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For Immediate Release
Contact: Zina L. Carter  979-532-6417


ROAR Academy provides educational opportunities for WISD freshmen

Wharton High School Principal Mark Anglin, right, congratulates incoming freshman Tre’Lynn Robinson with being chosen for the 2016 Realizing Our Academic Reward (ROAR) Academy. ROAR allows high school students to take up to 60 college credit hours while working toward their diploma.

Tre’Lynn Robinson wants to be a robotics engineer one day, and he’s counting on the Realizing Our Academic Reward (ROAR) Academy to set him on the right track.

Through ROAR, Robinson and 24 other Wharton High School freshmen this fall will have the opportunity to begin earning college credit while seeking their high school diploma. A joint effort of Wharton Independent School District and Wharton County Junior College, the ROAR academy enables students to take up to 60 college credit hours while enrolled in high school.

Although similar to dual-credit programs, ROAR differs in that it begins freshman year and allows participants to take up to 18 hours per semester. Dual-credit programs, by comparison, are only offered to junior and senior level students and are limited to six hours per semester. ROAR is also offered free of charge to participating students.

Wharton ISD officials held a ROAR “lottery” on March 29 to select its new freshman class. Held at WCJC’s Hutchins Memorial Center conference room on the Wharton campus, the event included the random selection of 25 students and five alternates.

Robinson, who recently moved to Wharton from Houston, was the 25th student chosen for the program.

“You can’t understand how happy I was to be No. 25,” Robinson said after the ceremony. “I really felt lucky.”

WHS Principal Mark Anglin conducted the lottery and said the program gives students a great foundation for achieving their educational goals.

“We’re excited about this because we want your child to be successful,” Anglin told students’ parents. “That is the most important thing we do.”

Wharton ISD Superintendent Tina Herrington said the ROAR Academy is a “wonderful” opportunity for students.

“This has so many benefits for you,” Herrington said to the students. “We are fortunate that WCJC has taken on this wonderful partnership with us. Through this collaboration, WCJC is providing you with the support you need.”

Herrington noted that Wharton ISD is the only district in the Region III Education Service Center to offer an early college program like ROAR. Region III is comprised of 11 counties.

WCJC President Betty McCrohan congratulated the students and said that she looked forward to seeing them later around campus.

“We’re very excited to have this program and this opportunity for you,” McCrohan said. “We are here to serve you.”

ROAR Academy launched its inaugural class in 2014. The goal was to enable students to further their education beyond high school. Although geared toward students who would traditionally not attend college or who represent the first generation in their family to go to college, the program is open to all students.

Lane City resident Rosie Chavero was selected for the 2016 ROAR Academy and said she will be the first one in her family to attend college.

“I feel great about this and I am really excited to think about getting a college degree,” she said.

Wharton resident Zealous Mayberry’s son, Kurtys, was among the 25 students chosen for the 2016 class. Mayberry said the program not only provides educational opportunities for students, it also gives them something positive to work for that keeps them out of trouble and off the streets.

“The ROAR Academy is a big blessing for these kids,” he said. “It gives them hope and a future.”

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