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Gatton Academy selects 59 students for its Class of 2016

The Gatton Academy has selected 59 students from 40 counties for its Class of 2016. In the past eight years, students from 113 Kentucky counties have been admitted to the program housed at WKU.

The Gatton Academy has selected 59 students from 40 counties for its Class of 2016. In the past eight years, students from 113 Kentucky counties have been admitted to the program housed at WKU.

The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 59 students for its Class of 2016.

In the fall, approximately 290 Kentucky sophomores started the application process with 192 students qualifying for review. Applicants were evaluated based on ACT/SAT scores, high school grades, awards, extracurricular activities, responses to essay questions, and letters of recommendation. Last month, 110 candidates were invited to interview with community leaders from across the Commonwealth and Academy staff.

“Once again, the applicants for the Class of 2016 have demonstrated that the depth of outstanding students in Kentucky is substantial. Over the past eight years, we have watched the selection process become more and more difficult. This year was the hardest so far,” said Dr. Tim Gott, Director of the Gatton Academy. “While we wish we had more slots so that we could have selected more strong students, we are greatly impressed with the caliber of the chosen group. The state can certainly be proud of what these students have accomplished already and can anticipate great things from them in the future.”

The selected students scored an average composite of 30.4 on the ACT and 30.1 on the mathematics portion of the exam. The highest possible score is a 36.

“The Gatton Academy welcomes members of the 2016 Class, a group of outstanding young women and men with high interest in mathematics and science. They come from school districts around the Commonwealth, a testimony to the fact that the Gatton Academy extends advanced learning opportunities to young people in all Kentucky school districts,” said Dr. Julia Roberts, Executive Director of the Gatton Academy. “The Gatton Academy partners with all school districts in Kentucky, having had students from 113 counties in its first eight classes.”

The incoming class includes students from the following counties: Barren, Boone, Boyle, Bracken, Bullitt, Caldwell, Carlisle, Calloway, Christian, Daviess, Gallatin, Grant, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, Jefferson, Kenton, Knox, LaRue, Lyon, Marion, Mason, Meade, Menifee, Montgomery, Nelson, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pulaski, Rowan, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Taylor, Trigg, Union, Warren and Woodford.

Three counties had students admitted to the Gatton Academy for the first time: Bracken, Caldwell and Owsley.

The goal of the Gatton Academy is to enable Kentucky’s exceptional young scientists and mathematicians to learn in an environment that offers advanced educational opportunities, preparing them for leadership roles in Kentucky. Moreover, the Gatton Academy assists in preparing Kentucky to compete in a knowledge-based economy by increasing the number of scientists and engineers who live and work in the state.

Students will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in Schneider Hall and taking courses offered by WKU. At the end of their two-year course of study, they will graduate from high school and have earned at least 60 college credit hours.

The Academy provides a rich living and learning environment designed specifically for academically talented adolescent students that features clubs, organizations and community service. Additionally, students are able to participate in advanced research with WKU faculty members. Research conducted during students’ time at the Gatton Academy has been honored in the nationally competitive Siemens Competition, Intel Science Talent Search, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, and the Department of Defense Science, Math, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship Program. The majority of Gatton Academy students also participate in a study abroad or global learning experience in locations such as Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, England and China.

The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s only state-supported, residential program for high school students with interests in advanced science and math careers and one of only 15 such programs in the nation. In 2012 and 2013, Newsweek named the Gatton Academy the nation’s top public high school.

Students selected for the Gatton Academy Class of 2016 are:

