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Alumni Spotlight: Tyran Thompson '02

Scecina graduate Tyran Thompson with newest addition to family, Taylin Simone!

Name: Tyran Thompson
Year of Scecina Graduation: 2002
College/University: Thomas More College
Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Biology
Current Position: Biologist at Eli Lilly and Company

By George T. Newhart '60

As with so many young people, Tyran came to Scecina Memorial High School with a less than clear picture of where life would lead him. During his freshman year, he struggled with many issues, including academic progress. However, under the leadership and encouragement of Coach Ott Hurrle and Mr. David Smock, he made steady progress. From these two outstanding educators and individuals, Tyran begin to realize that he had excellent potential, not only academically, but playing football at the college level as well.

Tyran is now a biologist with Eli Lilly and Co., the pharmaceutical company with its world headquarters in Indianapolis. Tyran’s specialty is in the research of Cardiovascular Metabolic and Diabetes Complications. Tyran works with both “in vitro” (outside of the living body in an artificial environment), and “in vivo” (within the living body). He could have chosen higher profile positions in the health-care industry, but Tyran derives great satisfaction “working behind the scenes,” contributing to the health and welfare of his fellow community members.

“Scecina put me on the right track to life” Tyran says. “I believe everyone has to find their own path. Scecina provided me with the necessary guidance to discover myself and my path.”

His ability to work hard was evident during Tyran’s years at Scecina, when he put in 12-hour days. His day would begin at 6 a.m. with “study tables” and tutoring. Tyran carried a full schedule of regular classes and participated in extracurricular activities, which included sports and other school activities. Most of his weekend also was devoted to Scecina-related activities, including a substantial amount of dedicated study time. The mentoring, encouragement and support of the Scecina faculty and staff, combined with Tyran’s commitment to hard work, paid handsome rewards, as he achieved High Honors during his senior year. “They each saw something within me at a time of confusion in my life. Their investments, even the simple ‘how are you doing today?’ from Mrs. Leffler, gave me the feeling that someone cared about me. That feeling gave me the confidence to make better choices for myself and my future,” Tyran now says. During his four years at Scecina, Tyran had moved from a young man who didn’t see many options in his future, to a mature student poised for a promising future for advanced education, as well as a student athlete with a potential to participate in college-level sports.

Tyran points to a particular assignment that had a profound impact on his faith and values. At the time of the attacks on the United States in Sept. 11, 2001, Coach Hurrle was teaching Government. The students were assigned a project to catalog the tragic 9/11 events into a portfolio of various articles from newspapers and other media. “I became humble,” he remembers. “I thought of the people who never return home to their families, fathers who would never walk their daughter down the aisle, amongst many other thoughts. From that projected, I started to ‘count my lucky stars’ and give God the glory. I learned the value of life and to make the most of mine. My faith grew beyond measure from a teacher and his assignment. I still have my portfolio today!”

Tyran also learned other life lessons from Coach Hurrle. Tyran points to one of the coach’s philosophies, which is “never be satisfied.”

“I played running back and defensive end, so that meant: If I scored a touchdown, then score another one,” Tyran comments. “If I made a good block, then get another one. It is about never getting comfortable and keep moving forward. That message instilled in me the value and importance of a strong work ethic. All of my goals are met on faith and values.”

Tyran sees many advantages that Scecina has over other schools. He believes that the teacher-to-student ratio provides a better learning environment. The individual attention ensures higher academic achievement. Teachers are available to each student for personal growth assessment. Tyran feels that the opportunity for individual teacher-student sessions was particularly helpful to him in deciding the approach to, and the course of, study in college.

Tyran believes that Scecina has other advantages over schools. The size of the school not only enhances the learning environment, but also makes possible the close-knit relationships among classmates and teammates, he says. Tyran has maintained his friendships with many classmates and teammates into his professional life. Also, the opportunity exists to work for the school, such as in the cafeteria. Tyran sees this as a life-learning experience, because one can gain some business perspective, as well as meet more members of the Scecina family.

Tyran remains active at Scecina. He coaches running backs, working once again with his role models, advisors and mentors on the football team. This is where he feels that he learned so much and received such solid direction. This is the aspect of Scecina life where Tyran believes he has so much to “give back.”

As a special note, Tyran and his wife, Kesha, just welcomed their newborn daughter, Taylin Simone, into the world! They also have a 2-year-old son, Kingston. 

George T. Newhart, CPA, is a graduate of the Class of 1960 and member of the Scecina Board of Directors.

Related story: National Award recognizes Ott Hurrle’s service to community.

6 comments (Add your own)

1. Heather (Haines) Bacula wrote:
Great to hear about a fellow classmate doing so well!! Go Crusaders 2002!

Tue, April 28, 2015 @ 6:33 PM

2. Maria Leon wrote:
Tyran and kesha. Congratilation for Your baby Taylor Simone. God bless you and Your family.

Thu, April 30, 2015 @ 9:17 AM

3. Maria Leon wrote:
Ask Ana Santos Who is Maria Leon

Thu, April 30, 2015 @ 9:19 AM

4. julie brown wrote:
Congratulations on your baby girl,
love seeing Tyran around Scecina again.

Thu, April 30, 2015 @ 1:48 PM

5. Nick Petrone wrote:
What a fabulous and inspiring story! Thanks for sharing.

Sun, May 3, 2015 @ 12:33 PM

6. Natalie Light wrote:
AWWW love this!!! Glad you are doing so well for yourself and your family! Miss the high school days! CLASS OF 01'

Thu, June 2, 2016 @ 2:09 PM

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