Jim Hitzelberger is One Funny Dude

Last night, the lovely Karen Mordecai and I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Park High School Alumni Association Awards Dinner at Dallas Country Club. We were among several guests of honoree Pierce Allman, and I’m so thankful that Pierce invited us. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had a chance to enjoy the comedic stylings of Highland Park ISD Trustee Jim Hitzelberger, the evening’s emcee. Here are a few samples of his fine work:

When introducing 20 past honorees, Hitzelberger realized he had skipped Park Cities People co-founder Kirk Dooley. “That was not intentional,” he said, “although I’m still amazed you won this.”

Hitzelberger fondly recalled his first semester at Highland Park High School. After the first six weeks, he had four Fs and a D. When the school called Hitzelberger’s father to report these grades, his dad responded, “Apparently, he’s spending too much time on one class.”

He used to get this Awards Dinner gig by fielding a phone call from the Alumni Association on a Monday or a Tuesday, when he would be asked “What are you doing Thursday night?” Invariably, his answer would be “Nothing.” But a couple of years ago, he had to start calling his wife to ask “Honey, what am I doing Thursday night?” Invariably, her answer would be “Who is this?”

He introduced a few of his fellow school board members and said their presence was evidence of two things: “They’re giving out complimentary dinners” at the event, and the other people on stage “need to speak a little slower tonight.”

After he read the biography for former Superintendent John Connolly, he said, “There’s a note here: ‘Jim, please do not mention ’97 bond election.'”

When discussing Connolly’s struggles with rising enrollment, he said, “He rejected a citizen’s proposal to build a fifth elementary school underneath Caruth Park.”

Hitzelberger said Aramark approached Connolly, requesting a meeting to discuss taking over cafeteria operations from the district’s army of PTA volunteers. “He told them politely — I think it was politely — that the only thing he could expect out of that meeting was that the PTA would make a counter offer to take over Aramark.”

Before introducing the night’s final honoree, Mike Sorrells, Hitzelberger said, “You’ve always heard, ‘We saved the best for last,'” which elicited much hooting and hollering from all the swimmers and divers coached by Sorrells. Hitzelberger then deadpanned, “Tonight, we make an exception to that rule.”

To read what was said by the honorees, pick up next week’s edition of Park Cities People.

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