A ham-radio operator in his spare time, Billy Spurlin says he finds the pastime an interesting way to communicate with other people.
Billy Spurlin, a junior at Harlem High School, enjoys Web and computer programming and hopes to major in software engineering.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"And in times of emergency, it's a good way to communicate with people outside of our area," said Billy, a junior at Harlem High School.
His passion for amateur radio operating began several years ago, and he occasionally attends local ham radio meetings.
The son of Robert and Laurel Spurlin of Grovetown says he enjoys all forms of technology, particularly computer and Web programming.
"What I find interesting is that it's something I understand in most areas, so it gives me a heads up," said Billy, who was an alternate to the Governor's Honors Program in technology last year.
He is designing a Web site for one of the teachers at Harlem High and assembles his own computers at home.
"I want to major in software engineering," he said, adding that working in a science- or medical-related field is his ultimate goal. "I took chemistry last year, and I found it really interesting. I'm taking physics now and will take anatomy, chemistry II and AP biology next year."
Billy hopes to earn a spot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.; the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.; or the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, after graduation from high school next year.
"I have looked at their Web site and brochures, and it seems like a top-notch school," he said of MIT.
"Will is a true standout at Harlem High School," said Angela Simpson, the technology education instructor at the school. "He goes above and beyond to be successful in the classroom and in his community. He is one of the top three in his junior class."
Simpson said Billy actively participates in community events and worked with the technology support specialist during the summer.
Billy is a member of the Southeastern Science Club's Creek Freaks. The group regularly conducts chemical and biological tests of Augusta's Phinizy Swamp Nature Park and adjacent Butler Creek.
"We started with about six or seven members in 2004 and now we have about 10 or 11," he said.
He also is president of the school's Technology Student Association and math team.
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