BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2012) — The Kentucky Senate formally recognized the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science on Monday for ranking as Newsweek magazine’s No. 1 school in the nation.
Newsweek unveiled its ranking in May after scoring 1,000 schools from across the United States based on four-year, on-time graduation rate, college matriculation rate, average SAT/ACT scores, and other criteria.
Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, Sen. Ken Winters, R-Murray and Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green signed the certificate of recognition presented to Gatton Academy Executive Director Julia Roberts and Director Tim Gott during a meeting of the 2012 Interim Joint Committee on Education in Frankfort.
The certificate conveyed the Senate’s “sincere congratulations for this notable achievement and highest commendation for the provocative role (the Gatton Academy) has assumed in the effort to enhance and expand educational opportunities for all of its students.”
Local legislators, including Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, Rep. Wilson Stone, D-Scottsville and Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Rockfield and Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday also offered congratulations to Roberts, Gott and all Gatton Academy students, staff and administrators.
“It was a true honor to be recognized by Kentucky’s Interim Joint Committee on Education for our No. 1 ranking from Newsweek,” Gott said. “We are proud to demonstrate that Kentucky students stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best young men and women from across the United States of America. We are deeply indebted to the legislators of Kentucky who made the Gatton Academy possible.”
Many of these legislators were present as Gott and Roberts presented the Gatton Academy’s five-year report to the joint committee with testimony from Gatton senior Kesi Neblett of Russellville and 2010 Gatton graduate Sam Brown of Bowling Green.
Gott noted that 267 students from 107 Kentucky counties and 171 public schools have graduated from the Gatton Academy with a high school diploma and at least 60 hours of college credit since the academy opened in 2007 at WKU. These students have received prestigious honors such as the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and the U.S. Department of Defense SMART (science, mathematics and research for transformation) Scholarship and presented at 264 scientific meetings and conferences in the past five years.
All of the graduates matriculated to four-year universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.
Roberts — who, along with members of The Center for Gifted Studies’ Victoria Fellows, also testified about the importance of gifted education in Kentucky — noted that providing students opportunities like the Gatton Academy is crucial to the Commonwealth’s success in the 21st century.
“The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science was opened five years ago with a goal of being a beacon for academic excellence throughout Kentucky, and the staff and students are proud to have been recognized by Newsweek for academic excellence,” Roberts said. “Academic excellence is a requirement for a bright future in our state and nation, and the commendation from the Kentucky Senate is genuinely appreciated.”