UNT's Texas Academy named top adopter of Denton schools

Monday, June 7, 2004

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas was recently named “Best Adopter Working with Students in 2004” by the Denton Independent School District.TAMS is a two-year residential program at UNT that allows talented students to complete their freshman and sophomore years of college while earning their high school diplomas. Students enroll in the academy following their sophomore year in high school, live in a UNT residence hall and attend UNT classes with college students. After two years, they enroll at UNT or another university to finish their bachelor’s degrees.During the 2003-04 academic year, academy students volunteered at three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school in the district as part of the academy’s new community service initiative. Students wishing to receive recognition at graduation for National Honor Society or the academy’s Honors Diploma Gold Cord service award must participate, record and report the number of community service hours that he or she completes to the TAMS student life staff. Each recognition requires a certain number of community service hours. At Denton’s Calhoun Middle School, first-year students Sherri Shoemaker from Round Rock and Gurya Jivani from Humble began a tutoring program that resulted in two vanloads of TAMS students coming to the school twice a week. Tutoring programs were also organized at Ginnings Elementary School by second-year student Sarah Vallelian from Argyle; at Denton High School by members of HOPE, the academy’s community service organization, and its president, second-year student Zach Bohannan from Houston; and at Evers Elementary School by five second-year students — Meagan Frazier from Rowlett, Kristin Haase from Missouri City, Christine Tung from Dallas, Amanda Jagoe from Coppell and Yoonhee Suh from Mansfield.Frazier, Haase, Tung, Jagoe and Suh were recognized by the Evers staff as an “Outstanding School Adopter” and received a certificate for their service.Academy students also volunteered in a music classroom at Newton Rayzor Elementary School. Three students visited the school each week to teach guitar to fifth graders, and several members of the Dull Roar Music Society, a TAMS student organization, demonstrated different musical instruments. In addition, second-year students Mark Avara from Sherman and Anita Shankar from Clear Lake presented a world music program for the entire school.Kevin Roden, the academy’s assistant director of student life, said TAMS students are encouraged to use their abilities and talents to help others, and to become aware of the world around them.“Getting them off campus and into area classrooms helping out other students is a great way to accomplish these goals,” he said. “As the next generation of leaders in the scientific, academic, medical, and technological communities, they will be making decisions and discoveries that will impact the world around them. As such, it is vital that they learn early on to impact the world with the aim of serving their fellow humans.”

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