Several academically talented seventh-graders in Ellis County have been recognized for their exceptional scores on the ACT or SAT through the Duke University Talent Identification Program.

The program identifies seventh-grade students in a 16-state area who have scored in the 95th percentile or above on a grade-level achievement test.

As part of the program, these students take above-level college-entrance exams (SAT or ACT) to learn more about their abilities.

The Ellis County students who have been honored all qualified for the state recognition ceremony. If they took the SAT examination, the students had to score at least 520 on math or at least 510 on critical reading or at least a combined score of 510 on math and 500 on critical reading.

If they took the ACT examination, the students had to score at least a 21 on any section: math, verbal, reading or science.

The Ellis County seventh-grade honorees included:

Ennis Junior High - Carly Moore and Chelsea Raburn

Ferris Junior High - Deaven Bean

Frank Seale Middle (Midlothian) - Anderson Messer and Cayn Miller

Italy High - Agnew Katy

Red Oak Junior High - Shana Chancellor and Lance Harper

Walnut Grove Middle (Midlothian) - Courtney Bauer, Rachel Hurst and Emily McDurmitt

Waxahachie Junior High - John Dueker, Lydia Hantsche, Preston Harris, Tanner Kirk and Justin Miller

This year, of the 67,757 participants nationally, 21,301 students (31 percent) have been invited to attend state recognition ceremonies.

“The recognition ceremonies are inspiring events,” said Martha Putallaz, Ph.D., executive director of Duke TIP and professor of psychology at Duke University. “It is rare that so many gifted students can come together to be honored for their achievements and encouraged by their intellectual peers. The honorees have proven, at this young age, their capacity for great things. We hope they consider their achievement to be an invitation to pursue an ambitious path in life.”

The state recognition ceremonies honor seventh-graders who have earned scores equal or better than half the college-bound seniors who took the tests.

Working with host academic institutions, Duke TIP sponsors 34 different state ceremonies in its 16-state talent search region 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.

In addition to the above-level testing experience, all talent search participants receive educational materials and resources through 10th grade to help them develop to their full academic potential.

Based on SAT or ACT scores, students may qualify to participate in Duke TIP’s summer studies or e-studies programs. Duke TIP also runs a talent search for fourth- and fifth-graders.

Duke TIP is a nonprofit, educational organization that identifies and helps cultivate the talents of academically gifted youth. Since 1980, more than 1.8 million students from all parts of the world have participated in Duke TIP. Student fees and donations from individuals, corporations and foundations sustain the program.

For more information about Duke TIP’s talent search or programs, call (919) 668-9100 or visit