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Gatton Academy selects 100 students for Class of 2018

The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 100 Kentucky sophomores for the Class of 2018.

“Our admissions process was as competitive this year as any other,” said Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “We are very excited to take our first class of 100 students as The Gatton Academy’s expansion begins. The Class of 2018 is a remarkable group of students from across the Commonwealth. The depth of the applicant pool this year supports the legislature’s decision to expand The Academy to serve more of Kentucky’s exceptional students.”

Class of 2018 Applicants were evaluated based on ACT/SAT scores, high school grades, awards, extracurricular activities, responses to essay and short answer questions, and letters of recommendation. In addition to these criteria, last month, 165 candidates were invited to interview with WKU faculty members, community leaders from across the Commonwealth, and Gatton Academy alumni.

The selected students scored an average composite of 30.51 on the ACT and 29.88 on the mathematics portion of the exam. The highest possible score is a 36.

“The ability to accept 100 students has allowed us the opportunity to accept more students from across the Commonwealth that would previously not had an opportunity,” said Assistant Director for Admissions and Public Relations Zack Ryle. “I am thrilled that each one of the 100 students has agreed to be a part of our community for the next two years.”

Students from 50 counties represent the Class of 2018. Morgan County will have a student attend The Gatton Academy for the first time, while the following counties had a second student admitted in The Gatton Academy’s nine-year history: Ballard, Caldwell, Casey, Fulton, Grayson and Lawrence.

“When selecting each class, our goal is to represent the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Ryle said. “This year, we saw record numbers of students applying and completing the application. This pool of applicants was our strongest and most diverse group that I have seen which consequently has led to one of our strongest classes to date.”

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.

“The Gatton Academy welcomes members of the Class of 2018, 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 attend from 115 counties in our history.”

Students will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in newly expanded Florence Schneider Hall. At the end of their two-year course of study, students will graduate from high school with a minimum of 60 college credit hours.

The Gatton 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 first 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 and in 2014, The Daily Beast named The Gatton Academy the nation’s top public high school.

Students selected for The Gatton Academy’s Class of 2018:

Adair County

  • Zachary Pyles (Adair County High School) – son of Doug and Tamara Pyles from Columbia

Allen County

  • Olivia Hawkins (Allen County-Scottsville High School) – daughter of Robert and Jennifer Hawkins from Scottsville
  • Grace Jones (Allen County-Scottsville High School) – daughter of Steve and Sharon Jones from Scottsville
  • Solomon Kieffer (Allen County-Scottsville High School) – son of Gerald and Anne Kieffer from Scottsville

Anderson County

  • Austin Gabhart (Anderson County High School) – son of Daniel and Carrie Gabhart from Lawrenceburg

Ballard County

  • Jackson Abell (Ballard Memorial High School) – son of Sara Shoulta and Kelly Abell from Barlow
  • Jonnah McManus (Ballard Memorial High School) – daughter of Shane and Heather McManus from Barlow

Barren County

  • Sims Alexander (Glasgow High School) – son of John and Holly Alexander from Glasgow
  • Mason Tomko (Barren County High School) – son of Gary and Tracey Tomko from Glasgow

Boone County

  • Margaret Cook (Larry A. Ryle High School) – daughter of Marcus and Jeannette Cook from Union
  • Jeraan Fernando (Larry A. Ryle High School) – son of Rajitha and Jessica Fernando from Union
  • Janki Naidugari (Randall K. Cooper High School) – daughter of Poorna and Endumati Naidugari from Florence
  • Ken Ryumae (Larry A. Ryle High School) – son of Masaru and Kyong Ryumae from Union
  • Morganne Williams (Randall K. Cooper High School) – daughter of Chris and Jamie Williams from Burlington

Boyd County

  • Wren Jenkins (Paul G. Blazer High School) – daughter of Scott and Kim Jenkins from Ashland

Breckinridge County

  • Keeley Ruskowski (Breckinridge County High School) – daughter of Dr. Kent and Becky Ruskowski from Hardinsburg

Bullitt County

  • Margaret Lewis (Bullitt Central High School) – daughter of Richard and Stephanie Lewis from Shepherdsville

Butler County

  • Patton Allen (Butler County High School) – son of Mark and Lena Allen from Morgantown

Caldwell County

  • Tige Littlefield (Caldwell County High School) – son of Joey and Amy Littlefield of Princeton

Calloway County

  • Yik “Henry” Kwan (Calloway County High School) – son of Echo Wu from Murray

Campbell County

  • Natalie Reed (Highlands High School) – daughter of Mark and Charlotte Reed from Fort Thomas
  • Carly Taylor (Campbell County High School) – daughter of Patrick and Valerie Taylor from Cold Spring

Casey County

  • Emma Moore (Casey County High School) – daughter of Joe and Angela Moore from Liberty.

