First-Ever Student Recipient, Community Members Honored With 'Friend of Midway' Awards

Each year, Midway ISD honors exceptional volunteers as Friends of Midway to recognize their extraordinary dedication and support of Midway schools, students, and staff. 

To commemorate the award, each recipient is presented with a custom-blown glass bowl in red and blue Midway colors created by Midway Middle School Art Teacher Robert Rynearson. With gratitude, Midway ISD has chosen the following individuals and organizations as the 2023 Friends of Midway. 

Friend of Midway Award winner presented with custom-blown red and blue glass bowl.

Kathryn Willis
Midway High School student Kathryn Willis is Midway’s first-ever student to receive the Friend of Midway Award. Since 1996, the Friend of Midway Awards have honored valuable volunteers and donors, and this year Kathryn made history as the only student invited to join this long-standing tradition. 

As a student, she has devoted her time and energy to the Midway Special Populations Department throughout her four years of high school. She is known as a dependable, organized, and responsible person and her teachers hold her in the highest regard. 

Whenever there is a special populations activity, Kathryn is always available to assist with the students. She knows all of their personalities and needs, and most importantly, she has built relationships with them. The kids trust her, go to her, and listen to her. 

Kathryn is an asset and will be greatly missed by the special populations students and staff. Her ceaseless generosity of time spent with Midway’s special populations programs has made a significant impact on the lives of others. She is truly the example of a Friend of Midway.

Friend of Midway Award winner presented with custom-blown red and blue glass bowl.

Bob Twiggs
Bob (Robert) Twiggs is a retired professor of aeronautics and space science living in Hewitt. In the fall of 2022, Twiggs approached Midway ISD to offer his expertise to support students in hands-on STEM experiences. 

Twiggs joined teacher Morgan Castillo at Midway Middle School in an after-school pilot program composed of select sixth-eighth grade students. He volunteers his time each week to lead their meetings and provides Mrs. Castillo with a wide range of resources, including connections to leading experts in STEM fields. Among other opportunities, Mrs. Castillo's Insights Science students attended a Zoom session with NASA aerospace engineer Norman Phelps. 

Twiggs aspires to impact the next generation of STEM leaders in the Midway community, and his generosity of time, knowledge, and support of science in the middle grades makes a difference in the lives of Midway students. 

Friend of Midway Award winner presented with custom-blown red and blue glass bowl.

Goochie Designs
Kim Gooch, the owner of Goochie Designs, and her husband David have been steadfast supporters of the Midway ISD Education Foundation for several years. Their contributions have made a significant impact as the Education Foundation continues to receive generous donations from Goochie Designs which have funded numerous grants and special programs. Kim has also given back by facilitating the creation of class t-shirts for field trips and other events through her company.

Kim and David’s connection to Midway extends beyond Goochie Designs as their two children are current Midway students and David is also a Midway alum. Kim has also been very involved in Midway schools through elementary and middle school PTAs and various other volunteer positions, serving in any capacity needed. She especially enjoys serving on teacher appreciation committees to honor the hard work of educators and their impact on students. 

Midway is grateful to be included in Goochie Designs’ charitable giving. Kim’s consistent dedication of time and support of the Midway ISD Education Foundation has made significant impacts across the district and in the lives of students.

Friend of Midway Award winner presented with custom-blown red and blue glass bowl.

Howmet Aerospace Foundation
The Howmet Aerospace Foundation has been a generous supporter of MidwayISD and the Education Foundation through several major grant programs that have enriched education for all Midway students. Even before their establishment as Howmet Aerospace, the local Waco office supported the Education Foundation for almost 20 years by donating more than $100,000 toward major grant programs.

Most recently, Howmet helped fund a $30,000 grant in 2022 that provided for Project Lead the Way Launch at five elementary campuses. This innovative project-based learning program incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math education and empowers students to develop and apply in-demand transferable skills by exploring real-world challenges in an exciting and engaging way.

This generous grant opportunity and many others made possible by Howmet Aerospace have funded transformational programs on campuses district-wide, and Midway ISD is grateful for the continued investment their organization has made in the district.

To learn more about the Midway ISD Education Foundation and discover how you can make an impact, visit

Jul 25, 2023