More than 100 students, teachers, counselors and staff have been part of a learning experience at Lamar University this summer to help high-achieving Texas high school students explore new interests, set goals, and experience a taste of college life.

With funding provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Governor’s School is designed to develop skills in creativity, problem-solving, negotiation, conflict resolution, higher-level thinking, research and ethical decision-making said Dorothy Sisk, director of the program. Sisk holds the Conn Chair in Gifted Education in Lamar’s College of Education and Human Development.

Qualified students experience a three-week residential program offering a variety of courses. The courses which are taught by educational professionals include beginning sign language, applied geometry, digital photography, marine biology, creative writing, international relations in government, to psychology of the criminal mind. Each student chose three courses as his or her focal for the program.

Students heard success stories from such speakers as David Beck, a lawyer who has served as president of the Texas Lawyers Association, and Jack Gill, an entrepreneur and professor from Harvard, both Lamar distinguished alumni, as well as Linda Gill, a Lamar supporter and philanthropist.

Fitness and recreational activity round out the honors program’s college experience and offer students a chance to interact with college athletes. A popular part of the program features ballroom dancing with a professional dancer and teacher. Students showcased their new dancing skills with a contest at the Montagne Center .

Students also enjoyed Galveston Island and the newly opened Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Orange .

The 2008 scholars are:

Arlington – Bryan Davis.

Beaumont – Damen Barnett, Chelsea Bennet, Gervais Chevis, Kessina Hancock, Braela Jackson, Kayla McCloney, Ernescia Mitchell, Barry Nix, Christian Ramsey, Kaylin Riggins, April Simon, Hampton Truong.

Bellville – Taylor Leach.

Brownwood – Megan Green.

Buna – Brandon Hughes.

Canutillo – Dominick Ruiz.

Cleveland – Brett Estes, Nicole Hernandez.

Corinth – Branton Holmes.

Crystal Beach – Maxwel Reho.

Dayton – Rosyland Hopson.

Diboll – Brittany Feeney, Alek Gaard.

El Paso – Joshua Anklam, Kristian Mendoza.

Elkhart – Andrea Lightcap.

Glen Rose – Shalah Manning.

Godley – Morgan Bone.

Grand Prairie – James Sharpe.

Grapevine – Hillary Williams.

Groves – Thuy Nguyen.

Hawley – Shalisa Sites.

High Island – Christopher Richardson.

Houston – Iroin Anderson, Parsa Baktash, Adjua Buadu, Gabrielle Carandang, David Cregg, Elid Escabar, Oliver Lee, William Luu, Kevin Maurin, Isoken Omoruyi, Reginald Page, Helen Raminez, Preciosa Vargas.

Joshua – Olivia Kemp.

Justin – Chynna Hart.

Katy – Nicole Julian, Thandiwe Ngoma, Yue Xu.

Keller – Robin Borish.

Kirbyville – Catelyn Gentry, Elizabeth Hebert.

Kountze – Tim Hoke, Meagan Moore, Jenna Theal.

Liberty – Angelica Martinez .

Lindale – Dakota Black.

Longview – Krista Osborne.

Lumberton – Brittany Best, Kathryn Carroll, Dustin Sills.

Magnolia – Alexandra Bordon, Thomas Elston, Alese Vance, Latrese Vance.

Missouri City – Daniel Thompson.

Orange – Marissa Forsyth, Jennifer Garrison, Gage Ibeck, Alison Yu.

Pasadena – Emily Contreras.

Pearland – Brieana Johnson, Vincent Jow, Xinran Li.

Pineland – Matthew Page.

Port Arthur – Ruth Ackah, Rachelia Collins, Patricia Figueroa, Jennifer Frazier, Alaina Hebert, Veronica Hernandez, Passion Sweet, John Tran, Khanh Tran, Tiffany Tran, Lachell Williams.

Richmond – Christine Tsai.

Rockdale – Kennedy Cooke-Garza, Breanna Miller, Katherine Woodring.

Sanger – Kelsey Miller, Richard Nixon, Lucas Sides, Preston Spuza.

Weatherford – Micah Bingaman.

Woodville – Stephanie Pokorney, David Williford.