Monroe students to Gatton

From left, Monroe County High School sophomore William Burroughs, MCHS teacher Sharon Froedge and MCHS Principal Max Petett watch MCHS sophomore Graham Stephens speak on Friday in the MCHS library. Burroughs and Graham were accepted to attend the Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science in the fall.

TOMPKINSVILLE – Two sophomores from Monroe County High School will be attending the Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science in the fall.

William Burroughs and Graham Stephens were joined by friends, family and school personnel on Friday in the MCHS library to celebrate their acceptance to the prestigious high school located on Western Kentucky University's main campus in Bowling Green.

MCHS Principal Max Petett stood behind a table that some might recognize from when athletes sign to compete at the collegiate level.

“We're here for a very special occasion,” Petett said. “Very often we gather in this same venue to celebrate the accomplishments of athletes as they sign scholarships to play at the next level. And that certainly is a good thing, but we don't want to underestimate or overlook the most important thing that we're here for and that's to celebrate the academic achievement of our young students.

“We're happy today for Graham. We're happy today for William. For achieving one of their goals, and this is just one of their many goals that they have.

“It took a lot of hard work. It took a lot of sacrifice.”

Petett said that both Burroughs and Graham scored 34 on their ACTs, and that they worked really hard to achieve that feat. He added that Burroughs approached him about starting an ACT Prep Club and that one afternoon after it was created, Petett peered into a classroom and saw Burroughs writing on a dry-erase board.

Petett said he also saw four or five students sitting at desks listening intently to Burroughs discuss aspects of the ACT.

“He not only wanted to help himself get a better score, but he passionately wanted his friends to do better,” Petett said.

He went on to describe how “it was not uncommon to see Graham preparing for the ACT on a daily basis.”

Before turning the ceremony over to the students, Petett recognized MCHS teacher Sharon Froedge for her integral role with the School of Innovation and working with Stephens and Burroughs.

Stephens took the podium and said his sister attended Gatton when he was in the third grade.

“Ever since then, it's always kind of been my dream to go there,” he said. “So to actually be here and go there is really exciting for me.”

Both Stephens and Burroughs thanked everyone who helped them throughout their journey, and, at the conclusion of the ceremony, they joined with friends and family in celebration of their accomplishment.