Christian County

  • Sydney Austin (Hopkinsville High School) – daughter of Chad and Kelly Austin from Hopkinsville
  • Deeya Patel (University Heights Academy) – daughter of Dr. Deepak and Neema Patel from Hopkinsville

Clark County

  • Harper Sewalls (Model Lab School) – son of Travis and Andra Sewalls from Winchester

Daviess County

  • Olivia Bickett (Apollo High School) – daughter of Gary and Karen Bickett from Owensboro
  • Piper Cannon (Daviess County High School) – daughter of Harold Cannon and Rebecca Thomas from Owensboro
  • Benjamin Conkright (Owensboro Catholic High School) – son of Kevin and Tracy Conkright from Owensboro
  • Madeline Van Hulse (Daviess County High School) – daughter of Geoff and Shannon Hulse from Owensboro
  • Annie Miller (Apollo High School) – daughter of Glenn and Natalie Miller from Owensboro

Estill County

  • Jacob Harris (Homeschool) – son of Chris and Michelle Harris from Irvine

Fayette County

  • David Ewing (Henry Clay High School) – son of Robert and Tanya Ewing from Lexington
  • Leslie Shannon (Lafayette High School) – daughter of Steve and Martha Shannon from Lexington
  • John Taylor (Lafayette High School) – son of Frank and Kimberly Taylor from Lexington
  • Brian Zhu (P.L. Dunbar High School) – son of Haining and Mingqiang Zhu from Lexington

Franklin County

  • Nikitha Rajendran (Franklin County High School) – daughter of Narayanan and Preetha Rajendran from Frankfort

Fulton County

  • Lindy Sipes (Fulton County High School) – daughter of Jason and Kelly Sipes from Hickman

Graves County

  • Hannah Cope (Graves County High School) – daughter of Mark and Shannon Cope from Hickory
  • Emily Goddard (Graves County High School) – daughter of Billy and Charlotte Goddard from Hickory

Grayson County

  • Chloe Lindsey (Grayson County High School) – daughter of Josh and Salina Lindsey from Leitchfield

Hardin County

  • Jaylon Hurt (North Hardin High School) – son of James and Althea Hurt from Radcliffe
  • Mary Reilly (Central Hardin High School) – daughter of Kevin and Ann Marie Reilly from Elizabethtown
  • Sarah Sarver (Central Hardin High School) – daughter of Tim and Laura Beth Sarver from Glendale

Henderson County

  • Brock McDaniel (Homeschool) – son of Brent and Leslie McDaniel from Corydon

Hopkins County

  • Olivia Gilliam (Madisonville North Hopkins High School) – daughter of Steven and Kim Gilliam from Madisonville

Jefferson County

  • Jonathan Bramley (Fairdale High School) – son of David Bramley and Candy Higdon from Louisville
  • Caroline Ferro (Eastern High School) – daughter of Ronald and Jennifer Ferro from Louisville
  • Callie Freeman (Sacred Heart Academy) – daughter of Brantley and Brenda Freeman from Louisville
  • Bin Lin (Waggener High School) – son of Darong Lin and Qiaoyan Chen from Louisville
  • Natalie Ngong (duPont Manual High School) – daughter of Michael Ngong and Virginia Harris from Louisville
  • Leah Nofsinger (duPont Manual High School) – daughter of Scott and Tammy Nofsinger from Louisville
  • Jaylen Rhodes (J. Graham Brown School) – son of Joshua and Nedra Rhodes from Louisville
  • Dillon Tate (duPont Manual High School) – son of David and Leslie Tate from Louisville

Jessamine County

  • Daniela Zieba (Sayre School) – daughter of Piotr and Sonya Zieba from Nicholasville

Kenton County

  • George Mattingly (Beechwood High School) – son of David and Paige Mattingly from Fort Mitchell
  • Summer Wei (Beechwood High School) – daughter of Tom Wei and Wei Qiu from Fort Mitchell

Knox County

  • Nikhil Krishna (Corbin High School) – son of Rekha and Anantha Krishna from Corbin

LaRue County

  • Skyler Hornback (LaRue County High School) – son of Jeff and Barbara Hornback from Sonora

Laurel County

  • Arjun Kanthawar (North Laurel High School) – son of Ashok and Veena Kanthawar from London
  • Bronson McQueen (South Laurel High School) – son of Steve and Channelle McQueen from London
  • Hasan Salim (North Laurel High School) – son of Mazhar and Nida Salim from London
  • Alexandria Scoville (South Laurel High School) – daughter of Holly Hopkins Scoville from London

