Gary Durrenberger has seen a lot of change in his time serving as district photographer for Cy-Fair ISD.
He was there when the district celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1990 and when Cy-Fair High School won its first varsity football state championship in 2017. A total of 63 new schools have opened since his first day.
Durrenberger announced his retirement from CFISD at the end of the fall 2018 semester after 33 years shooting everything from sporting events to spelling bees and school dedications.
“With 116,000 students and 16,000 employees, there is always something great going on to photograph and highlight,” he said.
In addition to athletic events, Durrenberger said his most memorable events to photograph were the district anniversary celebrations.
During his time in the district the photographer also had the opportunity to meet and photograph celebrities, including former President George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Hakeem Olajuwon, Craig Biggio, Andre Johnson, Sharon Robinson, Calvin Murphy and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Durrenberger said his photography aspirations date back to his youth. He went on to study photography at East Texas State University.
“During a summer high school mission trip to Durango, Colorado, I took some landscape photos and have loved landscape photography ever since,” he said. “I have always been visually oriented.”
Ever since the early 1960s, Durrenberger said his family has had connections to CFISD. His uncle Ronnie Truitt, who served as a principal in the district, encouraged him to apply for a photography position.
In retirement, Durrenberger said he looks forward to traveling and sleeping in but will miss working in CFISD.
“I am going to miss the people in the district the most,” he said. “The district is my second family.”