the Wizard of Oz. Thank you to our sponsors listed below and silent auction donors.

Click here to read about the 2017 NISD Pillars of Character.

Each year, the Pillars are selected from the nearly 100,000 Northside ISD alumni who have graduated from NISD high schools since 1951. The Pillars represent the six character traits taught to NISD students that are part of the Josephson Institute’s Character Counts program. The Pillars of Character are: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

2017-2018 Northside ISD Pillars of Character

Pillar of Caring 

Kristina Riffle Semukete  '02

Founder and Executive Director of Obwaagazi Children's Foundation

Caring - compassionate, empathetic, unselfish

Pillar of Citizenship

Michael Dominguez  '86

Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts International

Citizenship - law abiding, judicious, responsive

Pillar of Responsibility

Michelle Fiedler Mikesh '95

Lab Manager/ Project Manager

Responsibility - diligent, conscientious, stalwart

Pillar of Fairness  

Frank Hakspiel '91

Owner of Fralo's

Fariness - equitable, open, reasonable

Pillar of Respect  

Mark Langford '76


Respect - courteous, intuitive, unbiased

Pillar of Trustworthiness

LTC Colette Topfer '91

58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade Full-Time Supervisor and the 629th Military Intelligence Battalion Commander

Trustworthiness - honest, loyal, credible

Nominate a Pillar! Any graduate from any of Northside’s high schools is eligible to be nominated as a 2018 NISD Pillar of Character, a prestigious annual recognition. A committee of NISD and Northside Education Foundation (NEF) representatives selects the six Pillars. The honorees are celebrated at NEF’s annual fundraising gala. The nomination form and list of past and present Pillars, along with photos and biographical information, is located at www.nisd.net/pillars. Anyone can nominate a graduate and the nomination remains active for up to five years. New information can be provided at any time. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018. For more information, contact the Partnerships Office at 397-8599. 

Platinum Sponsor:


VIP Reception Sponsor:


Red Carpet Photo Sponsor:


Live Auction Sponsor:


Gold Sponsors:






Silver Sponsors: 




Bronze Sponsors: 

Association of Texas Professional Educators 

Bartlett Cocke

CDS Muery

DBR Engineering Consultants, Inc.

Garza Architects

Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP

LPA, Inc.

MS2 Consulting Engineers

Nextgen Architects

Northwest Vista College

Persyn Engineering Inc. 

Raymond James & Associates, Inc.



SK and A, Inc.


United Healthcare


Wortham Insurance & Risk Management