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Defend ‘til the End Plus The Breakfast Club THE TOWN | THE PEOPLE | THE PRIDE | WE ARE PROSPER March 2018 | Prosper’s Community Magazine Since 2012 | | $2.50


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CONTENTS 8 Letter from the Publishers 10

Town Matters

12 Kids Say 14 Taking Home the Hardware 16 Turning a Moment into Monumental Change 18 Defend ‘til the End 20 The Breakfast Club


22 Prosper Elevates Economic Development Posture 24 PISD Hires New Assistant AD 26 Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cuttings 28 Growing Prosper 30 In His Presence FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PROSPER! For up to date news, events and web-exclusive content visit Scan with your iPhone camera to go to our website!

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From the Publishers





#WeAreProsper March 2018

VOL VI, Issue 7 Voted 2013 New Business of The Year PUBLISHERS Jason & Heather Reynolds EDITORIAL/MARKETING DIRECTOR Heather Reynolds CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jason Reynolds BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jodie Brownd

Marching into Springtime As we turn another page on the 2018 calendar, we simply cannot believe that it is already March! The sun is finally out after months of cold weather and weeks of rain…the grass is starting to green…the trees are starting to bloom…the tulip farm is open…that’s right y’all, it’s Springtime in Prosper! Baseball games, planting flowers, trips to the park, easy nights on the patio enjoying dinner and drinks with your favorite people, SPRING BREAK – those are the best parts of marching into Springtime, don’t you think?

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Joyce Godwin | Ray Smith | Dr. Drew Watkins Celso Martinez | Heather Reynolds | Leslie Scott Brad Wilkerson | Jimmie Gibson

We have so much going on right now in Prosper. We welcomed several new businesses as they ceremoniously cut the ribbon on their new ventures. We celebrated the Grand Opening of the new Frontier Park North addition… our Town of Prosper leadership and Parks & Recreation board and staff did an outstanding job of designing and constructing a top notch facility with football, soccer and softball fields, as well as a new playground, pavilion and one of the most coveted assets – more parking!

PRODUCTION/DESIGN Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC

Prosper ISD is growing at record levels and changing each and every day. Construction has begun on the new district stadium and the natatorium. Two new elementary campuses are opening in August. Additional elementary schools and a new middle school will open in 2019. And maybe the single most defining moment in our history will come in 2020 when we open our second high school. Our school board and administration took the opportunity to reflect on our history while we look ahead to the growth when they announced the name…ROCK HILL HIGH SCHOOL!! We are proud of our “little” town. In the face of all of this growth, we cling to our values and our culture of “We are Prosper, We are ONE.” We support one another, we frequent the new restaurants and stores. We meet new people each and every day. We cheer each other on. We strive for excellence in everything we do. That, my friends, is how we will maintain our small town, big heart community! WE ARE PROSPER!! #WeAreProsper #WeAreOne #TownPeoplePride With Prosper Pride,

Heat her & Jason Reynolds 8



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PROSPER Magazine is wholly owned and published by Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. PROSPER Magazine is published 12 times a year. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or copied whole or in part without expressed written permission from the publisher, Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. © 2017. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The title and all material are protected by international copyright laws and are reserved. Although the greatest of care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this magazine at time of going to press, neither PROSPER Magazine nor Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC can be held liable for omissions, inexactness or errors.

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Town Matters

By Mayor Ray Smith

Let me start by thanking those of you who answered the call and participated in the 2018 ITS TIME TEXAS Community Challenge. As I write this, I don’t know how the final tally ends up, whether or not Prosper piled up enough points to win and claim a three-peat. But I do know that we gave it a good effort. As in the previous two years, the Town’s Parks and Recreation Department took the lead in guiding us through the process, and whether or not we complete the three-peat, my thanks go to the department’s staff, especially Julie Shivers and Patty Kendzie. At the same time, the newly-formed Prosper Healthy group stepped up this year as well, and they also deserve our gratitude. The sponsors of our community workouts and all of the companies who participated are also to be commended. More than winning a third trophy, though, I want to be sure that the underlying message of the competition takes root. Creating new habits or reinforcing existing ones of eating well, exercising regularly, watching our weight, and encouraging our families to stay healthy are all tremendously positive outcomes of the competition. Sure, it’s fun to win, and believe me, no one likes to win more than I do, but winning does not necessarily have to include a trophy. When I see people walking their dog, jogging, playing outdoors, riding bikes, or making good choices at restaurants, I feel like that’s part of our victory, regardless of the outcome of the formal competition. And, speaking of competition, let me also ask you to exercise something else – your right to vote. We get three chances to vote this year. First are the primaries for the Republican and Democratic Parties that determine who will represent them in the mid-term elections in November. Both of these elections are important for our nation, and everyone who is eligible to vote should make it a point to do so. But, as they say, all politics is local. On the local level, municipal elections are scheduled for May 5. On that day, residents can, and should, take part in local politics. Mayors and Council members throughout the state will be elected or reelected, and propositions like charter amendments and changes to taxing entities will be decided. Here in Prosper, residents will choose representatives in two of our Council seats, and they’ll decide on reallocating a portion of the Town’s sales and use tax revenue to fund a pair of Special Purpose Districts. I encourage everyone to read about the districts, get to know the candidates, and make an effort to vote. I do not, repeat, do not want to hear anyone say, “My vote does not count.” Every vote counts. While I won twice when I ran for the Frisco City Council, I did lose once by three votes, and four years later, wound up tied in a two-person race. Does your vote count? You bet it does!

