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16 Newton students selected for Duke TIP

Special Photo. The Newton County Board of Education recently recognized students selected for the Duke University Talent Identification Program. Pictured, not in order, are Reilley Walker, Brantley Proffitt, Justin Lewis, Elysia Larzabal, Charles Hall, Sean Eagen, Amelia Davis, Adam Nguyen, Heather Yu, Paris James Smith, Monaye Pollard and Kendall Morgan; not pictured are Christopher Lightsey, Angel Li, Dillon Diamond and Nicholas Anderson.

Special Photo. The Newton County Board of Education recently recognized students selected for the Duke University Talent Identification Program. Pictured, not in order, are Reilley Walker, Brantley Proffitt, Justin Lewis, Elysia Larzabal, Charles Hall, Sean Eagen, Amelia Davis, Adam Nguyen, Heather Yu, Paris James Smith, Monaye Pollard and Kendall Morgan; not pictured are Christopher Lightsey, Angel Li, Dillon Diamond and Nicholas Anderson.

COVINGTON -- A few Newton County students may end up having a busy summer because of some high test scores.

Recently, the Newton County School System announced that 16 middle school students were recognized in the Duke University Talent Identification Program, or TIP.

The Duke TIP is a seventh-grade talent search that began in 1980, and since then, more than two million students have participated in it. The program identifies academically talented seventh-graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school.

In order to be eligible to

participate in the program, students must be in the seventh grade or a current eighth-grader who skipped seventh grade and have a qualifying test score. Students must have scored at the 95th percentile or higher on an accepted subtest or total battery or a composite of a grade-level standardized achievement test, aptitude test, mental-ability test or an approved state criterion-referenced test.

For most seventh-grade students, this represents scores from either the sixth grade or the fifth grade.

Those eligible to participate in Duke TIP are invited to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exam as seventh-graders; normally the test is given to high school juniors and seniors.

"This is about as good as it gets," NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews said.

Sixteen NCSS students who participated in the program earned either state or grand level recognition or the opportunity to participate in one of Duke's summer opportunity programs.

* A student qualified to participate in Duke TIP's Academy for Summer Studies, which offers academic and social experiences for students, if they are among the top 5 percent of academically talented students in their grade level.

Qualifying Newton County students include Reilley Walker, Brantley Proffitt, Justin Lewis, Elysia Larzabal, Charles Hall, Sean Eagen and Amelia Davis, all from Indian Creek Middle School, and Monaye Pollard and Christopher Lightsey, from Clements Middle School.

* Students qualified to participate in Duke TIP's Center for Summer Studies if they represent the highest-scoring students in TIP. The program offers challenging and rigorous courses to academically gifted students.

Qualifying NCSS students include Heather Yu from ICMS, Kendall Morgan from Clements and Nicholas Anderson and Dillon Diamond from Cousins Middle School.

* In addition to the Summer Studies programs, students may also qualify for invitation to a Duke TIP state or grand recognition ceremony.

Davis, Eagen, Hall, Larzabal, Lewis, Lightsey, Morgan, Pollard, Proffitt and Yu also earned state recognition, as well as Adam Nguyen, from Indian Creek Middle School, Paris James Smith from Clements Middle School and Angel Li from Cousins Middle School.

In order to qualify for state recognition, students must have earned at least a 20 on the ACT English or math sections or at least a 21 on the reading or science sections or they must have scored a 19 on English and Math sections and a 20 on the reading and science portions of the test. Also, they could have scored a 502 or greater on the SAT math section, 510 on critical reading or 500 on writing or a 510 on math, 500 in critical reading and a 490 in writing.

Anderson and Diamond both earned state and grand recognition invitations. The ceremony is held at the Duke University campus, where students receive a commemorative medal.

To qualify for grand recognition, students must have made at least a 28 on the ACT English or math sections, 30 on reading or a 26 on the science section or as a composite score. Also, they could have earned a 670 or more on the SAT math section or 650 or more on the critical reading or writing or had a combined score of at least 1,850.