Distinguished Hillcrest alumni celebrated for accomplishments


From a real estate titan to the founder of one of the most successful scrap metal recycling businesses in the country, outstanding Hillcrest High School alumni were recognized at a special ceremony.

The Hillcrest High School Alumni Association recognized the Hillcrest High School Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017 on Oct. 18. About 200 people attended the celebration.

Here are the brief bios of the Distinguished Alumni Class:

Joan LaPrelle Eleazer, class of ’66
A graduate of the University of Texas, Joan is a Titan in the real estate profession. Joan is one of the top realtors in the country. Her commitment to her career, where she is joined by her husband and oldest daughter, is matched by her numerous contributions to the community and her passion to make a significant difference in the lives of others.

Neil Goldberg, class of ’72
After graduation from the University of Texas, Neil and his brother Kenny founded one of the most successful scrap metal recycling businesses in the country, the multimillion dollar Gold Metal Recycling. Neil has contributed his time and extensive financial support to multiple charities, foundations and organizations throughout Dallas County.

Mitchell Rasansky, class of ’55
A self-made man from the beginning with his hard work ethic and astute business judgement, Mitchell has been remarkably successful in his chosen field of real estate development. His business investments include property holdings and oil investments. Not content to pursue only business interests, Mitchell has served the City of Dallas as a member of the Dallas City Council. He has served on numerous other City Committees and Boards.

Merrily Thornton Sartain, class of ’60, and John Sartain, class of ’60 (posthumously)
Their classmates who honored them with their nomination wrote that they couldn’t nominate one without the other. They were true partners in life, committed to each other and to the City of Dallas. Former HHS sweethearts and alumni leaders in their class, they were married in1965. John was a stellar academic graduate from Hampden Sydney and SMU graduate school. He founded a successful and well known economics consulting firm. Merrily attended the University of Oklahoma and became a skilled real estate broker and top seller for many of the city’s real estate companies.

Steve Watson, Class of ’65
Steve is described by his classmates as best in family, faith, friendship, citizenship, business, charity with a positive outlook on life. After receiving his electrical engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin, early on Steve recognized the significance of computer technology and importance of developing skills to lead and manage. These skills have served him well in his career, in his participation in numerous business associations and trade groups and in participation in his community. He is the managing partner at Stanton Chase Executive Search Firm.

Caryl Yontz, Class of ’57
Caryl is known as beyond generous in public service and in her desire to help others. After graduation from Texas Tech, Caryl began her career in public service in Washington, DC where she worked for Texas Senator, Ralph Yarborough. She was later a lobbyist for the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees, and served as a fundraiser for many Democratic Presidential and Gubernatorial campaigns. President Clinton appointed her to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center. After she returned to her home state and settled in Austin, Caryl’s passion, commitment and concern for the less fortunate and less privileged lead to volunteer work with young people through education and fundraising. She founded the Advisory Council for Texas State Retirees.

2017 HHS Distinguished Service Award

Debbie and Kevin Sherrington

As parents of four Hillcrest graduates, Debbie and Kevin have worked tirelessly to make Hillcrest the school it is today. For over 20 years they have given their time, talent, energy and financial support to everything from PTSA to Baseball, from Panaders to the Senior Retreat. They have hosted countless prom dinners, provided bus transportation, served on Dallas ISD advisory boards and organized Homecoming parades along with many ballgames Kevin has announced. Hillcrest, Franklin and the feeder schools are better today because of their support, not only for their four children, but for all of the students who have attended Hillcrest.

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