The Texas Retired Teachers Association, the largest association of retired school personnel in the nation, recently honored one of its members from Smith County with its highest honor, the E.L. Galyean Service Award.

TRTA honored Herbert Norris during an awards dinner at the 66th Annual TRTA Convention on April 1, at the Hilton in downtown Austin. The award is named for E.L. Galyean, first executive director of TRTA, serving in that capacity from 1980 to 1992.

Norris is the former president of TRTA, serving in this role from 2010 to 2012.

Known as an outstanding, enigmatic leader throughout TRTA, he is active in his local unit, the Smith County RTSPA, and has held all of the key state TRTA officer positions of secretary/treasurer, second vice president and first vice president.

He has also led the state Finance, Public Relations and Membership committees during his tenure, and has been involved with TRTA for more than 20 years.

Within his community, Norris serves as board chairman of the Chapel Hill Community Service Organization. He has been a Smith County election judge for more than 25 years. At Lt. Violet Baptist Church he has served in leadership capacities including chairman of the Deacon Board, Sunday school teacher and choir member.

He also served as general secretary for the original East Texas Baptist Association. He received the Pioneer in Education Award from Phi Delta Kappa.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife, Evelyn, son Deon and daughter Herbevelynne and several grandchildren.

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