Citizen of the Year

by | Feb 13, 2020 | Education

Thirteen years ago, Princ­eton ISD transportation co­ordinator Ric Wayman saw a need in the community and did something about it. Satur­day night his efforts were rec­ognized when he was named the Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year.”

Because of Wayman and his desire to help the children of Princeton, the Angel Tree program just celebrated its 11th year providing children with toys, clothes and food at Christmas.

What started as Stuff the Bus under Wayman’s direc­tion in 2007, has evolved into a program that helped nearly 600 students and their families in 2019 alone.

“His day starts at 5 a.m. with Princeton ISD and some­times the last bus doesn’t roll in until 6, but yet he still finds time to give back to the community,” said PISD Su­perintendent Philip Anthony, who also serves as a director for the Princeton Chamber of Commerce

When Wayman started work­ing for the school district in 2005, each school was able to take care of their students in need at Christmas. However, as these needs started to grow, Mr. Wayman suggested everyone come together and started Stuff the Bus through his transporta­tion department.

“The counselors at each school would recommend stu­dents in need, and the transpor­tation department would pro­vide for them,” Wayman said. “The program ran this way for two years, and each year, the need grew.”

As a member of the Lions Club in 2009, he suggested the civic group get involved with this effort, and the Angel Tree Program evolved.

“Since then, the Angel Tree Program has grown; not only in need but in donations as well,” Wayman said. “Along with the transportation department, many Princeton ISD employ­ees, businesses and individual citizens adopt angels, and the Lions Club program has helped thousands of families in the community over the years.”

According to Anthony, it takes someone like Wayman to be selfless and serve the com­munity.

“Sometimes you don’t know what something will grow into,” Anthony said. “And it only takes one person to take initia­tive and get the ball rolling.”

For more stories like this, see the Feb. 13 issue or subscribe online.

Jean Ann Collins • [email protected]

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