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Kids Say

Kids Say

Emma Louise

She’s 7 ½ years old, in second grade, has worn glasses for over two years, and her best friend at school is Joseph.

What do you think you’ll be when you grow up? I want to be a vet, although I might not be able to do cats because I’m still highly allergic to them.

Is Emma short for a longer name or is Emma your full name?

What are you good at?

It’s short. My real name is Emma Louise, and I don’t know why, but I just figured out last year that my full first name is Emma Louis and then I have Cirelli as my middle name.

I’m really good at swimming, but I don’t really like doing it that much. I’m really good at the pacer in PE. It’s running across the gym and stopping at the other side, I think we have to do 30 laps. I’m good at hiding too.

What is your favorite color?

You have an older brother right? What do you like to do with him?

Blue and pink. My room is blue and it’s decorated to be like the outside. So my whole room has stickers of birds on branches and then birdhouses on the walls too. There are birds on the top of the light switches and I have toy birds too.

Yes, his name is Gui and I like to play games like sequence with him.

Do you like birds? Yes, it’s one of my favorite animals. I like blue jays and mockingbirds. I also like owls and snow owls too. What is your favorite subject at school or your favorite thing to do there? Well my favorite subject is science and my favorite things to do is lunch, specials and recess. I like science for the experiments and learning new things. And I like lunch time so I can sit down. The best part of lunch is when I really want quiet and my head is hurting and we have silent lunch. That’s five more minutes of lunch that we have to be quiet. Specials is where after a little while we go and my class splits up, so we either go to music, PE, or tech. And I like recess.

12 | March 2018

What are your favorite foods? First I’ll tell you the healthy foods I like. I love to eat carrots with ranch dressing, apples, and other stuff like pears. And unhealthy things I like are cheeseburgers, ice cream, cupcakes, cake, and hot dogs. And one last thing, I love bacon! Anything else you would like to chat about? Well there’s some stuff I want to tell you about my family. I like family game night, I like watching movies with my family, and sometimes we go swimming all together. Prosper Community Library Director Leslie Scott has a unique opportunity for candid discussions with youngsters of all ages. She is sharing those experiences with PROSPER Magazine.

March 2018 |


Taking Home the Hardware By Tish Cama


Photography Contributions: Carolyn Flaherty

agle Wrestling has broken records every season throughout the years, and this season was no exception. The men and women’s wrestling teams have just finished out one of their best competitive years in history… going undefeated, being named state dual champions, winning conference, district and regional championships for the men’s team and district runner up for the ladies. They sent 13 men and 7 women to the Regional tournament with 7 district champions! They also sent 7 men and 3 women to the State 5A wrestling tournament, not to mention 3 regional champions. One of those regional champions was senior Alyssa Alvarez, a 3x regional champion. At the state tournament, there were 7 total placers:

Tommy Flaherty -STATE CHAMPION James Wujek - 2nd place LJ Richardson - 2nd place Tristian Baugher - 3rd place Alyssa Alvarez - 3rd place Caden Mills - 6th place Igor Costa - 4th place The men’s team started the year off at the Warrior Invite where they placed 2nd, falling to the #2 ranked 6A team in the state, while beating out other 6A teams for the spot. “This accomplishment set in motion the very successful season,” senior, Tommy Flaherty said. “From then on, we would dominate every dual and tournament until the Texas Outlaw.” During the Texas Outlaw, the team placed 3rd behind the #1 and #2 6A state-ranked schools. This boosted their motivation moving towards State Duals. At the beginning of state duals, the team lacked energy and it showed on the mat; but halfway through their semifinal dual, they began firing on all cylinders. They came back from an 18-point deficit to end the dual 43-18. Using that momentum, they went on to win the finals by over 45 points. “After winning state duals we became much closer as a team through shared success,” Flaherty said. This cohesion was a huge boost, support, and motivation for the team during the primetime competition. There was a chemistry on the mat which proved the perseverance and grit of every individual. At the district

