Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

September 5, 2013

Mabank ISD creates Scholar’s Institute for top students

Program embarks on a mission to push young adults to become builders of their future

Athens — With the launch of the Mabank Scholar’s Institute this fall, Mabank High School is focusing on rigor, relevance, and relationships to pave the way to college for some of its top students.

Having brought together an all-star cast of Mabank High School teachers including Mabank natives, Department Heads, a state-level speech and debate expert, and a published author among others, the school is capitalizing on its strengths to provide the absolute best in terms of approach, variety and expertise for the Freshmen level students founding the new, Mabank Scholar’s Institute.

The group of 33 Mabank High School freshmen who are a part of this venture consist of a carefully-selected, cross-section of students who met rigorous criterion including state and national assessment data in order to be invited to apply. Those selected, represent diversity in experience, interest, and academic pursuit. All of the student participants possess a general need for an accelerated pace of study, desire for rigorous academic curricula, and demonstrate heightened level of intellect and deep-thinking. With this, the Institute will work to cultivate an environment that promotes higher-order thinking and maintains it as a primary programmatic goal.

The Mabank Scholar’s Institute embarks on its new mission to push young adults to become confident and creative builders of their future. The program focuses on the whole child and works towards and integrated and accelerated curriculum that is planned across disciplines and provides opportunities for application, analyses, evaluation, and creation. The program has been designed from the ground-up within the district to best meet the needs of an often overlooked sub-population. “We forget too often that our gifted students need ongoing and continuous support to realize their potential. Just as we, as a school district, have established programs to aid and support students in indentified academic weaknesses, we must also strive to enrich students in their academic strengths AND interests,” says program coordinator, Aaron Williams.

“Our focus as a program is for the students to gain a solid grounding in literature, history, art, politics, and culture; develop an understanding of life and the physical sciences; develop the ability to write and speak intelligently about many subjects; gain a better understanding of mathematics, and get involved in student organizations, athletics and volunteer and service opportunities. A relevant, rigorous, and holistic high school experience is what we believe will best prepare these students for their futures in college and beyond, and we are thrilled at the potential that this group of students possesses, when provided with the opportunity to collaborate, create, and discover the greatness that lies within each of them,” says Williams.

If you'd like more information about the Institute, or find out ways to support their endeavors, please call Aaron Williams at 903/880-1600 ext. 2032 or e-mail Aaron at

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