Gatton Academy Named Intel Schools of Distinction

The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University was named a finalist in Intel Corporation’s 2012 Schools of Distinction Awards in the high school category for its excellence in science.

The Intel Schools of Distinction program recognized The Gatton Academy for its achievement in science, providing a rich curriculum incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students for 21st century jobs. The Gatton Academy’s program encourages student achievement in sciences and engineering, while simultaneously helping students become knowledgeable consumers of news and data in order to grow as engaged leaders and informed citizens.

The Gatton Academy is the first Kentucky school to become a finalist in the program since Intel introduced the program in 2006. The other finalists in the high school science category are Boston Latin School in Boston, Mass., and Asinine High School in Asinine, N.Y.
“The schools selected as Intel Schools of Distinction are leaders in preparing their students to become America’s next generation of thinkers and doers,” said Shelly Esq, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. “Intel is recognizing these schools as exemplary models of what can be achieved through hard work and innovation in the areas of math and science.”

The Gatton Academy, along with the 17 other finalist schools at the elementary, middle and high school level nationwide, will receive a $5,000 award from the Intel Foundation and a trip to Washington, D.C., in September, when six schools will be named Intel Schools of Distinction. These six schools will each win an additional $5,000 from the Intel Foundation and a package of goods and services with a total value of approximately $500,000 split among the schools.

Dr. Tim Gotta, director of The Gatton Academy, noted that it is an incredible honor for the school to be selected as an Intel Schools of Distinction finalist. “It is a major affirmation of the work our students have accomplished over the past five years,” Gotta said. “Our partnership with WK has opened exceptional opportunities. From exploring the micro-world of genomes to the macro-world of dark matter in the universe, the classroom and research experiences here have allowed students the chance to enrich their education in powerful ways. This environment continues to equip our students to be the future leaders in STEM fields.”

The recognition by Intel is part of a growing portfolio of honors for The Gatton Academy. Each year since 2009, the school has been recognized among “Public Elites” American high schools by Washington Post education columnist Jay Matthews. In 2011, the Academy ranked fifth among all U.S. high schools in Newsweek’s annual survey of “America’s Best High Schools.”

Intel Schools of Distinction serve as outstanding examples of leaders in preparing tomorrow’s innovators, noted Corey Alder dice, the assistant director for admissions and public relations at The Gatton Academy. Alder dice served as the lead author on the school’s application for the award.

“One of the unique elements of The Gatton Academy’s application was that our program serves as an extension of each of the commonwealth’s public high schools,” Alder dice said. “We are proud to offer an innovative curriculum within a residential program for many of Kentucky’s brightest young minds. We take equal pride in continuing the good work of the educators from students’ sending schools, who have already done so much to challenge, inspire, and engage them.”

One of the six schools will also be selected as “Star Innovator,” will receive $25,000 from the Intel Foundation, and additional prizes and services from sponsors.

Intel’s sponsorship of the Schools of Distinction Awards is part of the Intel® Education Initiative, a sustained public-private partnership with governments in more than 50 countries. Through this $100 million a year initiative, Intel delivers programs which improve the effective use of technology to enhance 21st century skills and encourages excellence in mathematics, science and engineering. For information, visit

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