14 | March 2018


tournament, two individuals from Prosper received distinct honors - District Coach and District Wrestler of the Year. James Wujek, at 170lbs, received the “Most Outstanding Wrestler” award, voted on by coaches throughout the district. Head Coach Sion King received “District Coach of the Year” during his first year coaching in Prosper. Through sickness and continuous injury, Prosper qualified 7 boys for the UIL State 5A tournament located in Houston, Texas. History was made once again as Prosper announced their second State Champion of all t i m e … To m my Flaherty at weight class 160 lbs. The men also received the State Runner-up trophy as a team. “This has been a team I have loved competing with, and I will never forget all the good times with my teammates and coaches,” Flaherty said.The ladies started off with their feet in the water and took off from there. The team consists of 10 ladies 5 experienced as well as a few freshman beginners. The ladies kicked off season with a 2nd place finish at the Arlington Martin tournament which held both 5A and 6A teams. There was a bit of struggle mid-season to keep up with the 6A schools, but the ladies managed to bounce back, placing 2nd at the Timber Creek Classic and bested a few teams that had defeated them in previous tournaments. “Lead by 2 great seniors, Cristiana Williams and Alyssa Alvarez, our girls went undefeated in Dual meets and placed 2nd at the District 8-5A Championship,” Head Coach Sion King said. This year the ladies placed runner up in the district tournament and claimed two district champions, senior Cristiana Williams at 128 lbs, and Alyssa Alvarez at 215 lbs. From regionals, the ladies sent three medalists and one alternate to the Texas 5A State wrestling tournament. Alyssa Alvarez was also awarded with the honor of being named a 3-time regional champion. The ladies ran into some stiff competition during the state finals and finished at 17th place. Alyssa Alvarez received the bronze, finishing 3rd place at state for her second consecutive year. They had an amazing season and left everything they had on the mat, always training for the unexpected and it showed in their confidence and sportsmanship. “Our girls team was very young this year, and I feel are right on the brink of accomplishing something big in the next year or two! The Prosper kids work very hard in athletics in general! I always tell my wrestlers, when you consistently work hard to achieve your goals, you make it very difficult not to achieve them! We have very talented girls and boys coming up from the middle schools next season that will only add to our already very talented group of high school kids!!” King said.


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Turning a Moment into Monumental Change By Leslie Scott

2017 Prosper Person of the Year Nominee Jen Lutes is a wife, mother, friend, planner, fixer and the heart of what volunteerism and caring for a community is all about. Truly responsible for making Cornerstone NCT a reality, she’s a busy woman making a lasting and positive impact for many. Jen’s happiness in her family life is obvious when she describes them throughout a conversation as: an incredible husband, happily married for 19 years, two caring daughters and the most wonderful family. “They are all awesome,” she says speaking of husband Mark and daughters Ainsley and Alli. “When we first had the idea to start the nonprofit I was a stay at home mom and my youngest was just two. I was planning on going back to work, but not until she was in school. Mark and I talked through it and he said you should do this. He’s always been the biggest encourager for me and our girls.” Jen has always been a passionate leader with goals. She acknowledges, “I had a mom that was one of eight and she was very strong and she wanted to make sure her daughters were strong as well and that we would pass that on to my kiddos too. That’s been a real value to me and my kids. We want to make sure they know nothing is stopping them from whatever they want to do.” Many do not know that it was Jen at the lead from the very beginning of Cornerstone, nor how it began. She explains, “In 2008, many people were losing their jobs, and because of the economy, it was a terrible time. At our church every Sunday we would hear them say they needed more food at the food pantry, the demand was just too high and each week there was still a need. Then one day I was shopping for my daughter’s back to school clothes and I was thinking, these moms that can’t afford food can’t afford clothes either.” Jen looked to Cornerstone in Ft. Worth for some answers. “Ft. Worth Cornerstone said if you just give them money and you just give them clothes then you’re just putting a Band-Aid on their problem. You’re never

