DMPS 8th Grader Among World’s Brightest

BALTIMORE — Ankita Chatterjee, a student from Des Moines, was honored as one of the brightest middle school students worldwide at a national medal ceremony sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY).

The Center honored Ankita, one of 40,800 participants in the 2012 CTY Talent Search, for her exceptional performance as a middle school student on the college SAT, ACT or similar test. Among the more than 900 U.S. and international middle school students invited to the ceremony on the Johns Hopkins University campus:

  • All earned exceptionally high scores that place them well within the top one-half of one percent academically of all same-grade students.
  • At least 102 students achieved a perfect score on the reading or math section of the test taken.

These exceptional students joined the 2011-2012 CTY Talent Search, which finds and recognizes the academic capabilities of advanced students around the world. More than 40,800 second-through-eighth grade students from 50 states and 110 countries participated in the 2011-2012 search. Enrollment for this year is currently underway at

Ankita, who is a student at Central Academy and Callanan Middle School, is part of a select group. The honored students are selected because they were the top students among the 13,350 seventh and eighth graders testing last year through CTY. CTY uses above-grade-level tests (such as the college SAT for middle school students) because they provide clear pictures of advanced students’ academic abilities.

Students honored at the 2012 Grand Ceremony have also qualified for CTY’s residential summer programs, online classes, and family academic programs, where gifted students meet others like themselves from all over the world and have an opportunity to stretch their creative and intellectual wings, and discover where their special talents may take them.

“We take this moment to look on with admiration and respect for these young people and their remarkable achievements being recognized today,” said Elaine Tuttle Hansen, executive director of CTY. “It’s a moment of great pride for the honored students, as well as for the educators and parents who have helped these promising young people come so far on a road that will lead them to do great things.”

This year, the Center presented its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award to John Overdeck, cofounder and cochairman of Two Sigma investments and a former CTY students and instructor; and Dr. Cornelia Trimble, a noted Johns Hopkins physician who was one of CTY founder Dr. Julian Stanley’s first students prior to his establishment of CTY. After receiving her award, Dr. Trimble gave the keynote address to the 250 students and families who attended.

Past participants in the CTY Talent Search include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google cofounder Sergey Brin, and performer Lady Gaga. 

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About The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

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. Education Week called CTY “one of a set of remarkable nonpublic institutions dedicated to the discovery and nurture of the most talented young people for the highest levels of accomplishment.”

  • CTY draws students from 50 states and countries worldwide.
  • CTY provided $5.469 million in financial aid to over 11,000 students in 2011-2012.
  • More than 16.5 percent of students who participated in the 2011-2012 CTY Talent Search were from underrepresented groups.
  • Gifted students qualifying for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program may join the Talent Search virtually for free.
  • For more information about enrolling in the CTY Talent Search, go to
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