Luling Independent School District

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2017 Luling ISD Distinguished Alumni

Jason Curtis Carter

Jason Carter graduated from Luling High School in May of 1991.  As a student, he already showed a propensity for success.  He studied to be a physical therapist at Texas State University. After graduating from college, he began working in his field of study.  He has progressed rapidly in his career to contribute in a much broader and significant way.  First, he became the Director of Rehabilitation at Warm Springs Specialty Hospital.  Following those years, he was promoted to CEO positions and Regional Vice President of Operations for Post Acute Medical, LLC.  Currently, he is the Chief Operation Officer and oversees 8 hospitals.  Additionally, he has overseen 3 acquisitions and 1 new setup. He and his wife presently reside between Luling and Gonzales.

 

 

Alfred Neal Gunkel

Major Alfred Gunkel is a Luling High School graduate from the Class of 1953.  He is a career Marine that distinguished himself during action in the Vietnam War.  As a Public Information Officer (PIO) for his unit in Vietnam, he was responsible for escorting news media personnel into areas of conflict that were considered to be relatively safe.  On one such occasion, his group came under attack and he was able to return fire and help drive off the enemy.  After this action, he and two other news photojournalists came upon a gun emplacement that featured Russian built guns.  The photojournalists were able to take both video and still pictures which were instrumental in providing proof of the Russian involvement which had been denied by the Russian government.  For his efforts, he was awarded the Bronze Star medal for Meritorious Achievement.

After retiring from the military, Mr. Gunkel took a position as a classroom teacher in California.  He currently resides in Fallbrook, California. (Photo unavailable at this time).

 

 

Thomas M. Matthews

Tom was born and raised on a farm off Salt Flat Road northeast of Luling.  His parents are Raymond and Lucille Matthews.  Tom graduated as valedictorian from Luling High School in 1961.  He then went to Texas A&M and graduated with honors in civil engineering.  He was named to Who’s Who in American Universities and received the Outstanding Senior Award.  He has served as the leader of multiple Fortune 500 corporations and has worked around the world in dozens of countries.

Tom went to work for Humble Oil and began a distinguished career in the energy industry.  He moved from Vice President of Exxon Gas, to President of Tennessee Gas Pipeline, to President of Texaco Refining and Marketing, to President and COO of NGC Corp, to chairman & CEO of Avista Corp, to chairman & CEO of Link Energy, to chairman of RigNet where he retired.  He also served on the Board of Directors of six public companies.

Tom says his success came from the work ethic taught by his parents, the education he received in Luling ISD from teachers such as Sala, Frank, Ellison, Gerdes, Shanklin, Shelton, and Walker among many, and the talents given to him by God to use for good.

 

 

 

General Robert Rutherford

General Robert (Skip) Rutherford, USAF Retired, graduated from Luling High School in 1957 and Southwest Texas State University in 1961.  He attended Pilot training at Reese AFB, Texas and was subsequently assigned as an instructor pilot.  In 1967, he was assigned to Udon Royal Airbase, Thailand and flew the F-4 Phantom.  He completed 161 Combat Missions with 101 being flown over North Vietnam.  In 1978, he attended Air War College and received a MBA from Auburn University.  In 1980, he was selected as Commander, 18th Tactical Fighter Wing.

In 1981, he was promoted to Brigadier General and subsequently commanded the Air Force Recruiting Service.  In 1993, he received his fourth star and became Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base Hawaii.  In 1994, he became the Commander in Chief of the US Transportation Command and Commander of Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.  In 1996, he retired as a four-star general. 

Upon retirement, he was very active in mentoring future leaders of the US Military through the Capstone program, as well as providing input and guidance to the leadership of the US Air Force.