16 | March 2018

Photo Courtesty: Brad Newton, BN Photo

really doing anything. I left there saying we have to revamp our whole idea. I went back home and said okay this is what I want to do, this is how I want to make this work, and I created an outline of what the entity needed to be. Wayne Bartley was helping me, and we called the Ft. Worth Cornerstone and asked what they thought about having a satellite space in Prosper. They said they didn’t do that, but we could be an affiliate and what that means is you’ll get our name and we’ll approve it with the IRS, you have to maintain that you are a Christian base and you have to help the poor and we will give you our expertise.” Jen took all the knowledge Cornerstone in Ft. Worth had to offer and gives them a great deal of credit. “They were invaluable. They helped us not stumble in the very beginning as much as we should have; they told us what to do and what not to do, what to think through, they gave us their bylaws as a guide, and they came and trained our board on how to be a board. It was huge and they did that all for free. Now they have more affiliates, but at that time there was Prosper and two others.” The entire Lutes family is involved with Cornerstone. Jen says with pride, “We are all very active in Cornerstone – my family owns pieces of it themselves. My husband helps on numerous committees. Ainsley runs the stocking part of Cornerstone Christmas. She does all of the collections, she and her friends make all the stockings, and she puts them all together. She runs that section on her own. This year Alli said she wants to run a station, so we are figuring out what she can own as she’s growing. It’s so cool how much they are all involved. My family is awesome.” What does Cornerstone need now or next and how can the community participate? Jen says, “Prosper is really good at responding to a need. When there’s a need, Prosper is on it. It’s the day to day that’s hard to get the word out about. We have been very blessed with a lot of great volunteers all the time. The donation center needs more men there to help with the heavy items and people to help when volunteers need coverage. On the front lines we have people who meet with others on a weekly basis. Evening

time is the one time they also need the most help with. It’s hard to give up evenings when you have children, so I completely understand, but those are the two biggest needs. Front line help in the evening and men at the donation center.” There is no doubt about Jen and Cornerstone’s success, but there’s a great deal more that is on her list of goals. She is excited for the future and explains, “This is the year we are resetting all our expectations of what we are doing and where we are going. When we started we had no money in the bank and it was an idea inside my crazy head. Wayne Bartley came walking along side of me and said let’s do it. So we’ve always known we wanted to help these people. I had an outline when we started and we’ve completed my outline. So now it’s time to figure out what’s next for Cornerstone and how do we keep us going. We want to grow. There are so many people that we must turn away, but I want us to expand to a larger number and be able to provide more. One day I see us having a building that’s available to people all the time, where we have a computer lab for resume writing and for job placement people, and have the donation center and our store all in one space so that when someone comes in and says ‘I need help with a bill and oh, by the way, I have no clothes’, we can walk them right there.” Jen doesn’t stop with just saying she wants more for Cornerstone. She backs it up with facts. “Sometimes it takes us 6 months, 9 months, or even 18 months to help a family get out of their cycle of poverty. Whereas if we can get better at it, then we can shorten that time. Where they are still held accountable, they are still doing the work, but it’s a process that works. In 2016, 50% of the families that we helped broke their cycle of poverty. It works and if we can just make it so it’s quicker and they can see their investment of time with us, then they will keep working with us. I’m sad that we missed that other 50%. I want them to see it’s going to work and they are going to get out of the situation, and I want them to see it faster.” Jen’s epiphany while shopping 10 years ago became the start of an enormous benefit to all of Prosper. With a master’s degree in counseling and a mantra of “fixing things to make them stay fixed,” Prosper is in good hands with Jen Lutes as the Executive Director of Cornerstone NCT and as a proud citizen of our community. Jen says over and over, “We are very blessed with great volunteers,” and Jen is one of those volunteers that Prosper is blessed to have as well.

