Texarkana Independent School District will honor two of their own, Rep. Marvin L. Abney (Dunbar High School Class of 1968) and Dr. Lanny G. Chasteen (Texas High School Class of 1960), as the 2018 Distinguished Alumni during events to be held on Friday, April 6. 

A Student Leadership Breakfast will be held from 9AM – 10:30AM at the Dan Haskins Student Center at Texas High School, 2112 Kennedy Lane.  The event will offer leadership students from Texas Middle School and Texas High School the opportunity to hear from the honorees to learn first-hand how the example that you set for others, and for yourself, begins at an early age in order to build a strong foundation for personal and professional growth.

From 11:30AM – 1PM, a Distinguished Alumni Luncheon will be held at the Texarkana Country Club, #1 Country Club Drive, where the two individuals will be presented and awarded the honor of 2018 Distinguished Alumni.  There is limited seating and reservations are required by contacting    Tina Veal-Gooch at 903.794.3651 ext. 1013.


Following graduation from Dunbar High School in 1968, Rep. Marvin Abney attended Texarkana College before completing his Bachelor of Science in Public Administration at Stephen F. Austin State University in 1975.  He went on to earn a Master in Management from Webster University in 1982, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island in 2000 and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University in 2005.

Abney served a 20-year career in the United States Army during which he completed Officer Candidate School and Airborne School.  He commanded a U.S. Detachment for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium which included responsibilities at the

American Embassy in Paris, France. Abney is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and while stationed in Europe, taught Business Law and General Business courses at City Colleges of Chicago, European Division.

In his professional career, Abney served as: City Official for Newport, Rhode Island’s Zoning Board of Review; Executive Assistant to the Rhode Island Commissioner for Secondary and Elementary Education; and, Interim Director of Human Resources Development at the State of Rhode Island, Department of Secondary and Elementary Education.

He was elected to serve the residents of Newport and Middleton, Rhode Island in District 73 in November 2012.  In May 2016, Abney was named as Chairman of the House of Representatives Finance Committee, which is tasked with adopting the annual state budget.  Additionally, he served on the House Committee for Veterans’ Affairs and sponsored successful legislation requiring the reporting of any sexual abuse of a child by an employee, contractor or volunteer of an educational program.

During the 2017 legislative session, Abney was the lead sponsor of the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget which funds the first year of a six-year phase-out of the car tax, raises the minimum wage, restores free bus fares for the elderly and disabled and includes a pilot program to provide two years of free tuition at the Community College of Rhode Island.

In addition to his current duties as a legislator, Abney serves on the Board of Incorporators for BankNewport; Board of Directors of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum; and, Vice-Chair of the Budget and Revenue Committee of the National Council of State Legislatures.

He has served as Vice-President on the Executive Board for the Narragansett Boy Scouts Council; President for the Newport Education Foundation; President of the Parent Teachers Association of American NATO Schools; Member of the Newport Public School’s Strategic Planning Committee;  Member for the Internal Review Board of Salve Regina University; Member of the Community College of Rhode Island Foundation Board of Trustees; Founding Member for the Board of Trustees of Newport Community School; Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center; Board of Directors for the Newport County YMCA; and, consultant to the Annenberg Institute of School Reform at Brown University.  He was honored by the Women’s Resource Center of Newport & Bristol County as one of their “Men Who Make a Difference.”

Abney lives in Newport with his wife, Cheryl Lynn (Amado). He is the father of sons, Marvin L. Abney II, Christian A. Abney (U.S. Army Major) and daughter, Tess A. Abney. He is the grandfather of four granddaughters: Sierra, Jade, Mia and Dakota.


Dr. Lanny G. Chasteen graduated from Texas High School in 1960 and furthered his education earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master in Business Administration and a Doctorate in Accounting from the University of Arkansas.  He is a retired Certified Public Accountant in Oklahoma.

His 39-year career in Accounting includes serving as:  Faculty for Oklahoma State University; Head of the School of Accounting for OSU; Professor Emeritus of Accounting for OSU; Lecturer in Accounting at Rice University; Faculty Resident for Haskins & Sells, now known as Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world; and, Summer Visiting Professor positions at University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Tulsa.

Chasteen is the author of articles appearing in The Accounting Review, Accounting Horizons, Issues in Accounting Education, Abacus, Journal of Accountancy, Journal of Accounting Education and other academic and professional journals.   He has served on the editorial boards of The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Education and Issues in Accounting Education and has co-authored six editions of Intermediate Accounting, the college textbook which is the standard for students and professionals in the field.

He has held or currently holds memberships in: Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi honorary and professional societies; American Accounting Association, American Institute of CPAs, Oklahoma Society of CPAs, Accounting Programs Leadership Group of the American Accounting Association, Federation of Schools of Accountancy, Financial Executives Institute and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Dr. Chasteen has received numerous honors and awards for his work.  They include:  Oklahoma Gold Medalist and Elijah Watts Sells National Honorable Mention for the CPA Examination; Department of Accounting Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas in 1988; Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants Outstanding Educator Award in 1990 and 2007; Faculty Award of Merit from the Federation of Schools of Accountancy in 1999; various teaching awards from Oklahoma State University; and, the establishment of the Lanny G. Chasteen Endowed Chair in Accounting at OSU in 2006.

His volunteer service includes serving on the Audit Committee for the City of Stillwater, OK for over 20 years, being the CROP Walk (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Representative and assorted committee appointments at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Stillwater.  Today he serves as an Usher for St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Katy, TX and as a Home Deliverer for Meals on Wheels.

Chasteen lives in Katy, TX with his wife of 54 years, Jane.  They have two daughters – Joey Michelle Rhodair and Jamie Lynn Pilloff, one grandson, Jeremy Pilloff and one granddaughter, Julia Pilloff.

Since 1992, TISD has sponsored a Distinguished Alumni Awards program to recognize the outstanding personal and professional achievements of their alumni.  These outstanding former Texas High School and Dunbar High School graduates are models to current and future alumni in terms of their professional, leadership and ethical standards.  Past award recipients have been:           Truman Arnold, Dr. Lenox Dial Baker, Miller Barber, Melvin Bradley, Dr. Karen D. Bradshaw, Billy C. Burnett, Ned Burns, Dr. William Dorland, Lt. Col. Norman “Ken” Dyson, Carl Finch, Theron Goynes, Dan Haskins, Ethel Pauley Jones, David Kusin, Gary Kusin, Prudence Mackintosh, Donald Ray McNeal, George McWilliams, Rick Minter, Jerry “Boo” Mitchell, Jr., Josh R., Morriss, Martha W. Morriss, Lt. Col. Daniel Oosterhous, H. Ross Perot, Dan Petty, Col. Willie Pollard, Jr., Collin Raye, Bill Rogers, Melanie Kusin Rowe, Marjorie Scardino, Vicki Schultz, Robert Wickliffe “Wick” Temple, Dr. David Tilson, III, Sheilah Walker and Dr. Steve Woodle.

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