The Gatton Academy selects 96 students for class of 2021

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 96 Kentucky sophomores for the class of 2021.

“We are very excited to welcome such a remarkable group of students to the Gatton class of 2021! These students are coming from all across the Commonwealth to pursue their wide-ranging interests and engage in rigorous scholarship,” said Director of The Gatton Academy, Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “Each year admissions decisions are difficult, as there are more exceptional students interested in STEM topics and advanced learning opportunities than we can serve. We appreciate the hard work in which public schools are engaging to find innovative ways to meet the needs of their students.”

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 31.66 on the ACT and 31.18 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.

“I am thrilled that each one of the 96 students has agreed to be a part of our community for the next two years,” states Assistant Director for Admissions and Public Relations Zack Ryle. “The ability to offer this opportunity to these 96 bright students, which brings The Gatton Academy to our funded capacity, is truly exciting. I look forward to seeing each student grow in immeasurable ways over their next two years and beyond!”

Students from 54 counties represent the class of 2021. Among those students accepted include the second students accepted in The Gatton Academy’s eleven-year history from the following counties: Clinton, Cumberland, and Powell. All told, The Gatton Academy has had students attend from 117 of the 120 counties in Kentucky.

“This year, we not only saw a high number of total applications started and completed, but we saw students from 85 counties start the application,” states Ryle. “Our goal is always to represent the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I can honestly say that we have never seen a pool of applicants as strong and diverse as the class of 2021, 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 a pleasure it is to welcome the 2021 class of The Gatton Academy,” stated Dr. Julia Roberts, executive director of The Gatton Academy and Mahurin Professor of Gifted Education. “These young people represent Kentucky geographically as well as in other characteristics, carrying out the goal of The Gatton Academy to enable Kentucky’s exceptional young scientists and mathematicians to learn in an environment that offers advanced educational opportunities and develop as future leaders for the Commonwealth.”

Students will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in 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 Regeneron Science Talent Search, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. 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, two-year residential program for high school students with interests in advanced science and math careers and is 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. 

Students selected for The Gatton Academy’s class of 2021:

(Students are organized by county of residence, with their sending school in parenthesis.)

Adair County

  • Elizabeth Cook (Adair County High School) – daughter of Kelly and Nancy Cook from Columbia

Allen County

  • Sarah Hartman (Allen County-Scottsville High School) – daughter of Julie and Steve Hartman from Scottsville

Anderson County

  • Justin Hunter (Anderson County High School) – son of Alex and Amanda Hunter from Lawrenceburg

Boone County

  • John Dumancic (Larry A. Ryle High School) – son of Laura and Dominik Dumancic from Union
  • Rachel Hartline (Conner High School) – daughter of Stephanie and Jeff Hartline from Hebron
  • Krupa Hegde (Larry A. Ryle High School) – daughter of Narasimha and Shailaja Hegde from Union
  • Mina Ryumae (Larry A. Ryle High School) – daughter of Masaru and Kyong Ryumae from Union

Boyd County

  • Melanie Grimm (Paul G. Blazer High School) – daughter of Wendy and Jeff Grimm from Ashland
  • Matthew Street (Paul G. Blazer High School) – son of John and Lorie Street from Ashland

Boyle County

  • Sofia Farmer (Danville High School) – daughter of Brian and Suzanne Farmer from Danville

Breckinridge County

  • Jackson Powers (Breckinridge County High School) – son of Melissa and Michael Powers from Hardinsburg

Bullitt County

  • Isabella Smith (Bullitt East High School/Bullitt Advanced Math and Science (BAMS)) – daughter of Sheila Carwile and John Smith from Mt. Washington

Calloway County

  • Isaac Anderson (Calloway County High School) – son of Marty and Charity Anderson from Dexter

Campbell County

  • Raychel Kool (Campbell County High School) – daughter of Ken and Anna Kool from California (KY)
  • Lauren Taylor (Campbell County High School) – daughter of Patrick and Valerie Taylor from Cold Spring

Carter County

  • Nathaniel Gillispie (West Carter High School) – son of Wayne and Darlene Gillispie from Grayson

Casey County

  • Morgan Crowe (Casey County High School) – daughter of Chris and Candace Crowe from Liberty
  • Allicen White (Southwestern High School) – daughter of Stacey Murphy and Patrick White from Liberty

Christian County

  • Keegan Pendleton (Hopkinsville High School) – son of Scott and Terri Pendleton from Hopkinsville

Clinton County

  • David (Jake) Boils (Clinton County High School) – son of James David and Vicky Boils from Albany

