The Bush Center

Distinguished Scholars Program

The Distinguished Scholars Program provides high-achieving students an enhanced learning environment where they can explore and build the skill set needed to become the next generation of leaders. Mirroring collegiate graduate programs, Scholars select a topic of choice to research mastering the building blocks of communication as they strive to learn more and explore different perspectives culminating in a written thesis and oral defense.

Scholars are introduced to research methods which include theory, ethics, networking, proposal preparation, data collection, and presentation of findings. DSP is designed to create a social collaborative community creating a bridge to other disciplines which propels them into successful collegiate careers and beyond. The skills and relationships built through this program develop our Scholars into world leaders by instilling a lifelong love of learning.

The Distinguished Scholars Program is an avenue for Scholars to gain radical amazement where they discover, develop and strengthen the gifts which God has given them. Faced with an increasingly competitive collegiate admissions process, the program equips Scholars to sit among the nation’s top applicants for the most selective universities.

To learn more about DSP register for our DSP Coffee that takes place on Wednesday, November 10th at 9:00AM.  

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  • Scholars Excel

    Scholars utilize Costa and Kallik’s “Habits of the Mind”- behaving intelligently when confronted with problems - empowering them to successfully advocate and lead in professional settings. The program’s collaborative teaching model and individual focus challenges students through cross-disciplinary assignments emphasizing a vital life skill, focusing on interpersonal, cross-cultural and personal communication.
  • Scholars Stand Out

    Our Scholars advance on to attend some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including Duke, Pepperdine, Vanderbilt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and United States Service Academies.


DEMONSTRATE analytical thought
DISSECT philosophical and ethical perspectives
DEBATE current and cultural events within a biblical worldview
DEVELOP professional writing skills, including APA format and research methods
DESIGN methodologies and statistical trends

Advantages Include


Samuel Johnson

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.  

DSP Director Patricia Droz

Prior to joining Houston Christian High School as Director of the Distinguished Scholars Program, Dr. Patricia Droz was Assistant Professor of Writing at The University of Houston – Clear Lake. There, she helped lead the programs in First Year Composition and Professional Writing while also teaching writing courses created for a diverse set of student proficiencies and beliefs about research. She is thrilled to bring her experience and expertise in research and writing to The Bush Center at Houston Christian for the Glory of God, and to work with talented teens who are just beginning to identify as their generation’s scholars and leaders.

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  • Education

    Doctorate, English-Discourse Studies, Texas A&M University-College Station

    Masters, English and Women’s Studies, Texas A&M University-College Station

    B.A., Honors, English and Psychology, The University of Michigan
  • Personal

    Dr. Droz is the mother of Genevieve (age 9) and Juliette (age 6), and the wife of Keith Droz, an engineer and advisor to the general manager of asset development at Chevron (Mid-Continent). She is an avid needlepointer, loves traveling to Europe and New England, and is a trained chef in French cuisine, having earned a diploma in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute LeNotre in 2005. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English and linguistics from Texas A&M University and a B.A. in English and psychology from the University of Michigan. She is an active member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has developed and taught an Adult Sunday school class on parenting, has been a children’s worship leader, and has worked as the piano accompanist for the Children’s choir at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church. She looks forward to relocating to West Houston and finding a new Church family in addition to joining that of HC!
  • Publications and Accolades

    Dr. Droz is a prolific researcher and the recipient of numerous awards in research and teaching. Her work has been published in the journals of Academic Labor: Research and Artistry, Technical Communication and College Composition and Communication, and in the conference proceedings of the Rhetoric Society of America. She has also presented extensively at international and national conferences on language and gender and composition pedagogy. Among her notable awards, her article, “Genre Chameleon: The disconnect between Email, professional writing curriculum, and the workplace,” co-authored with her long-time collaborator Dr. Lorie Jacobs, has been nominated by the premier organization, College Composition and Communication, for 2020’s best article in technical writing. Dr. Droz was the 2010 winner of the International Gender and Language Association paper prize, awarded at their biennial meeting in Tokyo, Japan, as well as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious teaching award given by student members of The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi.

    Student leaders nominated Dr. Droz for teaching “with heart and passion and for motivating students toward academic achievement.” Indeed, Dr. Droz’s encouraging and innovative teaching has been at the helm of more than 180 original student research projects, and she has guided students through the process of presenting their research in both poster and oral form at several regional conferences.

DSP Assistant Director Jenna LaFlamme

Jenna LaFlamme joins Houston Christian as the Assistant Director for the Distinguished Scholars Program, and works primarily with the first year Scholars. Mrs. LaFlamme holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University with a concentration in Secondary Education. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English through the Honors program at Eastern Connecticut State University. While in Connecticut, Mrs. LaFlamme served as an experienced 9th grade English teacher and has previous experience working with the Advancement team at an independent school in Providence, Rhode Island. 

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  • Personal

    In addition to her years of experience both in the classroom and in the field of Advancement, Mrs. LaFlamme also brings a love of Christ, a kind spirit, and a passion for developing community to the 9th grade Scholars. She led the worship team at her church in Connecticut for eight years, and was heavily involved in a variety of other church activities. She will be an asset and great partner with Dr. Droz as both an instructor and leader of the Distinguished Scholars Program.