The Gatton Academy's News Archive
Reagan Phelps, Gatton Academy, Bardstown Senior Senior Receives Appointment to West Point
- Tuesday, March 7th, 2023
Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science and Bardstown High School Senior, Reagan Phelps, received the honor of being nominated to the United States Military Academy by Congressman Brett Guthrie of the Commonwealth’s 2nd Congressional District. Phelps, who has been working towards becoming an officer in the military since the age of nine has accepted the appointment and will head to West Point on June 26th.
Congressman Guthrie visited The Gatton Academy on Thursday, March 2nd, to give Phelps her appointment personally.
“Reagan Phelps is the kind of person who can absolutely excel in our program because [she’s] proven that [she] can,” said Congressman Guthrie during the press conference. “She seemed to really be someone that wants to be a leader – to lead men and women – and that’s what it’s all about.”
Phelps has not been working towards this goal on her own. Phelps’s father, Joseph Phelps, served in the United States Army and instilled the value of selfless service in his children from a young age. Phelps’s mother, Amanda, shared with guests at the ceremony that, “My husband has always, from day one, told them if someone needs something done, you raise your hand. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, and honestly, she has kept that mentality.”
During her time at The Gatton Academy, Phelps has grown as a leader. She participates in the STEM+ Critical Language Program, enrolling in intensive Russian coursework throughout her two years. This led to her obtaining a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarship to live and study in Estonia for six weeks between her junior and senior years. Phelps plans to continue studying Russian at West Point.
When reflecting on these experiences and her next steps, Phelps said,
“It’s going to be a struggle but I’ve learned through Gatton that some of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I’ve come out slightly better after….I should just say thank you. I worked hard to get here but it’s the teams behind me that made this possible.”
Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy shared of Phelps, “Reagan has been a valuable member of our Class of 2023. She has shown that she can be a leader in and out of the classroom and seeks out challenge. We are excited for her to pursue that challenge in her next chapter at the US Military Academy.”
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 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.
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