April 7, 2018
By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
When it comes to Roane State's Middle College program, these Oliver Springs siblings are keeping it all in the family.
Brandon Buck and his sister, Lindsay Buck, give high grades to the Roane State Middle College program.
"The program is amazing, and I'm thankful that I did it," Brandon said. "I would recommend it to anybody."
"I don't see why you wouldn't do it (Middle College) if you have the ability," said Lindsay.
In the innovative program, students attend Roane State classes in the mornings during their last two years of high school and return to their respective high schools in the afternoons to complete studies there.
Middle College students graduate from high school at the same time they earn associate degrees from Roane State.
Brandon, who will be 20 years old in late March, was in the inaugural Middle College program, launched in the fall of 2014.
Lindsay, 18, is in the third edition of the program and will graduate from Oliver Springs High School and Roane State this May. She said she decided to enroll in Middle College "after seeing how well my brother did and how much he loved it."
Brandon was the starting quarterback for the Oliver Springs Bobcats throughout his four-year high school career. He was recognized by the National Football Hall of Fame for success in the classroom and on the field. He is finishing his junior year at University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
He's majoring in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology. In a few years, Brandon intends to be titled Dr. Buck, likely as an orthopedist or a radiologist.
Lindsay was a starting varsity guard for the Bobcats' basketball team. She intends to enroll at UT to pursue a degree in marketing. The siblings are the children of Alan and Tara Buck of Oliver Springs.
Brother and sister agree that their most challenging class at Roane State was chemistry. Both said they received invaluable help from Steve Ward, associate professor of chemistry.
Brandon said Ward's assistance was instrumental in his later receiving the Anne P. Minter Chemistry Award for academic excellence. Minter was a chemistry professor during the college's early days.
"Whenever I was struggling, the professors were the biggest help," Brandon said in recalling his Middle College experiences.
Lindsay said she knew that Middle College "would be hard, and it is a lot harder than high school."
"The biggest challenge for me was time management and learning how to study," she added.
Completing Middle College not only saves on tuition costs when students transfer to a university, it also helps in obtaining scholarships, Lindsay said.
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