Two brothers, both Borger High School graduates, were named to the Borger ISD Honor Wall during a special ceremony Saturday afternoon.
John Bayless, Jr. and Daniel Bayless, both known for their contributions to the world of the arts, were honored during the ceremony at Borger High School. John is a world-renowned pianist, and Daniel is a well-known artist and jewelry designer.
Borger ISD school board president Robert Bradley welcomed those in attendance to the ceremony, and said the purpose of the Borger ISD Honor Wall is to recognize outstanding alumni, past staff and community members who have brought recognition, distinction, and excellence reflecting honorably to the Borger Independent School District.
“That lets us know not just anyone can be a recipient of this particular honor,” Bradley said. “We’re thankful and honored to present these awards today.”
David Brandon, secretary for the BISD board of trustees, recognized Mr. and Mrs. John Bayless, Jr. for recognizing the talents of their sons from the beginning.
“We are in the world of education here to look at each kid as an individual and try to find their special niche and try to bring them up in the way they should go, as is scripturally stated,” he said. “Some kids have special talents, and some kids are broadly gifted. There are some that all of that is not apparent and you have to pull it out.”
However, he said there are those who have received God-given gifts that are utilized to further mankind in special ways. He said he wanted to honor their parents for recognizing in their kids these special talents and moving them ahead at the time their talents were recognized so they could grow and become world-class in these areas.
Daniel Bayless was honored for various reasons. From a young age, he became expressive of his artistic observations and would verbalize them to his family. He was fascinated with the way light played off the clouds, sky, and countryside. His parents enrolled him in oil painting lessons at the age of five, which began his journey as an artist and painter.
As a young man, he had the opportunity to study with the famous Russian artist Serge Bongart. He graduated from BHS in 1975, receiving the Distinguished National Merit Scholarship Award each year. He is not only noted for his art, but is also accomplished in jewelry design.
John Bayless was also honored for many reasons. He was a child prodigy who started playing the piano by ear at the age of four. His mother taught music in the Borger school system and was his first teacher. At the age of 13, he was the youngest church organist in the state of Texas, playing for his hometown church, First Baptist Church of Borger. While a student at BHS, students asked him to play the popular song of the day each day, and he would play it his way. He did this until he graduates in 1971.
When he comes home to Borger, John continues to play for its citizens and for those who live in Hutchinson County. He has gained national and international success as a composer and performer.
In 2008, he suffered a stroke, but it did not stop his music. He composed an original composition for the left hand, which premiered in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall with the Moscow Virtuosi Orchestra.
Daniel thanked BISD for the award, saying it was very special and he appreciated it. A slide show of his art was presented during the ceremony.
John thanked the district in his own way by playing three different pieces for the crowd and sharing the stories behind them.
The Borger ISD Honor Wall is located in the foyer of the BHS Auditorium.