Cumberland County

  • Jesse LaGrange (Homeschool) – son of John and Paige LaGrange from Burkesville

Daviess County

  • Calvin Higdon (Daviess County High School) – son of Donna and Robert Higdon from Philpot
  • Kharley Redmon (Daviess County High School) – daughter of Kristopher and Lori Ann Redmon from Owensboro

Edmonson County

  • Ava Lich (Edmonson County High School) – daughter of Stewart and Amanda Lich from Brownsville

Estill County

  • Morgan Samples (Estill County High School) – daughter of Jennifer Baker and Hugh Samples from Irvine

Fayette County

  • Nicholas Clevenger (Paul L. Dunbar High School) – son of Harry and Joy Clevenger from Lexington
  • Olivia Sharp (Henry Clay High School) – daughter of Monica Diaz and Ethan Sharp from Lexington

Franklin County

  • Ahmad Ateyeh (Western Hills High School) – son of Ossama Ateyeh and Ablah Atieh from Frankfort
  • Olufunmilola Obielodan (The Frankfort Christian Academy) – daughter of James and Doni Obielodan from Frankfort
  • Diksha Satish (Western Hills High School) – daughter of Satish Ramakrishnan and Aruna Lakshmanaperumalraja from Frankfort

Fulton County

  • Caleb Collins (Fulton County High School) – son of Aaron and Chanelle Collins from Fulton
  • Caleb Fields (Fulton County High School) – son of Tony and Karla Fields from Hickman

Graves County

  • Natalie Heath (Graves County High School) – daughter of William Barry and Ann Heath from Mayfield

Hancock County

  • Katelynn Huddy (Homeschool) – daughter of Matthew and Amy Huddy from Lewisport

Hardin County

  • Amadis Davis (North Hardin High School) – daughter of Insook Oh Davis from Radcliff
  • Steven Reid Lunsford (Elizabethtown High School) – son of Steven and Mary Ellen Lunsford from Elizabethtown
  • Jazmine Moore (Elizabethtown High School) – daughter of Corrado and Monika Moore from Elizabethtown

Harrison County

  • Caden Maners (Harrison County High School) – son of Chris and Toni Rae Maners from Cynthiana

Henry County

  • Jagger Rice (Henry County High School) – son of Robert and Lisa Rice from Eminence

Hopkins County

  • Olivia Newcom (Madisonville-North Hopkins High School) – daughter of Kimberly and Bradly Newcom from Madisonville
  • Tucker Ramage (Madisonville-North Hopkins High School) – son of Shannon and Randall Ramage from Madisonville
  • Jackson Summers (Madisonville-North Hopkins High School) – son of Chris and Crista Bugg and Brad and Kelly Summers from Madisonville

Jefferson County

  • Shreeya Arora (duPont Manual High School) – daughter of Shikha and Atul Arora from Louisville
  • Christine Belance (Fairdale High School) – daughter of Marise Alcegaire from Louisville
  • Arian Chopra (Louisville Male High School) – son of Manpreet S. and Manpreet K. Chopra from Louisville
  • Margaret Jones (duPont Manual High School) – daughter of Monica and Walter Jones from Louisville
  • Aarini Panzade (duPont Manual High School) – daughter of Mrinalini and Pradeep Panzade from Louisville
  • Aarohi Panzade (duPont Manual High School) – daughter of Mrinalini and Pradeep Panzade from Louisville
  • Matthew Poynter (St. Francis DeSales High School) – son of Stephanie and Martin Poynter from Louisville
  • Audrey Thacker (Eastern High School) – daughter of Mary and Arthur Thacker from Louisville

Kenton County

  • Brian Ellis (Lloyd Memorial High School) – son of Brian Ellis from Elsmere
  • Ashwin Menon (Simon Kenton High School) – son of Rajiv and Anita Menon from Independence
  • Alexandra Taylor (Dixie Heights High School) – daughter of William and Nadya Taylor from Crestview Hills

Knott County

  • Benjamin Handshoe (Hazard High School) – son of John Handshoe and Amy Wernette from Hazard
  • Samuel Hoffman (Knott County Central High School) – son of Robert and Tracy Hoffman from Hindman

Knox County

  • Caroline Evans (Corbin High School) – daughter of Brian and Teresa Evans from Barbourville

LaRue County

  • Jada Hunter-Hays (LaRue County High School) – daughter of Rosalyn Hunter from Hodgenville

Laurel County

  • Allison Pham (North Laurel High School) – daughter of Hieu and Anh Pham from London

Logan County

  • Maddox Saul (Russellville High School) – son of Jake and Jaime Saul from Russellville

