Almost 70 county seventh-graders honored for high SAT, ACT scores


Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 6:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 10:14 p.m.

A few dozen Alachua County seventh-graders outscored half of all high school juniors and seniors who took college entrance exams this year.

Next week, the Duke University Talent Identification Program, known as TIP, will recognize 69 Alachua County seventh-graders who earned test scores in the same range as the top-performing 50 percent of high school juniors and seniors.

Seven of the students are among the highest scorers in the United States.

If you start that high as a seventh-grader, said Alachua County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Hershel Lyons, "just imagine where you will be when you become a senior."

Lyons said taking these tests in middle school helps students get an idea of the subjects they're strongest in and where they need to improve.

More than anything, he said, earning high scores now motivates students to keep improving.

About 74,000 students took the SAT or ACT this year as part of TIP, which identifies high-achieving middle school students.

The 69 Alachua County students, plus other top scorers from around the state, will be honored at a May 7 ceremony in Jacksonville.

On May 20, 1,670 seventh-graders who scored equal to or better than 90 percent of juniors or seniors will be honored at Duke University in North Carolina.

Seven of those students are from Alachua County.

They are: Ailis Grieshaber, from Howard Bishop Middle School; Joseph Hardin and Otto Piramuthu, from Kanapaha Middle School; Sidhika Balachandar, Daniel Koropeckyj-Cox and Alex Maruniak, from Lincoln Middle School; and Corey Ryan, from Westwood Middle School.

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