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Defend ‘til the End

Prosper Basketball finishes out their season in fourth round


t was a year of new records, new competition, and epic history in the making. The Prosper Eagles men’s basketball team went into the playoffs with more confidence and determination than ever before and it showed on the court. They advanced into the 4th round of playoffs, taking on the Midlothian Panthers. Unfortunately, the Eagles were stopped in advancement by a 4-point fall. Each game left an imprint on the team’s path, but the final two rounds of playoffs dropped the jaws for the crowds. In the 3rd round, the Eagles were neck and neck with the Sulphur Springs Wildcats throughout the game, ending the first quarter trailing 11-16. The continued to stay behind those same 5 points until midway through the second quarter. That’s when the Eagles finally went ahead 18-17 with a basket from Kyle Jessen. By the end of the second quarter, the Eagles led 21-20 with a finish by Zach Wrightsil. After the half, the Wildcats continued to pounce and Kyle Jessen was able to shoot a deep 3-pointer to tie the game 24-24 with 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Sulphur Springs managed to rally back and were leading 32-26 with 3 minutes left in the third when Josh Davis went 2-2 from the charity stripe to bring Prosper within reach at 30-32. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter, the Eagles were down 33-35. The momentum remained strong on the court during the fourth quarter. The Eagles and Wildcats went back to back on shots, and Prosper trailed 36-41 with only 5 minutes left in the final quarter. A play by Zach Wrightsil tied the score at 41. Then Josh Davis made 1 of his 2 free throws. The Eagles were down 43-46. Davis then takes to the basket with only 8 seconds left and brings the score to 46-45. The heat was on and with 5 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Josh Davis headed to the free throw line again and tied up the score 46-46, sending the game into OVERTIME. The intensity was extremely high and the ball did not stop as the two teams battled it out. As the first overtime ended, the score was tied at 54, sending the game into DOUBLE OVERTIME. The Eagles led for a brief time at 58-55, but were tied up again 58-58 with 2 minutes left on the clock. The Eagles kept beating the buzzer, and with a score of 60-60, the game went into TRIPLE OVERTIME! Triple overtime led Grant Shaw to the line and brought the Eagles ahead 62-60 with 3 minutes left. Sulphur Springs brought back their driving force and tied up the board at 64. With less than 60 seconds left in the game, Jerry McElory headed to the free throw line and took the Eagles ahead 67-64. With little time left to play, Zach Wrightsil took the assist from Kyle Jessen, which resulted in a stellar slam dunk play, moving Prosper ahead 69-64. The Wildcats had no answer, and the Eagles finished the game 69-64. The beginning of the 4th round started out promising for the Eagles as they took on the Midlothian Panthers in a battle to the semifinals. Within the first 3 minutes of the game, Josh Davis took the Eagles ahead with a 3-point shot and bringing the score 5-2. By the end of the first quarter, the scoreboard was tied and so was the enthusiasm in the arena. The student sections went back to back cheering on their teams with a score of 7-7 going into the 2nd quarter. It was time to get down to business and that’s exactly what they did. Zach Wrightsil brought the board up for Prosper 12-9 and Josh Davis followed that up to get a rebound and put the ball back up. Prosper was ahead 14-11. Grant Shaw earned 2 from the line with 4 minutes left in the first half of the game. By halftime, the Eagles were up by an 8-point lead 23-15. The Panthers came into the second half focused on their defense and quickly brought the score to 25-24. Grant Shaw brought the arena on

18 | March 2018

14-5A District Honors: Zach Wrightsil - Offensive POY, 1st Team Josh Davis - 1st Team Taveion White - 1st Team Kyle Jessen - 2nd Team Jerry McElroy - Honorable Mention Grant Shaw - Honorable Mention

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their feet again with another 3-point shot, but the Panthers kicked things into gear and took the lead 29-28 for the first time since the 1st quarter. There was 3:37 left in the third. The Panthers continued to shock the crowd and lead 35-28 with 1:29 left in the third. Grant Shaw brought himself into the double digits for the game and sunk another 3, but the Eagles were still behind 31-35. The 3rd quarter ended with Midlothian ahead 36-31. Going into the 4th quarter, the Eagles kicked up their offense and came out hot. Josh Davis connected and brought the Panthers lead down to 3 points. Prosper got their energy back and went ahead 40-38 with 1:59 left in the game. The timeouts were running back and forth and Midlothian scored a layup bringing their lead of 42-40 with 19.4 seconds on the clock. The intensity was high and the Panthers took to the line making both free throws and bringing their lead 44-40 over the Eagles with 13.1 seconds left. As the final buzzer blew, Prosper’s season was over. Congratulations to our Eagles on an amazing season of accomplishments!

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Back Row left to right: Jerry Wayne Edwards, Betty Malone, Wallace Malone, Ronnie Lynn, Jerry Gentle, Betty Hughes Front Row left to right: Jerry Lynn Edwards, Francis Lynn, Sandra Duncan, Shirley Whitley

The Breakfast Club - Class of ’56 Brunch By Leslie Scott

“Class of ’56 Brunch” is the subject of the email they receive from

Jerry Gentle before the second Wednesday of the month. They are the Prosper Class of 1956, plus or minus a few years. They are not an exclusive group as they also welcome graduates of other schools near Prosper they grew up with, as well as spouses of the class of ’56 and even friends of classmates from any graduating class or community. This group of wonderful people are a living history of Prosper; they are the people, the places, and the essence of what Prosper once was and continues to be. I have been fortunate enough to be invited to their monthly brunch at the Cotton Gin a couple of times. Each time I am amazed at their relationships with each other, their genuine caring of one another, and the depth of the history that binds them all together. Sitting at this table is almost surreal; a guest cannot possibly focus on just one person or conversation more than a few minutes at a time. There might be one conversation that divides into no less than four conversations happening all at once. They often start on a topic as a group and then it splinters off into several conversations, each going off on its own way to a different subject. Then, in time, they come back together on another topic. They interrupt each other without rudeness, they talk over each other to clarify, they ask as many questions of each other as they answer, and they laugh. As a guest, I am the happy receiver of stories they’ve all lived through and heard many times already, but I am allowed another retelling. Ronnie Lynn begins a story about six man football games played right where the new Town Hall is currently being built. The fans would get to the game early because they would drive right up to the football field in their cars. Early to the game meant a better parking spot and they would either sit in their cars and watch or get out and gather in groups, standing on the sidelines to watch and cheer. Ronnie connected to an additional story about the time the local barber, “An old Navy guy, literally tackled one of the opponent’s team members as he was running by because he was an enlisted Marine and he wanted to show that Navy men were tougher.” The story is added onto by the telling of a player that ran out of bounds and hit his head on the bumper of a car so hard that it took a day or two for him to recover. The story includes a description of a football helmet’s material and lack of proper fitting during that time.

