picture David Choi (left) and Rachel Spear
David Choi (left) and Rachel Spear

Rachel Spear and David Choi, both from Cranberry Township, were recently honored as two of the brightest middle school students in the world by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY). The Center honored Seneca Valley Middle School seventh-grade student Spear and eighth-grade student Choi, for their exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, or similar college-readiness assessment taken as part of the 2015-16 CTY Talent Search. Miss Spear also recently attended at an international awards ceremony held by CTY to receive her award in person (as pictured below right). CTY uses above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of the students’ true academic abilities. This year, more than 27,000 students in second through eighth grades participated in CTY’s Talent Search, representing all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Seventh- and eighth-graders from this group who scored high enough on their above-grade-level test were invited to attend CTY’s Grand Ceremony Oct. 16 on the Johns Hopkins University’s main campus. Nearly 1,000 students and their families were invited to the ceremony this year. “Students, your excellent test scores are what brought us here today, but this is a celebration of what is behind those scores: a love of learning, a strong work ethic, and a high value placed on taking risks and welcoming challenges,” said Elaine Tuttle Hansen, executive director of CTY. “These are qualities that will provide you with many opportunities in the years ahead as you continue to grow as students and scholars.”