Michael Sudhalter has made a positive impact in the Cedar Hill ISD communications department since he started as their Communications Coordinator March 2. He was previously a Communications Coordinator for Stafford Municipal School District in the Houston area.
“CHISD Chief of Communications and Marketing Tierney Tinnin came up with the idea for the Longhorn Newsroom. It has been a great way to communicate the highlights of our community to CHISD. We also started a district podcast, “Horns Up Half Hour,” which airs twice per month. It is available on the Longhorn Newsroom as well as Apple and Spotify. We have completed three episodes so far,” Sudhalter said.
Horns Up Podcasts
The first “Horns Up” podcast features an in-depth conversation between Sudhalter and CHISD Superintendent Dr. Gerald Hudson, who was approaching his one year anniversary with the district. The second podcast is a conversation with CHISD Police Chief James Hawthorne, and the third conversation features Cedar Hill HS Head Softball Coach Jennifer Davis.
Tierney Tinnin, CHISD Chief of Communications and Marketing, said, “Michael Sudhalter has been a great asset to the CHISD Communications Department. Not only does he provide communication support to our campuses, and deliver excellent customer service to everyone he meets; he also is a whiz at helping us tell the stories of CHISD. Michael is an excellent storyteller who is quick, caring, and can identify a topic and tell it in a way that it applies to the masses. We have been lucky to utilize his writing skills and also his knack for interviewing interesting people and sharing their stories through our new Horns Up Half Hour podcast.”
Sudhalter has contributed human interest articles to the Longhorn Newsroom, like his feature on new Prairie View A&M Drum Majors Jalen McCurtis-Henry and Derrick Harris. Both were 2020 graduates of Cedar Hill HS. He also interviewed CHISD Director of Health Services Pamela Reese-Taylor, RN-BSN.
“I am truly fortunate to work with an excellent team of professionals at Cedar Hill Independent School District,” said Sudhalter.
After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2002 with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications, Sudhalter was an award-winning editor, sports editor, reporter, and photographer. He worked for newspapers in Kansas, Missouri, Washington State, California and Texas before entering the School Public Relations profession in February 2016.
Historic Texas Courthouses
Photographing historic Texas courthouses has been a side project of Sudhalter’s the past few years.
“I am from the Boston area originally and had always been in awe of the sheer size of Texas. My wife and I were living in the Houston area and traveled in the summer of 2014 to Fort Worth and Possum Kingdom Lake, when I started photographing county courthouses along the way. I soon learned there were 254 of them. Before long, I began visiting county courthouses during regularly scheduled trips, and later on, I scheduled several trips specifically to photograph the county courthouses,” Sudhalter said.
“I am so impressed with the architecture, and you really get to see all of the different regions of Texas. I have a map of Texas in my office. It is fulfilling to know that I have photographed 95.2 percent of the County Courthouses in the state,” Sudhalter said. “That’s 242 out of 254. I have 12 more to photograph in west Texas. That may take two days (or a very long day). I will probably do two days, so I can share the accomplishment in the presence of my wife and son,” he said.
More Sudhalter Projects
Photographing County Courthouses is just one of several pursuits for Sudhalter, who has visited 48 of the 50 states.
“I finished the Lower 48 last summer when I visited North Dakota for the first time. I’ve photographed 37 of the 50 State Capitols. Pursuing the remaining 13 is more of a challenge, due to the amount of travel involved. Visited 47 of the 88 Texas State Parks. (not including Battleship Texas in La Porte, Texas as Park #89 since it is being repaired and/or relocated). I enjoy visiting college campuses, and estimate that I have visited between 120-to-150 different campuses,” Sudhalter said.
The proud grandson of Holocaust Survivors, Sudhalter lives with his wife and son in Tarrant County. The family lived through Hurricane Harvey in Houston three years ago. They lost their house due to six feet of water inside it.
“While we lost possessions – both valuable and sentimental – we realized that as long as we were safe, that was the only important factor,” Sudhalter said. “Along with my wife, I established the Evangeline Paige Sudhalter Memorial Scholarship for my daughter who was stillborn in November 2015. Last spring, the Scholarship awarded two $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors.”
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