20 | March 2018

This then bridges into a conversation of other school sport uniforms throughout time. Jerry Gentle tells me there’s a photo in the Prosper Historical Society of her mother’s basketball team. She asks me if I know of the photo and to guess what their uniforms consisted of. I guess wrong and I’m told that they wore knee length bloomers as uniform bottoms and played the game on a white rock court. We laugh at the thought of playing basketball on rock and the unpredictable element that would add to the game. Betty Hughes asks Jerry Gentle halfway through breakfast if she remembers the fourth grade girls’ sleep over their teacher hosted. The ladies each share pieces of this event where they remember being little girls laughing and talking, eating an entire large jar of dill pickles, and staying the night. I was impressed with this teacher hosting an entire class of girls, but Jerry and Betty clarify there were five girls in their entire class which results in laughter by all those listening to the story. I’m told that everyone knew everyone and their parents knew everyone too, including all the kids. Therefore, not much happened that everyone didn’t know or find out about quickly. There are maiden names tossed around, relations to others and each other, there’s talk of births, marriages, immediate family, extended family, and of deaths too. The majority of the brunch group were born and raised here, but occasionally a classmate would move to Prosper and start school with them. “Years ago” is how many of their stories begin and yet not all conversations are of the past. There’s a discussion of a Christmas cactus that never blooms at Christmas, but it blooms every August instead. They discuss current home improvements, health ailments, purchases large and small, current weather, travels, and they discuss the changes happening now in Prosper. The majority express their amazement in all growth of the Metroplex, but especially in Prosper. The Class of ’56 Brunch is a gathering of friends that care about each other. They get together once a month, some attend more regularly than others, to have a meal and continue to share their lives with each other. Brunch is a quick hour, a wonderful hour to be a guest of, and a glance into how friendships last lifetimes.

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Community News


Prosper Elevates Economic Development Posture

Jefferson. “With over 30 years of excellence in municipal government work, Chuck is the right fit for us as we move into areas of economic development that we have not experienced in the past. The experience Chuck and Maher bring to their respective positions is truly substantial.”

Hires Chuck Springer as Executive Director of Administrative Services

Springer, a Certified Government Finance Officer who previously served as president of the Government Treasurers’ Organization of Texas, was the Director of Finance for the City of Denton prior to joining Prosper as the Executive Director of Administrative Services.

In the midst of the most prolific economic development period in the history of Prosper, the Town has made another personnel move that reinforces the municipality’s resolve to actively support its expanding business climate. In addition to bringing in former Frisco Mayor Maher Maso as Executive Director of the Prosper Economic Development Corporation, a move widely seen as a precursor to a deeper and more robust effort at commercial expansion, the Town has recently announced the hiring of Chuck Springer, a highly-experienced veteran of local government, with a resume replete with financial expertise. “Chuck’s singular experience is unmatched,” says Town Manager Harlan

22 | March 2018

He began his municipal government career in 1983 as an intern for the Town of Flower Mound. He quickly rose through the ranks, eventually rising to Assistant Town Manager. He left Flower Mound and served the City of Arlington for 18 years, serving as Interim Chief Financial Officer, Treasury Manager, and Cash and Debt Administrator. While there, he played an integral role during negotiations for the construction of a professional football facility. Returning to Flower Mound, Springer filled the role of Assistant Town Manager/Chief Financial Officer and briefly served as Acting Town Manager.

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Car ing for Clients and Community In the Denton position, he managed Accounting, Budget, Customer Service, Purchasing and Materials Management, Municipal Court, and Treasury Operations. As the first occupant of the position in Prosper, his duties include oversight of the Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology functions. “Chuck serves as the liaison between Town staff and the EDC,” added Jefferson. “His extensive financial background will be incredibly important as economic development takes an ever-increasing profile across the Town’s service footprint.” Springer earned a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in 1981 and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas in 1985.

