Juneria Berges, Ed.D. – Executive Director
During her thirty-six year career in education, Juneria Berges, Ed.D.’s students have ranged from three year olds to university doctoral candidates. Subjects have included math, science, social studies, language arts, music, choir, and the Lions Quest © Program. Her positions held cover progressively more responsible assignments from that as an Assistant Principal, through Principal and adjunct professorship of two Texas Universities, and then on to hold the position of Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Accountability in a Texas public school district. These positions were the learning steps and path to not only Dr. Berges’ future, but the future of a different way to think about education.
In 1993 at a routine meeting of all Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District’s (GCISD) principals, Juneria met Mr. Michael Gustin. This would be a life changing meeting for both. Mr. Gustin presented an overview of the Lions Quest Program © to the group of educators and personally committed to providing the program at no cost to the district. Following the meeting she rushed forward to meet the man that would bring the future of education to Juneria for her to implement for the children of GCISD. Dr. Berges spoke of an epiphany of heart and mind at that moment when she knew “…This is the path which Grapevine Middle School’s (GMS) students, teachers, and parents must walk.” (Directly attributable to the program, GMS was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 1994-1996).
Dr. Berges continued to roll out the Lions Quest © principles in the schools where she became an educator throughout her career, and while these successes carried her to retirement satisfied with the results, she remained restless and eager to continue the work. In 2010 the Texas’ public education budgets were so severely cut that many successful programs began to fall victim to the funding crisis. It was particularly painful as she watched the data begin to foretell the failing future of public education.
One morning Juneria answered the phone and heard a familiar voice on the line. It was Mike Gustin. He, too had been disturbed by the recent failings of educational programs. There were no awkward pauses or banal pleasantries in the conversation. Each began immediately to share their fears, frustrations, thoughts and the PLAN re-emerged. Dr. Berges remembers this conversation, “…as though a life-raft was rushing to the surface following a ship wreck.” Plans were made to meet in person immediately and revive the PLAN. Many hours, days, weeks and months have passed since this phone call. The PLAN is in motion. Dr. Berges’ vision is clear, her mission solid and her resolve unshakable. In 2011 she co-founded with Mr. Michael Gustin, the Anchors For Life Foundation, a pending Not-For-Profit organization which re-introduced Lions Quest © to selected public schools. While funded by Mr. Gustin, this program distinctly will have Dr. Berges’ ‘Midas Touch’. Thank you, Dr. Berges, and welcome back from retirement.
Co-Founders: Michael Gustin and Juneria Berges, Ed.D.
Board of Directors:
Chairperson/Director – Cathy Salas
President/Director — Juneria Berges, Ed.D.
Secretary/Director —Glenda Heil
Treasurer /Director – Don Noblit
Director – Paul Jennings, Ed.D./Director of Development