TEMPLE — The Texas Bioscience Institute is welcoming its largest new high school class in the eight-year history of the Middle College program.

On Wednesday, TBI held its SPOTS Camp orientation for the high school juniors and finished with a formal white coat ceremony in the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center on the Temple College campus.

With 79 juniors from across Bell County entering the two-year college-level program, TBI leaders reached deeper than ever into the lab coat inventory.

TBI coordinator Kristen Griffith said the word is getting out.

Killeen Independent School District provides transportation and other costs for its students, providing them a chance to earn an associate’s degree while completing their last two years of high school.

Students spend half their school day on the Scott & White west campus in Temple, where they work in a college lab environment alongside college students in classes taught by Temple College faculty.

“I think word is just getting out,” Griffith said. “KISD has definitely jumped on board. I think the students see the benefit and appreciate the excellent faculty.”

The program listed 79 white coat candidates from 12 schools, including 57 from the four Killeen ISD schools.

David Sprague, chairman of the Temple College Biotechnology Department told the assembly of new students and their parents the program is rigorous and the reward is worth the effort.

He quoted former President John F. Kennedy’s famous statement about going to the moon because it’s hard and noted that the young students may find their ambitions seem like going to the moon.

Sprague urged persistence, passion, patience and a proactive approach. He recommended students stay in touch with instructors, keep a calendar and treat school like a job.

Angela Lewis, a Killeen High School junior and white coat recipient said she wanted to enter the program in order to earn an associate’s degree. “I also like that I get to interact with students from other places,” she said.

“I’m excited,” she said. “Everyone seems happy to be here. They did make it clear that it is hard.”

Sarah Driver, an Ellison High School junior said it is a privilege to join the bioscience program. “It’s going to help me with whatever career path I choose,” she said. “I feel lucky to be here. I know I’ll learn a lot.”

Kayla Kearney, an Ellison junior, said she plans to pursue veterinary medicine and wanted to get a preview of medical training.

She said she watched her older sister go through the program and it convinced her she could benefit as well.

In his welcoming remarks, Sprague told students to take care of themselves — to exercise and pursue outside interests. He also gave them a challenge. “You are the future to make this country a science powerhouse again.”

New 2013 TBI students from Killeen ISD

Harker Heights High School

  • Ethan Atkisson
  • Vincent Baronette
  • Alyssa Biggs
  • Alwin Collado-Cintron
  • Kevin Doan
  • Alexandria Gay
  • Shelby Hawkins
  • Molly Heckathorn
  • Madison Helton
  • Emily Kriegh
  • Morgan Lee
  • Emily Muller
  • Eleni Nasiotis
  • Teancum Piekarski
  • Racquelle Requenez
  • Conner White

Ellison High School

  • Simran-Veidehi Bhakta
  • Dusti Douglas
  • Sarah Driver
  • Joseph Duong
  • Meghan Farr
  • Tre Vaughn Felder
  • Leeila Hanson
  • Kayla Kearney
  • Kendra Lewis
  • Kristie Simms
  • Josiah Thomas

Killeen High School

  • Michael Cassell
  • Rocio Castelan
  • Sydney Chastain
  • Rowan Hall
  • Christian Hernandez-Zegada
  • Jessica Hurst
  • Dawid Kala
  • Angela Lewis
  • Daniel Lopez
  • Esther Na
  • Jasmine Ray
  • Nathaniel Shearer
  • Shanice Smith
  • Alize Staver
  • Marquis Winston

Shoemaker High School

  • Ethan Clary
  • Wade Corn
  • Natalie Gonsalves
  • Tanya Haden
  • John Hoagland
  • Kiera Jackson
  • Caleb Kidwell
  • Riley Mallett
  • My Nguyen
  • Jannelle Nunez
  • Chelsea Owens
  • Mark Reyes
  • Che Shin
  • Anastasiya Strohonova
  • Julian Tahimik

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