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Eagles Nest

Meet Prosper ISD’s New Assistant Athletic Director Coach Jeff Smith Prosper ISD is proud to announce that Coach Jeff Smith has been hired as the new Assistant Athletic Director. Smith is coming from McKinney ISD where he served as Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator at McKinney High School for a total of eight years. Under Smith, in 2017 the McKinney Lions earned their first playoff since 2009 and repeated that same success in 2018. Before his time in McKinney, Smith had previous teaching/coaching positions at Lake Highlands High School, Lorena High School, and Plano Senior High for a total of 22 years of teaching/coaching experience. Smith grew up in Callisburg, Texas and over the years participated in a variety of sports including football, basketball, baseball, and golf. After he graduated, he left Callisburg and headed to Waco to earn his BS in Education from Baylor University. Jeff is married to Kelli and they have two kids, Jake, a senior, who has committed to Howard Junior College to play baseball in the Fall of 2018 as well as Allie, a sophomore at McKinney Christian Academy who plays volleyball and softball. “My family and I could not be more excited about joining the Prosper Family! It has always been a dream of mine to work in an athletic administrative role that can make a lasting impact on our student/athletes, coaches, and community. Prosper ISD has a tremendous tradition of

24 | March 2018

excellence and I look forward to working hard to continue to make Prosper ISD the best district in the State of Texas,” said Smith. Prosper ISD’s athletic department is excited about the opportunity to gain someone of Coach Smith’s caliber in their department and look forward to what he will add to the program. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge as a former Head Football Coach/Campus Coordinator. He has extensive experience at motivating and mentoring his campus coaching staffs and I am excited for him to expand that into a district level impact. We are fortunate our school district realizes our need to be pro-active in planning for our explosive growth ahead of us. With Coach Smith in place, we will be able to stay ahead of this growth and continue to be one of the best athletic programs in the State,” stated Prosper ISD Athletic Director Valerie Little.

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Welcome to Prosper


The Prosper Chamber of Commerce celebrates these ribbon cuttings in the month of February: 1. Texas Bank 2. Chase Bank 3. Gentle Creek Dental 4. Children’s Courtyard 5. Kirl Drone Service




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Do you have Drainage Dilemmas?


with Jimmie Gibson Jr.

Drainage is a widely misunderstood landscaping issue. Water collecting or standing in your yard for several hours after a rain is not a drainage problem. However, water standing for two days or more after a rain could definitely be a problem. There is one very important premise with drainage: Water flows naturally downhill and only by mechanical means will it flow uphill. However, determining where “downhill” is and getting water to flow efficiently in that direction sometimes isn’t as simple as it may seem. An accurate assessment of the situation is necessary before the problem can be corrected properly.

flowing water path and moves it around the raised earth, creating a new path.

Solution #2: Surface Drain. A different approach to the dilemma of surface water is to install a surface drain that feeds into a pipe, which moves the water to a different location. Most often, moving water across the surface is preferable to using a pipe and drainage system due to the fact that swales and berms are adaptable; they can be moved, reshaped and are easier to maintain. Piping has a limited volume of water that it can move and may get clogged with debris or roots over time. Problem: Subsurface Water

There are two basic types of drainage dilemmas and each has different solutions.

A subsurface drainage problem is indicated by ground that stays wet for long extended periods of time.

Problem: Surface Water

Solution #1: French Drains

The most common problem is surface water. There is water running through your yard, or water stands for several days at a time after a strong rain. This would probably indicate improper contouring of the landscape or building site, a pretty common problem for modern builders these days. Correcting the contour can sometimes solve the problem.

Using a French drain system can help with soggy, wet and saturated soil. The standard French drainage system uses porous piping, surrounded by gravel, to carry water downhill for discharge. A trench is dug through the area where the water is collecting, and a perforated plastic pipe is placed in the trench with the perforations at the 5 and 7 o’clock positions. Gravel is then poured around the piping material to backfill the trench. Excess water then fills the spaces around the gravel and then moves into the drainage pipe to be carried away.

Solution #1: Berms and Swales. There are two methods employed to change a site’s contour. One solution is to lower the soil level with a swale, a shallow ditch that catches water and moves that water to another location. The other solution is the complete opposite: raising the soil level by constructing a berm that interrupts the

28 | March 2018

Solution #2: Submersible Pumps If you happen to have an area that seems to consistently collect water with

no way to move it downhill, a submersible pump can be placed in a shallow collection well to pump the water uphill to your discharge location. The collection well can be purchased commercially, or you can create your own by digging a hole two or three feet deep and lining it with large aggregate or gravel. Excess water will collect in the well and an automatic switch can turn the pump on when it’s full of water, and then off when it is empty. There are issues to address with this solution…the pump needs electricity to run it, and during storms when your heaviest rains occur, you may lose power, disabling your pump when you need it most.

