A Corbin High School sophomore is one of two area students selected for Western Kentucky University’s Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Sciences.
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected two Knox County sophomores for the Class of 2020.
Sarah Pedersen, the daughter of Paul and Ann Pedersen, is one of 99 Kentucky sophomores selected for the program.
Joining Pedersen will be Laura Beth Mills, who attends Knox Central High School.
“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 Director of The Gatton Academy, Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “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.
Pedersen reflects on the application process as challenging yet rewarding, even offering a bit of advice to peers who wish to apply to Gatton in the future.
“The Gatton application was definitely a long process. However, if you start early, it gives you a lot of time to consistently revise and improve your essays and supporting materials,” said Pedersen. “In the end, it was so worth it, and I’m so excited to start next fall!”
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 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.