Each of these students scored at the 90th percentile or above on the Grade 11 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
“To our distinguished students, you are here this evening because you rank in the top 10 percent of all students in the nation who took the PSAT exam in October of this school year,” Petruzielo said during the ceremony. “That is a major accomplishment, one for which you should be very proud. As academic leaders, you have the potential to continue distinguishing yourselves as high school seniors, in your college pursuits and, eventually, in your chosen careers.”
The Key Scholars received a school district certificate of achievement and a letter jacket patch that reads “Superintendent’s Key Scholar.” Each student will also be honored at his or her school’s year-end awards ceremony as a Superintendent’s Key Scholar.
The Key Scholar Program is a districtwide academic recognition plan that begins in elementary schools with students qualifying for the nationally recognized Duke University Talent Identification Program, or Duke TIP.
“Over the last four years, more than 1,000 Cherokee County School District students in grades four and five qualified for the Duke TIP program by achieving exceptional scores on either the Cognitive Abilities Test or the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills,” said Barbara Jacoby, school district spokeswoman.
Each student receiving this recognition received a certificate of achievement at his or her school’s year-end awards ceremony; and the Cherokee County School District has received special recognition from Duke University for having the largest number of students identified in the state of Georgia.
At the middle school level, the Key Scholars Program also includes Duke’s TIP, through which eligible students have the opportunity to get a head start on SAT and ACT testing, which usually does not begin until high school. Seventh-grade students participate in this nationally standardized testing, with many receiving state recognition; and they are also recognized at a school board meeting and at a special Duke University ceremony in Atlanta.
For high school students, the Key Scholar Program focuses on the Preliminary SAT. Freshmen scoring at the 80th percentile or above on the PSAT receive a certificate of achievement at their school’s year-end awards ceremonies. Sophomores scoring at the 85th percentile or above on the PSAT receive a certificate of achievement at their school’s year-end awards ceremonies.
The top award in the Key Scholar Program goes to seniors who qualify as National Merit Scholars.
“Over the past seven years, these academically outstanding students have led their classes as they marched across the stage at graduation wearing a special gold medallion,” Jacoby said.