Inside the Gatton Academy Part 3: A springboard to big things

02/25/2013 11:42 AM

Kentucky already is beginning to reap the fruits of its experiment with an elite science, math and technology high school based on Western Kentucky University’s campus.

The first crop of Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science graduates (those who attended as juniors and seniors in 2007-2008) are now entering the workforce after getting their college — and in some cases — postgraduate degrees.

One of those, Chad Phillips, has returned

Phillips has seen the competition and quality of the Gatton students skyrocket. The average ACT score of the class of 2013, for instance, is up to 31 and more are applying with perfect 36 scores, he said.

The residential high school program also has succeeded in cultivating the students’ interest in science, math, engineering and technology through research opportunities in WKU’s labs and study abroad program. And while some of the 239 Gatton graduates between 2008-2012 have gone on to Harvard, Princeton, MIT and Stanford, many have chosen to stay in Kentucky for higher education and beyond. Seventy-nine, so far, have stayed at WKU, 72 have gone to the University of Kentucky and 27 to the University of Louisville.

Senior reporter Don Weber, whose daughter Hannah is a current junior at Gatton, takes a look at the future — for both Gatton graduates and the school, itself — in the third part of his in-depth look at Kentucky’s statewide elite magnet school:

You also can revisit part 1 of the series about how Gatton operates and part 2 that focuses on why students chose Gatton.


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