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What Does a TOPS Student Look Like?
What Does a TOPS Student Look Like?
Posted on 11/19/2019
TOPS Student Signs with University of Memphis

Memphis student-athlete Sophie Abrams, who signed on November 18 to play Division I tennis with the University of Memphis, says Bristol’s Tennessee Online Public School (TOPS) has afforded her the flexibility she needs to achieve both academically and athletically.

In May, Sophie, who has been playing tennis since she was four years old, will have completed her entire high school education with TOPS, which is a statewide, public virtual school serving grades 9-12 in the state of Tennessee. TOPS was founded in 2012 and is part of Bristol Tennessee City Schools.

“I attend TOPS so I can have a flexible schedule to train for professional tennis,” Sophie said. “I have been doing online public school for six years and have been with TOPS for my entire high school career. This allowed me to train and travel for tennis and gymnastics. I competed in gymnastics for eight years and accomplished level 9 out of 10, which is a college level. This past summer I retired from gymnastics to pursue tennis full time.”

When asked what she thinks people would find most surprising about online school, Sophie said, “I have found that there is a misconception about the amount of interaction between a student and teacher in an online public school setting. It is perceived that getting help and instruction from a teacher is minimal. However, I have always felt supported and heard at TOPS by all of the teachers. Everyone there has created a welcoming environment to talk frequently with the teacher when you need help.”

TOPS is certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center for Division I athletes. “Having NCAA approval for TOPS coursework enables students who play sports outside of traditional high school teams to remain eligible to participate in NCAA teams in college,” said Dr. Kari Eubanks, TOPS principal. “This opens doors for them. They can take part in club sports or travel leagues while still earning their high school diploma and then earn scholarship dollars to continue to play after graduating from TOPS. We are proud of our student-athletes and so grateful that we can provide them with a high quality education that gives them the flexibility to pursue their dreams.”

As far as future plans, Sophie said she believes she has a few options for her future. “I would love to continue tennis beyond college and challenge the best players in the world! However, while I am at college I will focus on completing all prerequisites for medical school.”

TOPS enrollment for spring 2020 will be open through December 16. For more information about TOPS, visit https://tops.education/ or call (423) 652-9209.


TOPS Spring 2020 Enrollment Ad Enrollment open from Nov 4-Dec 16

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