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Twelve honored for inaugural Citizens of the Year recognition

After months of culling nominations and receiving input from you, our readers, we at the Hays Free Press and News-Dispatch are proud to announce our winners for our Citizens of the Year campaign.

The premise of our campaign was to find those who make an impact across various categories in our communities and to highlight their efforts.

But getting to that point was rather difficult, simply because there are so many in our area – those who are nominated and those who were not – who are worthy of being a COTY.

Over the course of the past few months, our staff has worked tirelessly getting this project together. Through all of the stories we’ve gathered, we’ve found how much just one person’s actions can impact so many – how many in our midst are selfless, spending their time, energies and money to help their neighbors.

In our eyes, everyone is a winner here, regardless if they won our award or not.

None of this, from the stories to the interviews, could have been done without the help of our friends and neighbors and many more who contributed to our cause.

So, without further ado, here is a list of our Citizen of the Year winners, whose stories we will highlight in the December Hays County Echo magazine, which will be included in the Dec. 5 Hays Free Press and available throughout Dripping Springs. You can view the digital version of the Hays County Echo here. 

Over the next several weeks, we will highlight many of our runners-up and share their stories in both the Hays Free Press and News-Dispatch.

Congratulations to all those nominated and our winners.


Community Winner – Teresa Tobias Runner-up – Max Vasquez
Education Winner – David Abdelmaseih Runner-up – Teri Eubank
Government Winner – Jennifer Scott Runner-up – Arthur Zamarripa
Business Winner – Kimberly Fitzgerald Runner-up – Julie Snyder


Community Winner – Amy Rae Hilton Runner-up – Mary Stone
Education Winner – Katey Curley Runner-up – Suzi Mitchell
Business Winner – Leanne Logan Runner-up – Tammy Gray
Government Winner – Jim Lewis


Dripping Springs
Community Winner – Wayland and Kathy Clark Runner-up – Denise Henley
Education Winner – Marisa Tuzzi Runner-up – Carrie Kroll
Government Winner – Ginger Faught Runner-up – Andrea Cunningham
Business Winner – Robert Avera Runner-up – Dave Niemeyer


A special congratulations goes to these individuals who were also nominated: Melissa Barrett McCrary, Wiley Hopkins, Jeremy De Alcala, Britany McArthur Krause, Penny Moulder , Sandra Grizzle, Debbie Brown, Max Cleaver,Chris Gardner , Tim Savoy, Heather Guerin, Ray Bryant. Kerri Espinoza, Debbie Cook and Amy Younts, Brad Hullum, Maryann Gamble, Bob Love, Bailey Kay Hutson, Jennifer Crosby, Carole Coburn, Heather Trevethan, Penny Krug, Tracy Schupbach. Todd Barker, David Bowe, Melinda DeChick, Michelle WInn, Karen Lucita, JIm Cullen , Karen Sinor , Grace Nino ,Scott Sellers , Allen Deaver, Billy Bonham, Mat Phillips, Irene Melendez, Jason Schaefer, Travis Robinson

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