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FBISD Holds Dedication of Sonal Bhuchar Elementary School

(FORT BEND ISD)– Fort Bend ISD leaders and approximately 450 guests dedicated Sonal Bhuchar Elementary School on Sunday, Oct. 15, honoring the legacy and leadership of the late Sonal Bhuchar.

The program included musical selections from “Bengal Beat,” Bhuchar Elementary’s choir, and remarks by her family, FBISD Board President Judy Dae, Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck, and Bhuchar Elementary Principal Nikki Roberts.


“Sonal encouraged everyone around her to be a better person,” Dae said. “She was the first person who encouraged me to consider taking a leadership position in the community. She said, ‘Judy, you can do it, and I will help you.’”


Dr. Whitbeck remarked, “She was a change agent and an advocate for diversity and respect across cultures. She left us way too soon, and she left enormous shoes to fill.”


Dignitaries attending the occasion included the family of Sonal Bhuchar; the Consul-General of India Houston Mr. D. C. Manjunath; FBISD Board President Judy Dae; Board Vice President Dr. Shirley Rose-Gilliam; Board Secretary David Hamilton; and Board Trustees Kristen Davison Malone, Rick Garcia and Sonya Jones. Former members of the FBISD Board of Trustees were also present including Kristin Tassin, Jim Rice, Cynthia Knox and Bob Broxton. City and county leaders in attendance included City of Missouri City Mayor Robin Elackatt; City of Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman; Sugar Land City Council members Naushad Kermally, Carol McCutcheon and Stewart Jacobson; Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers (Precinct 3); and Pete Olson, former U.S. Representative (TX-22). Members of the district’s executive team were also in attendance.


Notable among the program’s speaker was Consul-General D.C. Manjunath who said Bhuchar’s legacy of service, dedication and leadership were exemplary. He also donated a selection of books to the school’s library.


“It is my distinct honor and pleasure to be here with all of you today for the dedication of Sonal Bhuchar Elementary,” he said. Manjunath flew in from India for the occasion.

Bhuchar served on the FBISD Board of Trustee for six years, two as Board President. She is credited with launching several student-focused programs like the WATCH program, which helps to inspire healthy living at the district’s elementary schools, and the board’s Student Leadership Program, which gives high school students access to leaders in various Fort Bend County government entities and industries. Bhuchar was also a steadfast supporter of the Fort Bend Education Foundation.


In addition to her work in Fort Bend ISD, she was a community leader. She served as a member of several local non-profit boards including the Literacy Council of Fort Bend, Access Health and the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation.


Bhuchar’s children – daughters Sunaina and Supriya and son Sameer - delivered emotional remarks about their mother’s early life, work in the community and the lessons she modeled as a wife, mother, medical professional and community leader.


Missouri City Mayor Elackatt, a personal friend of Bhuchar’s, presented the school with a Certificate of Recognition for the occasion and noted her trailblazing leadership in the Indian American community.


“I’m just very excited to be here today with fond memories of Sonal,” he said. “My congratulations to you to have a day such as this with a school named after her in Missouri City.”


Sonal Bhuchar Elementary is located in the Riverstone community, at 5503 Thompson Ferry Road in Missouri City.

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