Lawrence County

  • Caleb Curry (Lawrence County High School) – son of Stephen and Brenda Curry from Louisa

Lincoln County

  • Samuel Durham (Lincoln County High School) – son of Dottie Manning and Douglas Durham from Crab Orchard

Logan County

  • Phillip Wilkerson (Russellville High School) – son of Steven and Donna Wilkerson from Russellville

Madison County

  • Kyla Wilkie (Berea Community High School) – daughter of Joe Wilkie and Avena Cash from Berea

McCracken County

  • Ethan Brown (McCracken County High School) – son of Beau and Shea Brown from Paducah

Meade County

  • Jacob Bowen (Meade County High School) – son of Ben and Kim Bowen from Elkton
  • Kyler Shaw (Meade County High School) – son of Randy and April Shaw from Vine Grove

Monroe County

  • Tom Harrison Froedge (Monroe County High School) – son of Tom and Sharon Froedge from Tompkinsville

Morgan County

  • Destiny Bowman (Morgan County High School) – daughter of Dorothy Bowman and Jessie Jordan from West Liberty

Muhlenberg County

  • Evan Poole (Muhlenberg County High School) – son of Ron and Lisa Poole from Central City

Nelson County

  • Wendy Cecil (Bardstown High School) daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Cecil from Bardstown

Oldham County

  • Alicia Edds (Oldham County High School) – daughter of Nathan and Melissa Edds from La Grange
  • Emily Guernsey (Sacred Heart Academy) – daughter of Jeff and Susan Guernsey from Prospect
  • Noemi Leibman (North Oldham High School) – daughter of Maria Margulis and Alexander Leibman from Prospect

Pulaski County

  • Mackenzie Brunson (Pulaski County High School) – daughter of Craig and Diane Brunson from Somerset
  • Lily Hamm (Pulaski County High School) – daughter of Mark and Tina Hamm from Somerset
  • Selin Sergin (Pulaski County High School) – daughter of Mete Sergin and Margaret and Chris Childers from Somerset

Rowan County

  • Camuel Hart (Rowan County Senior High School) – son of Bradley and Rebecca Hart from Morehead
  • John Nickell (Rowan County Senior High School) – son of Mark and Melissa Nickell from Morehead
  • Aidan O’Brien (Rowan County Senior High School) – son of Tim and Julia O’Brien from Morehead
  • Emily Xu (Rowan County Senior High School) – daughter of Qingzhou Xu and Zhenhua Sun from Morehead

Scott County

  • Maxwell Diener (Scott County High School) – son of John and Sarah Diener from Georgetown

Shelby County

  • Martin Peña (Martha Layne Collins High School) – son of Juan and Beth Peña from Shelbyville

Taylor County

  • Samuel Kessler (Campbellsville High School) – son of Dr. Richard and Sonya Kessler from Campbellsville

Warren County

  • Maxwell Conte (Bowling Green High School) – son of Eric Conte and Crystal Shen from Bowling Green
  • Steven Gaiko (South Warren High School) – son of James and Sylvia Gaiko from Bowling Green
  • Rukmini Ganesh (Bowling Green High School) – daughter of Vidya Seshadri and Ganesh Bala from Bowling Green
  • Benjamin Kash (Greenwood High School) – son of Jeffrey and Jennifer Kash from Bowling Green
  • Jack “J.J.” Marquardt (Greenwood High School) – son of Jack and Jenny Marquardt from Bowling Green
  • Emily Nguyen (South Warren High School) – daughter of Lan and Hong Nguyen from Bowling Green
  • Frankie Ni (South Warren High School) – son of Bin Zheng and Guo Bin Ni from Bowling Green
  • Meigan Niu (Greenwood High School) – daughter of Xinnan Niu and Yijuan Ran from Bowling Green
  • Meghan Perez (Greenwood High School) – daughter of Robin and Courtney Perez from Bowling Green
  • Keelee Pullum (Warren Central High School) – daughter of Gina Neal from Bowling Green
  • Alexa Thompson (Bowling Green High School) – daughter of Thomas Thompson and Susann Davis from Bowling Green
  • James Whitaker (Bowling Green High School) – son of David and Fleur Whitaker from Bowling Green

Woodford County

  • Grayson Fuller (Woodford County High School) – son of John and Lynn Fuller from Versailles

About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential high school for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to the Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for seven consecutive years and was named the number one public high school in the United States by The Daily Beast for three consecutive years – 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Contact: Zack Ryle, (270) 745-2971

 

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