For the first time ever, a Highlands Latin School student has been accepted into The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky. Sophomore Mason Hartlage received the honor and will be leaving HLS and living on campus at Western Kentucky University enrolled full time in the program.
“Going to HLS for the past four years has really prepared me for starting at The Gatton Academy and WKU,” said Mason. “I feel like between the high-level classes and challenging teachers, I am extremely prepared to start college two years early. I feel prepared to take on a college workload and homework because of the rigorous academics I have experienced at HLS.”
The Gatton Academy provides a residential program on the campus of Western Kentucky University for high school students who have demonstrated interests in pursuing advanced STEM careers. For both their junior and senior years in high school, students enhance their learning on the college campus through dual-credit university courses and research, all while being prepared for leadership roles in Kentucky.
“The Gatton Academy’s incoming Class of 2024 is made up of remarkable young people from across the Commonwealth!” said Dr. Lynette Breedlove, the academy’s director. “They are an inspiring group who have been supported and encouraged by many people in their local communities.”
A total of 98 sophomores make up the Class of 2024, coming from 46 counties in Kentucky. At the end of their two-year course of study, students like Hartlage will graduate from high school with a minimum of 60 college credit hours.
“I am very excited. Gatton is an outstanding program that offers many opportunities that will help me both in my college years and throughout my career,” said Mason. “I’ll have the chance to study abroad, enroll in mechanical engineering courses beginning next year, and have the opportunity to work in research labs and participate in a modern critical language course. But I’ll really miss the HLS community, my friends, and the experiences I was looking forward to as a junior and senior that I won’t get to have by starting college early.”
The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first state-supported, two-year residential program for high school students and is one of only 15 such STEM programs in the nation. Congratulations to Mason for working hard and achieving such a prestigious milestone!