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Elizabeth Lanier Selected for WKU's Gatton Academy

Elizabeth Lanier Selected for WKU's Gatton Academy

Calloway County High School sophomore Elizabeth Lanier has been selected for The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University. Ninety-nine students in Kentucky were selected for this prestigious honor, marking The Gatton Academy's 18th incoming class. Students at The Gatton Academy will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in Florence Schneider Hall at WKU.  At the end of their two-year course of study, students will graduate from high school with a minimum of 60 college credit hours.

At Calloway County, Lanier is a successful speech writer earning several regional and state titles since the sixth grade. She also enjoys competing on her school’s Academic Team, FFA and FBLA. She is a founding member of the CCHS Interact Club, and this year she was appointed to the Board of Directors for Playhouse in the Park. Elizabeth is also an active member of her church’s youth group. She is the daughter of Alan and Catherine Lanier.

Applicants were evaluated based on ACT/SAT scores, high school grades, awards and accomplishments, extracurricular activities, responses to essay and short answer questions, and recommendation forms. In addition to these criteria, candidates were invited to interview with WKU faculty members, community leaders from across the Commonwealth, and Gatton Academy alumni. Students from 46 counties make up the Class of 2025. 

“Each year we are reminded Kentucky is filled with remarkable students seeking advanced coursework and challenge in their education," said the Director of The Gatton Academy, Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “The Class of 2025 are an inspiring group who have been supported and encouraged by many people in their local schools, districts, and communities.”

The mission of The Gatton Academy is to provide a residential program on the campus of Western Kentucky University for bright, highly motivated Kentucky high school students who have demonstrated interests in pursuing advanced careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students enhance their creativity, curiosity, reasoning ability, and self-discipline through the companionship of peers, university courses, faculty-led research, and study abroad, preparing them for leadership roles in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Moreover, The Gatton Academy assists in preparing Kentucky to compete in a knowledge-based economy by increasing the number of scientists and engineers with ties to the state.

The Gatton Academy provides a rich living and learning environment designed specifically for academically talented adolescent students that features clubs, organizations, and community service. Additionally, students are able to participate in advanced research with WKU faculty members. Research conducted during students’ time at The Gatton Academy has been honored in the nationally competitive Regeneron Science Talent Search, Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, and published in scientific journals. Study abroad opportunities allow students to participate in global learning experiences in locations such as Costa Rica and England.

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 is a recipient of the 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from Insight Into Diversity Magazine and the Innovation Partnership Award from the National Consortium for Secondary STEM Schools.