Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

Record Number of Gatton Academy Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalist

Record Number of Gatton Academy Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalist

Eighteen seniors from The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky have been recognized as semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program, marking the most students recognized in one school year in the school’s history.

Since The Gatton Academy’s inception in 2007, 97 students have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Fifty-eight current Gatton Academy seniors took the PSAT, meaning 31 percent of the students made the National Merit Semifinalist level.

The 2016 National Merit Semifinalists from The Gatton Academy are:

  • Katie Alexander (Louisville Male High School) of Louisville
  • Alexander Banaszak (Oldham County High School) of Crestwood
  • Vishnu “Karthik” Boyareddygari (South Warren High School) of Bowling Green
  • Matthew Broadbent (Heritage Christian Academy) of Cerulean
  • Katherine Brown (duPont Manual High School) of Louisville
  • Mark Carrender (Somerset Christian School) of Somerset
  • Matthew Courtwright (Marion County High School) of Campbellsville
  • Veronica Johnson (Bowling Green High School) of Bowling Green
  • Aaron Kirtland (South Oldham High School) of Crestwood
  • Elaine Losekamp (Greenwood High School) of Bowling Green
  • Benjamin Luckett (Woodford County High School) of Versailles
  • Samuel Newton (Central Hardin High School) of Elizabethtown
  • Eileen Price (duPont Manual High School) of Louisville
  • Sara Saeed (duPont Manual High School) of Louisville
  • Taylor Senay (Elizabethtown High School) of Elizabethtown
  • Patricia Thompson (Owensboro Catholic High School) of Owensboro
  • Jessica Williams (Randall K. Cooper High School) of Florence
  • Amanda Zahn (Larry A. Ryle High School) of Walton

Approximately 1.6 million juniors entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which serves as the initial screen of program entrants. From this list comes the nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

“The Gatton Academy’s Class of 2017 is clearly remarkable.  This is one of many ways in which our students outstandingly represent the Commonwealth and their home communities. We applaud the excellent preparation our students received in their sending high schools and school districts,” said Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove.  “We are proud of the hard work and focus with which these students pursue academic achievement.  We are also proud of how they contribute to the community within our school, in Bowling Green, and in their hometowns.”

Since students take the qualifying PSAT exam in October of their junior year of high school, much of their preparation stems from learning opportunities during their freshman and sophomore years of high school. The Gatton Academy builds on those experiences to provide students with a robust application and preparation for the SAT, a critical component in becoming a finalist.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, which provides information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.  A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Finalists will be announced in February with scholarship recipients being notified in four nationwide releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

For information about The Gatton Academy, visit or call (270) 745-6565.

About the National Merit Scholarship Program: Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Achievement® Scholarship Program–annual competitions for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. The honors awarded by NMSC to exceptionally able students are viewed as definitive marks of excellence. Recipients of Merit Scholarship® awards, Achievement Scholarship® awards, and corporate-sponsored Special Scholarships have increased the nation’s respect for intellectual accomplishments and have contributed significantly to its talent pool of future leaders.

All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
Gordon Ford College of Business
Ogden News
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Emergency Preparedness
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
Department Will Be Closed

The Department of Student Financial Assistance will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 22nd through Friday, Nov. 25th. The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27th.

Thanksgiving Break Parking and Transit

Wed, Nov 22 - Sun, Nov 26

WKU College of Health and Human Services Opens Student-Applied Research Center

Western Kentucky University’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) will honor the opening of their first student-applied research center, the WKU Center for Environmental and Workplace Health (CEWH).

Featured Articles
Department Will Be Closed

The Department of Student Financial Assistance will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 22nd through Friday, Nov. 25th. The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27th.

WKU Forensics Team wins debate tournaments at Illinois State

WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.

WKU GEO Faculty/Staff/Students Attend Two National Conferences

Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 Last Modified 5/2/17