Madison County

  • Coleman Reed (Berea Community High School) – son of Emily and Brian Reed from Berea

Marion County

  • William Fowler III (Bethlehem High School) – son of Jerry and Bobbi Fowler from Lebanon

McCracken County

  • Josiah Baumer (McCracken County High School) – son of David and Tricia Baumer from Paducah
  • Evelyn Dukes (McCracken County High School) – daughter of Mischelle Dukes from Paducah

Meade County

  • Isabelle Pike-Goff (Meade County High School) – daughter of Andrea and Gregory Pike-Goff from Brandenburg

Mercer County

  • William Ty Gordon (Mercer County Senior High School) – son of Terry and Angela Gordon from Salvisa

Metcalfe County

  • Cesar Magana (Metcalfe County High School) – son of Ashley Boston Gutierrez from Edmonton

Montgomery County

  • Abbott Catesby Pinney – (Montgomery County High School) – son of J.E.B. Pinney and Elizabeth Woodford from Mount Sterling

Nelson County

  • Joseph Lyvers (Bardstown High School) – son of Charlotte and Roger Lyvers from Loretto
  • Annabelle Roberts-Nault (Bardstown High School) – daughter of Heather and Christopher Roberts-Nault from Bardstown

Oldham County

  • Claire Chou (North Oldham High School) – daughter of Kevin Chou and Vivien Chao from Prospect
  • Ruby Mason (Oldham County High School) – daughter of Patricia and Roger Mason from Crestwood
  • Sanjana Nasta (North Oldham High School) – daughter of Sushil Nasta and Vinita Nasta from Prospect

Perry County

  • Laura Hanna (Hazard High School) – daughter of Salem and Kinda Hanna from Hazard
  • Abdallah Sher (The June Buchanan School) – son of Huria Farhan and Farhan Fazal from Hazard

Powell County

  • Christina Fizer (Powell County High School) – daughter of Barry Fizer and Barbara Graham from Ravenna

Rowan County

  • Andrew Davison (Rowan County Senior High School) – son of Rebecca and Scott Davison from Morehead

Russell County

  • Elisha Keegan Fletcher (Russell County High School) – son of Steven and Joy Fletcher from Russell Springs
  • Samuel Leveridge (Russell County High School) – son of Matthew Leveridge from Jamestown

Scott County

  • Brannon Spalding (Scott County High School) – son of Richard and Daphne Spalding from Georgetown

Shelby County

  • Treyden Stansfield (Martha Layne Collins High School) – son of Joseph and Tristen Stansfield from Shelbyville

Simpson County

  • Morgan Burk (Franklin-Simpson High School) – daughter of Paxx and Cindy Burk from Franklin

Spencer County

  • Cody Humphrey (Spencer County High School) – son of Jeff Humphrey and Jeanette Confer from Mt. Eden

Warren County

  • Jameson Allen-Mosby (South Warren High School) – son of Chris and Jamie Pile and Jeremy Mosby from Alvaton
  • Sachi Barnaby (Bowling Green High School – daughter of Jerry and Masako Barnaby from Bowling Green
  • Samuel Chang (Bowling Green High School) – son of Yining Chen and Nianchiu Chang from Bowling Green
  • Gloria Huang (South Warren High School) – daughter of Huanjing Wang and Guosheng Huang from Bowling Green
  • Jason Kash (Greenwood High School) – son of Jennifer and Jeffrey Kash from Bowling Green
  • Emily Mikovch (South Warren High School) – daughter of Andrew and Leigh Mikovch from Bowling Green
  • Anmol Sandhu (Bowling Green High School) – son of Tejinder and Manmeet Sandhu from Bowling Green
  • Janessa Unseld (South Warren High School) – daughter of Robert Unseld Jr. and Elizabeth Unseld from Bowling Green
  • Luke Wilson (Greenwood High School) – son of Jennifer and Ron Wilson from Bowling Green
  • Jason Zhang (Bowling Green High School) – son of Rui Zhang and Lei Peng from Bowling Green

Whitley County

  • Aaron Johnson (Corbin High School) – son of Angela Greenwood from Corbin
  • Anabeth Sharpe (Whitley County High School) – daughter of Michael and Regina Sharpe from Williamsburg

Woodford County

  • Lincoln Fuller (Woodford County High School) – son of John and Lynn Fuller from Versailles
  • Caleb May (Woodford County High School) – son of Jennifer and Anthony May from Versailles

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  • Not one student from Muhlenberg County, home of Mr. Gatton. Maybe in a few years when the impact of the Martin dollars kicks in. This is why workforce issues will be the bane of the community in attracting any quality industry. So sad.

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