South Middle students honored for academics

Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

Four South Middle School students have excelled academically to where they are being recognized through a special program by Duke University, based in Durham, N.C.

Students Billy Sims, Rachel Hammer, Victoria Howard and Macasia Dedrick recently received state recognition for their American College Testing scores in the Duke Talent Identification Program.

Academically-talented seventh graders are being recognized this spring for their exceptional scores on the ACT or Scholastic Assessment Test.

South Middle School students Billy Sims (from left), Rachel Hammer, Victoria Howard and Macasia Dedrick recently received state recognition for their American College Testing scores in the Duke Talent Identification Program.

South Middle School students Billy Sims (from left), Rachel Hammer, Victoria Howard and Macasia Dedrick recently received state recognition for their American College Testing scores in the Duke Talent Identification Program.

Duke University Talent Identification Program’s (Duke TIP) 7th Grade Talent Search identifies students across the United States who have scored at or above the 95th percentile on a grade-level achievement test. As part of the program, these academically talented students take above-level college-entrance exams (ACT or SAT) to learn more about their abilities.

Duke TIP hosts annual recognition ceremonies to honor the seventh graders who score highest on these ACT or SAT exams. This year, of the over 64,896 participants nationally, 21,775 students have been invited to attend state recognition ceremonies and 1,894 students have been invited to the grand recognition ceremony.

Martha Putallaz, PhD, executive director of Duke TIP and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, summed up the program’s signifi cance.

“As seventh graders, these students have achieved scores on the ACT or SAT rivaling those of half of collegebound seniors who took the tests,” she said in a published statement. “We are extremely proud of our ceremonies honorees, and we appreciate the opportunity to celebrate their achievement and encourage them in their academic potential.”

Working with host academic institutions, Duke TIP sponsors 36 ceremonies in 16 states during the months of May and June. Speakers include university administrators and professors from the host institutions, state and government officials, and accomplished former Duke TIP students.

The grand recognition ceremony honors seventh graders who have earned scores equal to or better than 90 percent of college-bound seniors who took the same tests. The event will be held May 19 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on the Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina. Mary-Dell Chilton, PhD, of Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., will be this year’s keynote speaker.

About Duke TIP

The Duke University Talent Identifi cation Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofi t educational organization that is recognized as a leader in identifying and serving the educational needs of academically gifted youth. Through identifi cation, recognition, challenging educational programs, information, advocacy and research, Duke TIP provides resources to gifted students, their parents, educators, and schools for the development of the students’ optimal educational potential.

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