Angelina College Police Academy Graduates New Cadets


Class 106 Persevered Through Challenging Year 

The Angelina College Police Academy on Tuesday graduated seven new cadets in a ceremony inside the Community Services building on the AC campus.

            Class 106 completed its long journey with the ceremony after numerous changes to their training schedule because of the pandemic. In fact, Chief Doug Conn referred to the group as “our COVID class.”

            “That you persevered through so many challenges shows you have the hear to serve,” Conn told the group. 

            Training Manager Lt. Jason Burrous drew from Mark Twain to relate some parting advice.

            “Never let your education get in the way of your learning,” Burrous said. “You’ve gone through a very intense education process here, but your real learning will come from the people around you: Your fellow officers, but more importantly, the citizens you serve. All of them will teach you something every day, and you have to be willing to learn those lessons.”

            Class 106 originally was scheduled to convene in March of 2020. However, the class wasn’t able to fully engage in the training until much later.

            Angelina College was issued a license to operate a police academy in 12 East Texas counties in September of 1993 by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). The academy offers basic and in-service training courses at sites throughout Deep East Texas with the assistance of an advisory board which assists in directing the academy.

            The graduating cadets of Class 106 included Bobby Anderson, Stephanie Garza and Allyson Lopez of Cleveland, Texas; Toni Murray, Charity Tyler and Joshua Watson of Livingston, Texas; and Tristan Groh of Splendora, Texas.

            Burrous added that because of the pandemic restrictions, the class was the first to experience training outside of the main AC campus.

            “You were willing to do whatever it took to succeed,” Burrous told the cadets. “That’s the mark of a great law enforcement officer.” 

            The class valedictorian was Allyson Lopez; the Top Gun award went to Bobby Anderson; and the Best Driver award recipient was Joshua Watson. 

            In addition, Nicole Dickerson received an Honorary Class 106 certificate because of what Burrous called “her never-ending source of inspiration.”

            Academy staff members include Doug Conn, Chief of Police; Lt. Jason Burrous, Training Manager; Lt. Randy Holland, Training Manager; Officer Jack Stephenson, Training Specialist; and Kim Capps, Administrative Assistant.

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Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.