Eight seventh graders from two Abilene ISD middle schools have earned state recognition as 2018-19 Duke Scholars for their exceptional scores on the ACT or SAT college entrance examination.

Sponsored by Duke University, the Talent Identification Program allows seventh graders from a 16-state region the opportunity to take the same ACT or SAT tests that high school students take when applying to college. Texas students with qualifying scores earn the state recognition.

Two of the AISD students recognized in 2018-19, Ella Boisvert and Kelsie Patterson of Craig Middle School, were further distinguished by earning Grand Recognition status. This honor is given for students achieving a score that is approximately equal to the 90th national percentile rank for college-bound seniors taking the tests

Students qualify to participate in the talent search by scoring in the 95th percentile or higher on an approved grade-level standardized achievement test. AISD students were chosen based on their outstanding performance on the state’s STAAR assessment.

A total of 33 district students participated in the 2018-19 program.

This year’s Duke Scholars were recognized for their accomplishments at the Regular Meeting of the AISD Board of Trustees on May 6 at One AISD Center.


Craig Middle School – Ella Boisvert*, Ryann Liu, Kelsie Patterson*, Sydney Spell

Mann Middle School – Josh Melson, Marin Murray, Luke Padon, Adi Pilit

 * Denotes Grand Recognition