Gatton Academy celebrates decade of educating Kentucky's best and brightest students

08/23/2017 08:26 AM

SOUTH UNION – The 2017-18 school year marks the 10th anniversary for The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science on the campus of Western Kentucky University.

The junior and senior high school residential academy was established to allow gifted and highly motivated junior and senior Kentucky high school students to live, study and do research on the Western Kentucky University campus.

Gatton, which is always ranked as one of the top high schools in the nation, started with 120 students, but that total has been upped to the current total of 190 thanks to additional funding from the General Assembly. Their success has fueled the opening of another academy, the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, on the campus of Morehead State University.

Gatton celebrated with a 3-day Gatton 10-Year Celebration Weekend which culminated with a solar eclipse viewing party on Monday.

Gatton Dr. Lynette Breedlove believes that there are specific reasons why the academy has been such a success.

“I think what Gatton does really well is provide an almost unlimited academic opportunity for our students, at the same we provide significant social emotional support that’s really tailored to our students needs,” Breedlove said. “It allows them to be 14-18, but be allowed to advantage of any academic thing that they want.

Executive Director Dr. Julia Roberts believes that the state taxpayers and Gatton students get the best for the buck with the Gatton model.

“There’s not doubt that this is the most cost effective of the two models because a free standing school has to have its own library, own cafeteria, own everything, and being on the WKU campus, we have access to university professors, to any speaker who comes to campus, to the university library, multiple restaurants,” Roberts said. “It’s just the best way to do it.”

This year, 93 students from The Gatton Academy were involved in some form of summer learning from research internships to study abroad to community service projects. Five students from The Gatton Academy took 1st place in the Kentucky Envirothon competition.

The Washington post has listed the Gatton Academy as a Top Performing School for the ninth consecutive year.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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