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TIP students honored by school board
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Newton County board members set aside budgetary woes Tuesday to recognize an amazing group of seventh grade students.

The 16 students were all recognized for their achievements in the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP). The program identifies the most academically gifted seventh-graders based on the standardized test scores from elementary or middle school. Students who are eligible are invited to take the ACT or SAT college entrance exam.

Newton County students were eligible for several programs based on their scores. The summer studies academy has some of the most challenging and rigorous courses available to academically gifted students in the country. To qualify a student must be in the top five percent of the students on the grade level.

There is also a state recognition ceremony in which students must score at least a 20 on ACT English and math or a 21 on ACT reading and science or a 502 or greater in SAT math, a 510 or greater in SAT critical reading or a 500 or better on SAT writing.

Duke TIP's grand recognition program requires students to have a 28 or above on ACT English and math or a 26 or above in ACT science or composite or a 30 or above in ACT reading. Students taking the SAT must score a 670 or greater in SAT math or a 650 or greater in SAT critical reading and writing. They may also have a combination score of 1850 for the SAT.

Indian Creek student Reilly Walker qualified for the summer studies program, and students Brantley Proffitt, Justin Lewis, Elysia Larzabel, Charles Hall, Sean Eagen, Amelia Davis and Heather Yu all qualified for summer studies and state recognition. Adam Nguyen qualified for state recognition.

Clements students Monaye Pollard, Kendall Morgan and Christopher Lightsey all qualified for summer studies and state recognition, while Paris James Smith qualified for state recognition.

Cousins student Angel Li qualified for state recognition and Dillon Diamond and Nicholas Anderson both qualified for summer studies, state and grand recognition.

The board gave the students a standing ovation for their amazing accomplishments.