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BISD Students Qualify for Duke University

Sixteen Beaumont ISD students participated in the 38th annual Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) Talent Search. They took either the ACT or SAT along with over 59,000 academically talented 7th graders. Eleven BISD students qualified for the program based on their scores and include Marshall Middle School students Ethan Courts, Zachary Gilmore, Gavin Syas and Grant Strickland and Odom Academy students Henna Karani, Dallas Le, Tate Whitney, Pranjol Das, Nikita Jayaraj, Prahalad Jayaraj and Aastha Patel.

Strickland, N. Jayaraj, P. Jayaraj, Patel and Das qualified for state recognition; Das qualified for Grand Recognition at Duke University. “When I received the invitation for grand recognition, I felt both surprised and excited,” said Das. Lamar University College of Education and Human Development Professor Dr. Dorothy Sisk, who is the Duke TIP coordinator, handed out medals and certificates to all participants at the Montagne Center. Out of more than 300 students that attended the ceremony, Das was one of 4 selected to receive an institutional scholarship from Lamar University.  

Each year, Duke TIP identifies a group of academically talented students in the United States based on their exceptional grade-level standardized test scores. Only those who score at or above the 95th percentile qualify. Those students are invited to participate in the 7th Grade Talent Search and to take the ACT or SAT, which are designed for college-bound eleventh and twelfth graders. Taking an above-grade-level test is an experience that allows these gifted seventh graders to more accurately gauge their academic abilities and potential, as they need more advanced examinations than they find in their grade level. Participants in the 7th Grade Talent Search also receive a variety of support services and gain access to research and other information about using their academic abilities more effectively.

The Duke University TIP is a nonprofit educational organization that is recognized as a leader in identifying and serving the educational needs of academically gifted youth. Through identification, recognition, challenging educational programs, information, advocacy and research, Duke TIP provides resources to gifted students, their parents, educators, and schools to help gifted scholars reach their full academic potential. For more on Duke TIP talent searches, including qualification requirements for its 4th–6th Grade Talent Search and 7th Grade Talent Search, visit


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