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Combined systems: Sometimes a combined system could be the smartest idea depending on your situation. Areas that are naturally wet and need a French drainage system can also benefit from a surface grate that will collect water during rains and move it throughout the French drain before it adds to the subsurface problem. Drainage does not have to be a difficult dilemma, but a correct assessment of the problem and possible solutions is needed before you start digging trenches that rival the Trinity River! Question: Jimmie, I read your recent article in the Prosper Magazine and am now so ready to start playing in my landscape. You had some really good tips. I have a question about my Red Tip Photinias. I have some that are covered badly with leaf spots and is now starting to affect my Indian Hawthornes as well. How do I control this problem?

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Kathy K. from Prosper Answer: Hi Kathy, Thanks for your inquiry. Photinias are one of the most infected shrubs with "fungal leaf spot" which is what you’re describing. Most landscapers will no longer warranty Photinias due to that reason. The disease itself is an airborne bacterial fungus. To be totally honest with you, your best bet long term would probably be to replace the Photinias with another type of shrub that is not susceptible to the fungus. However, if you choose to treat it, the best chemical to use on it is Daconil. It can be purchased at a good nursery or anywhere that carries a good supply of Ortho products. Most systemic fungicides will do the trick. You will apply the infected areas by spraying every 10 days until you see all new growth coming out disease free. Use the same treatment with the Hawthornes. Keep a close eye on the Photinias after that, it's very likely to come back. Hope this helps you out. Until next time, happy gardening!! Jimmie Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at or jimmie@ Jimmie is a Prosper resident and the owner of Absolutely Bushed Landscaping Company, an award winning, family and veteran owned and operated business created in 1980 to provide the highest quality custom Outdoor Renovation available to homeowners in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.

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In His In His Presence Presence


not for you.

I must admit that I feel somewhat inadequate with this particular subject. When I began writing this article I kept asking myself, “How can I even attempt, with any integrity, to write about something that I struggle so deeply with myself?” So, I believe that I must start this article off with a confession, I think it goes something like…“Hi! My name is Brad and I’m an ‘out of control’ life-aholic!”

Well if that’s you, the first question you must ask about the priorities in your life is, “What’s the problem with your schedule?”

What about you? Do you take life too seriously sometimes? I came across some pretty funny things the other day for ‘those who take life too seriously’ to think about… -Remember…He who laughs last thinks slowest. -The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. -Always borrow money from a pessimist – they don’t expect it back. -The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes. -When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane and going the wrong way. -A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. -If you don’t think anybody cares about you, try missing a couple credit card payments. -The sooner you fall behind the more time you’ll have to catch up. -If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving is

30 | March 2018

When it comes to priorities, have you ever found yourself immediately after making a commitment saying, “Why do I always say yes?”

Usually if you look close enough you’ll discover that you have too many commitments! Family, kids, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, extended family, job, money, bills – this list goes on and on. What is it exactly for you? The culture we exist in screams…“Money is important but time is actually the king!” Everywhere you go in our culture, everything indicates speed. Think about it… -You want to ship something you go to Federal Express. -You may have the phone service called Sprint. -You may wash your clothes in Dash. -Anyone, who is daring enough, might swim in what we know as a Speedo Everything in our culture is speed oriented. Today, we have more affluence, education, entertainment and technology than every before. Why is it then, with all these luxuries, technology and time saving gadgets that we are so tired? I honestly believe that it deals with one’s character. We have fooled ourselves into believing that everything in our lives actually

depends on us! We think it’s all up to us! This concept has developed an enormous amount of stress, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about stress in my life it’s this, “It’s an attitude!” Attitudes are chosen – not inherited! I think we say yes too often because everyone wants to be loved, valued and appreciated. Every time we say yes, we fall for the myth that others will love us more, value us more or appreciate us more. This thinking is actually a lie! Saying yes to everything and everyone does nothing but limit your time and cause you to lose what you can’t get back! Listen folks, the stakes are too high to live with your priorities out of whack! I’ve discovered that the best way to reprioritize my life is to evaluate the important things in life. The Bible tells me pretty explicitly in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans for us are for good not disaster, to give us a future full of hope! God never intended His most precious creation (mankind) to live life at full throttle! I will boldly tell you that the two most important documents in my life are the Bible and my calendar. If life seems to be spinning out of control, my advice is to start prioritizing those two documents daily in your life. Start there in your reprioritizing! Search for and find that relationship with God and learn to say “no” to good things so you can say “yes” to the great things! Brad Wilkerson is the Lead Pastor at the Church of Celebration currently meeting Sundays at Navo Middle School, 1701 Navo Rd, Aubrey, TX 76227. New worship facility coming spring of 2019 at 28691 Harper Rd, Prosper, TX. Check out their website anytime at

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PROSPER Magazine | March 2018  
PROSPER Magazine | March 2018