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Dobyns-Bennett senior selected for ETSU Roan Scholars program

Marybeth McLain • Feb 6, 2014 at 12:49 PM

KINGSPORT – Seven student leaders from across the region, including a senior from Dobyns-Bennett High School, have been selected as the Class of 2018 for the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University. This is the largest class of students in the history of the program.

Sophia Lynn Baker, is the daughter of Joseph and Patti Baker and attends Dobyns-Bennett High School. The drum major for the past two years in the school’s award-winning and nationally recognized marching band, she has participated in numerous competitions and parades, including the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade. A member of Dobyns-Bennett’s Beta Club, National Honors Society, and Science Olympiad team, Sophia is also the co-founder of the “Pay It Forward” organization, which provides support for students in need.

“Sophia has served as leader within D-B in many areas. Many people are aware of her leadership role within band, but I am most impressed with the role she plays in the classroom,” said Dobyns-Bennett Principal Chris Hampton. “She is enrolled in four college-level classes and also spends a class period each day working as a BUD in one of our special needs classes. Sophia is very deserving of this recognition and opportunity and I look forward to learning about all of the great things she will accomplish after graduation. She is certainly an excellent ambassador for Dobyns-Bennett High School!”

After graduating from ETSU, she will likely pursue a career in the medical field, possibly as a pediatric neuropsychologist or physical therapist.

The Roan Program, which is funded primarily by private donations, was established in 1997 by Louis H. Gump, to attract the region's most promising young leaders and to develop each student's unique leadership potential.

The Roan provides both a full scholarship to ETSU and four years of leader development experiences and opportunities, such as international travel and study abroad, internships, workshops and seminars, service projects and other unique programs.

Outstanding student-leaders from throughout the region are nominated by their high school and selected by the Roan Steering Committee based on their demonstrated excellence, and potential, in four areas: character, intellectual curiosity, physical vigor, and leadership.

“As we introduce what will be our fifteenth class of Roan Scholars, we’re excited about them being our largest-ever class and about our plans for continued program growth in the future,” says program director Scott Jeffress. “These students bring to campus a tremendous amount of talent, passion, and leadership potential; we’re looking forward to all that they will accomplish, and the positive impact they will have on ETSU and the region.”

For more information about the program, contact the Roan Scholars office at (423) 439-7677 or RoanScholars@etsu.edu or visit www.etsu.edu/RoanScholars.

Kingsport City Schools is a public school system located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and an alternative school; with total enrollment reaching 6,500 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

For more information on Kingsport City Schools (KCS), visit k12k.com, listen live on, WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, watch KCS Today on Charter Channel 16 at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook, Kingsport City Schools and on Twitter, @KptSchools.

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