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Bear Branch Elementary Dedicates Science Lab to Beloved Student

Rachel wanted to be a scientist and loved doing experiments with her dad. She was a top academic student, a talented artist and a young girl of great character. Her parents, Bryan and Anne Turnage, shared stories about Rachel.

Bryan said, “We are so blessed and thankful that each of you is here today to honor our daughter and to help the Bear Branch community create a lasting memory. We think about her everyday and know that she would be so happy to see a science lab with her name above it.”

Local artist, Kay Ivy, painted a beautiful mural in the hallway surrounding the entrance with Rachel’s name inscripted at the top of the door to the lab. The mural includes inspirational words—be brave, be curious, invent, explore, which all reflect Rachel’s love for learning and all things science related.

A committee of school administrators, staff and parents wanted to create a lasting tribute to the memory of Rachel and inspire students in the areas of science and character development. The committee established an annual Rachel Turnage Scholarship. This fund was created to award Bear Branch Elementary students opportunities to attend Camp Invention, a science camp held at Bear Branch Elementary each summer. The students were asked to write an essay or complete artwork that represented the embodiment of their idea of character.

Bryan and Anne Turnage awarded over $1,300 in scholarships. One student from each grade level was selected to receive a scholarship. The recipients were: Hayley Atchetee, Garrett Stallings, Bryce McAnelly, Claire Cantu, Daine Swirczek and Melania Laubsch.

The committee members who thoughtfully created the lab dedication and scholarship to create a lasting tribute in the memory of Rachel were Sheri Cantu, Kelly Beuershausen, Cheri Miers, Tracy Pullen, Amanda Picklo, and Principal Holly Ray. Donations to the Rachel Turnage Scholarship fund can be made to Bear Branch Elementary PTO, 8909 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354. Each year, the committee will award a winner from each grade level in order to continue to share Rachel’s love for science and learning.