Event Information

Luminary Award dinner

The 2019 Simmons Luminary Award was held Wednesday, March 6, 2019. The Reception began at 6:30 p.m. The Dinner and the presentation started at 7:00 p.m. The Simmons Luminary Award honors individuals or organizations who have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people's lives through education. Three honorees were recognized at this event and represent a local honoree, regional honoree, and national honoree.

2019 Honorees

The Commit Partnership

North Texas Honoree

Dr. Stepanie Knight presents Luminary award for North Texas Honoree

The Commit Partnership is a community navigator and connector, working to ensure that all DFW students receive an excellent and equitable education that prepares them to flourish in college and career.

A coalition of over 200 partners (public and private schools, colleges and universities, foundations, businesses, and nonprofits), we work collaboratively to help solve the region’s biggest systemic challenges, including improving early childhood education, preparing and retaining effective educators, and increasing postsecondary completion rates. Our staff aligns community stakeholders around a shared future roadmap – analyzing data to lift up strategic initiatives that improve policies, practices, and funding to grow our community’s capacity to serve every student more effectively.

To build a cohesive, coordinated and aligned educational community, we harness the power of our Partnership. The Partnership strives to analyze data and engage expertise to inform action, activate the community achieve shared goals, and grow capacities of education systems and stakeholders.

Video Clip of Commit Partnership

The Holdsworth Center

Regional Honoree

Dr. Stepanie Knight presents Luminary award for Regional Honoree

Founded by H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt and based in Austin, Texas, The Holdsworth Center’s mission is to impact, over time, the quality of public education for all Texas students by supporting and developing educational leaders.

The Center makes a deep investment in participating districts, working with each for a five-year period. They help leaders clearly define and articulate what great leadership looks like across their district or campus, identify future leaders who meet this definition, invest in their development over the long-haul and provide on-the-ground support to enable them to succeed.

Currently, the Holdsworth Center is working with seven districts across the state: Arlington ISD and Grand Prairie ISD (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Southwest ISD (San Antonio), Round Rock ISD (Austin), and Lamar CISD and Klein ISD (Houston). In the spring of 2019, the Center will welcome a cohort of six new districts to join the program.

By the summer of 2020, the Center will have a permanent home on a 44-acre campus on the shores of Lake Austin – a serene and transformative environment for education leaders to learn, collaborate, reflect and gather inspiration to take back to their districts.

Video Clip of Holdsworth Center


National Honoree

Dr. Stepanie Knight presents Luminary award for National Honoree

Toyota has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 36 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

The Toyota USA Foundation is a charitable endowment created to support education programs serving kindergarten through 12th-grade students and their teachers in the United States, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Toyota Foundation Video Clip