Big Topics, Jr. Topics & Bomber YELL, Frederick
Frederick Public Schools is recognizing Lance Bohannon, a management consultant, for helping lead a renaissance in the community and local schools through his support for three initiatives – Big Topics, Jr. Topics and Bomber YELL.
These initiatives provide mentoring, leadership opportunities and educational support in high school and middle school. The initiatives are part of a concerted effort to make Frederick Public Schools a regional magnet by providing superior learning opportunities well beyond those required by state and federal standards.
Big Topics is a weekly lunch-time discussion group to help high school students develop critical thinking skills. Participants discuss current events and topics that may be controversial or difficult to treat inside the classroom. The discussion is facilitated by Ben Crawford, president of the Chamber of Commerce. Students earn scholarships based on their attendance and participation in discussions.
“Lance Bohannon has been directly involved in helping our students through Big Topics,” said Superintendent Shannon Vanderburg. “He put up his own money and raised funds from other individuals to fund scholarships for Big Topics participation. To date, our students have been awarded in excess of $70,000 in scholarships.”
Building on the success of Big Topics, Bohannon helped launch a popular Jr. Topics discussion group at the middle school and teamed up last year with a parent, Roxie Hill, to lead a summer academy for middle school students, Bomber YELL (Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning).
The summer learning academy offers sessions ranging from art and theater to civics and robotics. The program also provides life skills, such as budgeting, sewing and car maintenance.
Bohannon has also been instrumental in establishing a robotics program at the high school and coordinated with Frederick alumnus and University of Texas Engineering Professor Robert Woods to Skype with students to provide engineering advice to the robotics team. In addition, Bohannon has collaborated with educators to strengthen arts and music instruction programs in local schools.
“Mr. Bohannon devotes the majority of his time and effort to our students and our community,” Vanderburg said. “The knowledge, insight and experience gained by our students through these programs is remarkable. Mr. Bohannon is truly making a difference in our community with our students.”
About the Program: Big Topics, Jr. Topics and Bomber YELL are education, mentoring and leadership initiatives designed to provide superior learning experiences for students and equip them to compete aggressively and confidently in a big world.