Home since 1999

Teachers who have been here since the school’s opening


English teacher Donna Friend stands in her classroom with her LISD Teacher of the Year award in hand. She has been teaching for 25 years and said she will continue to strive for more opportunities to better the school in the future. (Photo by Juliana Mun)

It has been 24 years since Hebron opened, and there are three teachers who have been here since its inception. The stories these teachers share gives us insight into how far the school has come and how much it has grown. 

English teacher Donna Friend

Donna Friend has been an English teacher at Hebron since the school opened in 1999, as well as English department chair for 10 years. Friend is the daughter of two educators, one a superintendent, so her early life was filled with academic events. 

“My whole childhood was full of school,” Friend said. “I really thought for a while that I didn’t want that –  that I was going to work in the business world and wear a pencil skirt and high heels in an oval office. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to do something.” 

Friend dreamed of straying from her father’s career in administration and paving her own path. Her childhood was filled with attending school events, such as academic decathlons and sports games. 

“I studied general studies for the first year and a half,” Friend said.“I told my parents I was going into public relations, and they were like, ‘why?’ I said I wanted to be a consultant and my dad told me I didn’t know enough to consult. I got my teaching certificate as just a backup.” 

Friend discovered her love for teaching after going to her first few classes in college and decided it was what she wanted to do. In 1999, with two years of teaching experience under her belt, she joined the first staff of a brand new high school. 

“I always tell people I was 12 when I came here,” Friend said. “I came as a very inexperienced teacher – I wanted to learn, but I [only] had two years of experience and had so much to learn. I feel like I ended up in the best place I could’ve been in.” 

With only a class of ninth and tenth graders, Friend, the staff and the student body chose fight songs and school chants, working toward building up the new school. In 1999, there were only four teachers in the English department, but now there are over 20. The achievements of students have also improved. 

“[We’ve improved] in so many ways because we [now] have so many opportunities for students,” Friend said.“Whatever kids are involved in, we have so much more success.”

In the 2014-2015 school year, Friend was wonTeacher of the Year for Hebron. To advance and compete to be the district’s Teacher of the Year, she sent 12 written pages of essays to the committee and was given a chance to articulate what she really loved about her job. She won LISD’s secondary Teacher of the Year, and it became her mission to give back to the education community. 

“I’ve started to say yes to more student observers and student teachers so they can have a way to try out what they learn,” Friend said. “This is the best place for them to try [teaching] out. It’s nice to give my perspective and advice to the new staff.” 

Friend said she never knew she would end up here, but plans to continue to teach, keep growing and make more opportunities for herself at Hebron. Despite not being a businesswoman, Friend said being a teacher still aligned with her dream. 

“Some juniors told me years later, ‘Friend, you have your name on the door, you have the oval office [and] you have the heels,’” Friend said. “I cried all over the place. I realized that I got what I asked for.” 


Baseball coach Steve Stone 

As a kid, Steve Stone was shy, and sports became his outlet. He went on to play baseball at Texas Christian University. He started teaching high school partly because he said he wanted to relive his high school days, but also because wanting to impact students was in his blood. 

The Hebron that Steve Stone began his first year at is very different to the school students attend today. It was years ago that Stone’s college friend, Brian Brazil, reached out about a coaching and teaching opportunity at the brand new LISD school. Brazil was a longtime football coach, who retired last year. 

“When my friend, coach Brazil got the job here, he asked if I would like to come over and start a new school,” Stone said. “I jumped at the opportunity, and I’m sure glad that I did.” 

Stone taught world geography his first year and was a part of a small community in a building that only stretched to what is now the 2300 hallway. Everything was new and areas such as the band hall, auditorium and football field had not yet been built. Stone said working at Hebron has been an impactful experience, not just for him but for his family as well. 

“It’s been great,” Stone said. “My wife was a teacher here for over 20 years in the math department. We raised our two boys [at Hebron] and they graduated here, so Hebron’s been a huge part of our family.” 

After 24 years, Stone said he has appreciated what being at Hebron taught him. He’s been an educator for over 34 years, accumulated 500 baseball game wins and teaches government. Stone said he has a strong passion for impacting students, after being influenced by his own high school coach as a student. What he takes most from the job is watching the way his kids grow up. 

“We make mistakes as educators, teachers and coaches,” Stone said. “But what you take [away] most is when kids come back and say ‘hi’ with their families in a new phase of life. You can take a little pride in the fact that you may have [had] something to do in that.” 

Stone’s mother was an educator, and after he became a coach, he passed on the love for coaching to his two sons. He said the most important aspect of teaching is to influence students and instill good life lessons. 

“When you’re coaching, you want kids to learn the sport, but you also want them to be good people,” Stone said. “I always tell my baseball kids, ‘you’re going to be a human being a lot longer than you’re going to be a baseball player.’” 


Volleyball coach Karin Keeney 

Karin Keeney is the head volleyball coach and girl’s athletic coordinator, and has led the team to five state championships at Hebron. As a sophomore in college, she was unsure of where to go until her dad forced her into getting a teaching degree. She went into coaching since sports had been a love of hers since she was a young child. 

I started [competing when I was] real little in sports,” Keeney said. “But in those days, they didn’t have organized sports. You just played with your neighborhood kids and all our neighborhood kids were boys. [It’s when] I got to middle school that I realized there were other girls like me who wanted to play sports. From then on, it’s become my life.” 

Keeney said she remembers having a very small staff the first year she taught at Hebron. She picked up the roles of volleyball coach and golf coach, and considered the school to be greatly improved by its first principal, Hugh Jones. 

“[Mr. Jones] taught us to be very humble in our teaching, and we had to cover for each other,” Keeney said. “We all kind of helped each other’s sports, [and] I believe what made us very close as a faculty, or a coaching group, was that we were all shoved together.” 

Today Hebron has been openly spotlighted for achievements in academics, sports and various art programs, Keeney said this was not always the case. In the beginning, cities like Carrollton and Plano refused to claim Hebron to be in their city lines, and there was a low amount of coverage or acknowledgement of the school’s presence. 

“In the beginning, nobody would cover us in the papers,” Keeney said. “We were that stepchild that nobody really wanted. So then when success started happening, they were like, ‘oh no, we claim you. You’re a Carrollton school. Oh, you’re in the Lewisville school district.’ It was really fun to watch that evolve from ‘we don’t want anything to do with you.’” 

Keeney looks toward the future in her coaching, but also in her leadership. As the girl’s athletic coordinator, she is in charge of mentorship, management and providing guidance for the athletic program. 

“I love to mentor [young coaches], and we all need somebody to talk to as a coach,” Keeney said. “It’s so much easier to talk to people who coach and just rebound off each other. I want the next generation to have as much fun and success as I’ve had coaching in my career.”

In 2004, the volleyball team won its first state title and, at that point, had been competing for four years. According to Keeney, the staff was behind the success. 

“That was a pretty awesome moment,” Keeney said. “[The reason it happened] was the mentality of excellence that the school was built with, [as well as] the principal and Coach [Brian] Brazil being the head football coach. People were so passionate about what they taught.” 

Keeney has seen many students come into the school and then graduate. She said her students are her biggest achievements, not just the material and athletic successes. 

“Probably my proudest thing is watching our kids become successful young adults in whatever they want to do,” Keeney said. “We have doctors, we have lawyers [and] we have amazing students, and watching them do that is awesome. We kind of get to live through [our students].”