Local student celebrated for academic excellence

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Provided by Johns Hopkins University

Ava Cantarella receives the JHU CTY Award

Haymarket second-grader Ava Cantarella was honored as one of the brightest young students in the world at a recent international awards ceremony sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY).

Ava, a participant in the CTY Talent Search, was recognized for scoring exceptionally high on a rigorous, above-grade-level test and earning a distinction of “High Honors” from Johns Hopkins CTY. She was one of approximately 27,000 students from more than 65 countries who participated in the CTY Talent Search between March 2016 and February 2017.

As part of the CTY Talent Search, advanced students in second through eighth grades take challenging tests that can reveal their true capacity for learning. Seventh and eighth graders take the SAT or ACT, the same tests used for college admissions. These students may also take advanced versions of the School and College Ability Test (SCAT) or the Spatial Test Battery (STB). Younger students take the SCAT, STB, or PSAT 8/9. Only about 25 percent of Talent Search participants earn the High Honors designation.

CTY alumni include Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook; the musician and actress Lady Gaga; Terence Tao, the 2006 Fields Medal recipient; and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

“We congratulate all of our CTY Talent Search honorees for their hard work and academic achievement,” said Elaine Tuttle Hansen, executive director of CTY. “This is a moment not just to celebrate our students, but to honor the parents and educators who recognized their academic talent and provided them with opportunities to develop it.”

A global leader in gifted education since 1979, CTY is focused on recognizing academic talent in exceptional K-12 students and supporting their growth with courses, services, and resources specifically designed to meet their needs. CTY draws students from 50 states and 80 countries worldwide. In 2016, CTY provided $5.8 million in need-based financial aid to more than 5,200 qualified students.


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