Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 96 Kentucky sophomores for the Class of 2021, one of which includes Edmonson County sophomore, Ava Kate Lich.
“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," she said. "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.
Students from 54 counties represent the Class of 2021.
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 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 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.
Ava is the daughter of Stuart and Amanda Lich from the Windyville community.
Mackenzie Daniels, 2017 valedictorian of ECHS, was also a recent Gatton Academy student.