Student’s School and Gymnastics Flexibility Earns Air Force Academy Scholarship


May 21, 2010

Most high school students spend their time attached to a bell schedule, shifting from class to class and teacher to teacher. These students spend their past time in theatre, or student council, or in athletics.

However, there are students who must create their own schedules, activities and places to learn.

Some students decide to pursue their high school diploma through Texas Tech University Independent School District. They are looking for a non-traditional school and, for some, a way to complete their dreams.

Katie Hawthorne is a student from Forney, Texas, who decided to receive her education through TTUISD. She was drawn to TTUISD because the school was accredited and allowed her the ability to complete her school work around her gymnastics practices.

“For me, TTUISD, allowed adequate time to train five hours-a-day,” Katie said, “which is needed when competing at high levels of gymnastics.”

Although Katie spent hours in the gym daily, she found time to graduate from TTUISD in just three years.

“Katie is graduating in three years and that is a remarkable feat,” Superintendent of TTUISD Gib Weaver said. “When you consider the fact that she works out in the gym all day long, and does her lessons in the evening, and is able to graduate in a three year period of time—it’s remarkable”

Katie graduated on May 2, 2010 on Texas Tech University’s campus. She graduated with 175 classmates and was asked to speak on behalf of her classmates. She is a good representative for her unique graduating class because of her determination and hard work. The 2010 graduating class included other competitive athletes, actors and models.

During her speech she thanked TTUISD for their flexibility and education.

“The Texas Tech University programs allow us, the student, to be able to work at our time and at our own pace,” she said, with her black cap and gown on. “We have more time to either pick subjects of interest or to participate in other activities important to us.”

Katie’s hard work in gymnastics and school has earned her a $350,000 scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Katie was presented her scholarship the night before at the TTUISD Graduation Dinner.

Katie said she is excited to attend the Air Force Academy and said TTUISD has prepared her for it.

“The most important concept that I learned through this program is self-discipline,” she said. “It will help me with my future encounters, especially when facing the challenges of the Air Force Academy.”

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