THE GATTON ACADEMY SELECTS 99 STUDENTS FOR CLASS OF 2020
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 99 Kentucky sophomores for the Class of 2020.
“We are excited to welcome the Class of 2020, an exceptional and diverse group of young people. Each year our admissions process reveals a remarkable number of outstanding Kentucky students seeking to challenge themselves in the STEM fields,” said Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy. “Admissions decisions were as difficult this year as any. The applicant pool was full of exceptional students with a range of interests and extracurricular activities.”
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, earlier this month, 189 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 31.36 on the ACT and 30.84 on the mathematics portion of the exam. The highest possible score is a 36. Both of these scores represent the highest for an incoming class in the school’s history.
“We are thrilled to accept 99 students this year, which will bring us to our funded capacity,” said Assistant Director for Admissions and Public Relations Zack Ryle. “The ability to offer this opportunity to these bright, young high school students interested in STEM is truly exciting. I am thrilled that each one of the 99 students has agreed to be a part of our community for the next two years.”
Students from 48 counties represent the Class of 2020. Green County will have both its first and second student attend The Gatton Academy, while the following counties had a second student admitted in The Gatton Academy’s 10-year history: Floyd, Garrard, Morgan and Washington. All told, The Gatton Academy has students attend from 117 of the 120 counties in Kentucky.
“When selecting each class, our goal is to represent the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Ryle said. “This year, we saw not only a record of total applications started and completed, but we saw students from 80 counties start the application. In our history, we have never seen a pool of applicants as strong and diverse as the Class of 2020, 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.
“What an honor it is to welcome The Gatton Academy’s Class of 2020! These 99 high school sophomores with advanced ability and high interest in the STEM fields come from across Kentucky and are a great representation of the state,” said Dr. Julia Roberts, Executive Director of The Gatton Academy. “The Gatton Academy’s goal from day one was to partner with all school districts in the Commonwealth so students would have more advanced opportunities, and with this class, we have had a student accepted from 97 percent of the counties in the state.”
Students will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in Florence Schneider Hall and 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. The Gatton Academy has been named to The Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for nine consecutive years.
• Abrar Rahman (Glasgow High School) – son of Momen and Tahmina Rahman from Cave City
• Ashley Wright (Barren County High School) – daughter of Brandon and Debra Wright from Cave City