  • Barren County: Michael Belcher, a student from Glasgow whose parents are Jason and April Nuetzman.
  • Boone County: William Hornsby, a student from Union whose parents are Larry and Angela Hornsby; Elizabeth Pulsifer, a student from Union whose parents are Dean and Elaine Pulsifer; Alexandra Wright, a student from Union whose parents are Kevin and Diana Wright.
  • Boyle County: Hayden Justice, a student from Danville whose parents are Curtis and Robyn Justice.
  • Bracken County: Joshua Ray, a student from Brooksville whose parents are Deron and Jenny Ray.
  • Bullitt County: Maria Long, a student from Mount Washington whose parents are Robert and Dana Long.
  • Caldwell County: Anne Wetzel, a student from Princeton whose parents are Todd and Gretchen Wetzel.
  • Calloway County: Rodrigo Sanchez, a student from Murray whose parents are Julio and Carla Sanchez.
  • Carlisle County: James Styers, a student from Bardwell whose parents are James Styers Sr. and Sherrie Warfield.
  • Christian County: Luci Keller, a student from Hopkinsville whose parents are David and Kelli Keller.
  • Daviess County: Lucas Knight, a student from Owensboro whose parents are Mike and Pamela Knight; Seth Marksberry, a student from Owensboro whose parents are John Marksberry and Tracy McQueen; Harsh Moolani, a student from Owensboro whose parents are Mahesh and Urmila Moolani; Graham Reynolds, a student from Owensboro whose parents are Bryan and Polly Reynolds.
  • Gallatin County: Jenna Ellis, a student from Sparta whose parents are Len and Kelly Ellis.
  • Grant County: Andrew Davis, a student from Williamstown whose parents are Todd and Amy Davis.
  • Hancock County: Laney Brager, a student from Hawesville whose parents are Aaron and Joanna Brager.
  • Hardin County: Esther Huggins, a student from Elizabethtown whose parents are Bert and Jahi Huggins; Terrance Life, a student from Elizabethtown whose parents are Darin and Traci Life.
  • Hart County: Dustin Avery, a student from Hardyville whose parents are Travis and Tracy Avery; James Senig, a student from Munfordville whose parents are James and Melissa Senig; Brigid Walters, a student from Munfordville whose parents are Jesse Walters and Christi Cuthbert-Walters.
  • Henderson County: Jeremiah Wayne, a student from Henderson whose parents are Jeffrey and Brigette Wayne.
  • Jefferson County: Rachel Cooper, a student from Louisville whose parents are David Cooper and Carolyn Miller-Cooper; Sean Hudson, a student from Louisville whose parents are Douglas and Bobbi Hudson; Logan Nofsinger, a student from Louisville whose parents are Scott and Tammy Nofsinger; Amanda White, a student from Louisville whose parents are David and Brenda White.
  • Kenton County: Wendy Loomis, a student from Fort Mitchell whose parents are Glenn and Nancy Loomis.
  • Knox County: Niven Achenjang, a student from Barbourville whose parents are Fidelis and Lucia Achenjang; Kristen Pedersen, a student from Barbourville whose parents are Paul and Anne Pederson; Lauren Pedersen, a student from Barbourville whose parents are Paul and Anne Pederson.
  • LaRue County: Leslie Pike, a student from Hodgenville whose parents are Les and Angela Pike.
  • Lyon County: Krista Dunn, a student from Kuttawa whose parents Tristan Dunn and Heather Walker; Patrick Rivera, a student from Eddyville whose parents are Ricardo and Rebecca Rivera.
  • Marion County: Donald Price, a student from Lebanon whose parents are Donald and Peggy Price.
  • Mason County: Rebecca Wood, a student from Maysville whose parents are Stockton and Patricia Wood.
  • Meade County: Alexandra Pike-Goff, a student from Brandenburg whose parents are Gregory and Andrea Pike-Goff.
  • Menifee County: Jonathan Melkulcok, a student from Wellington whose parents are Jeffery and Melinda Melkulcok.
  • Montgomery County: Taylor Bowman, a student from Mount Sterling whose parents are Jason and Shawna Bowman.
  • Nelson County: Samantha Netherland, a student from Bardstown whose parents are Kathy and the late Robert Netherland.
  • Oldham County: Rohan Deshpande, a student from LaGrange whose parents are Rajendra and Meera Deshpande.
  • Owen County: Nolan Calhoun, a student from Corinth whose parents are Michael and Amanda Calhoun.
  • Owsley County: Frankie Jo Baldwin, a student from Booneville whose parent is Melissa Suntken.
  • Pulaski County: Zachary Wesley, a student from Somerset whose parents are Mitchell and Tracey Wesley.
  • Rowan County: Eura Shin, a student from Morehead whose parents are Geun-Hwan Shin and Mee Shon.
  • Scott County: Luke Miles, a student from Georgetown whose parents are Harold Miles and Colleen London.
  • Shelby County: Nolan Hughes, a student from Shelbyville whose parents are Robert and Jennifer Hughes; Emma Saarinen, a student from Shelbyville whose parents are Timothy and Anne Saarinen.
  • Spencer County: Joshua Baunach, a student from Taylorsville whose parents are Tom and Christi Baunach.
  • Taylor County: Jared Carney, a student from Campbellsville whose parents are John and Jennifer Carney.
  • Trigg County: Corey Goodwin, a student from Cadiz whose parents are Danny and Melody Goodwin.
  • Union County: Hayden Brooks, a student from Sturgis whose parents are Jeff and Julie Brooks.
  • Warren County: Saadia Akhtar, a student form Bowling Green whose parents are Muhammad and Khamsa Akhtar; Juan Atehortua, a student from Bowling Green whose parents are Maria Guerrero and Nelson Atehortua; Linyue Fan, a student from Bowling Green whose parents are Xingang Fan and Lei Chen; Alexander Gelderman, a student from Bowling Green whose parents are Richard Gelderman and Megan Lavery; Whitney Heard, a student from Bowling Green whose parents are Charles Heard and Emily Priddy.
  • Woodford County: Emily Keeter, a student from Versailles whose parents are Howard and Lisa Keeter.

Contact: Chad Phillips, (270) 745-2971.

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