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Craft Academy holds second graduation ceremony

Morehead State University’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics held its second graduation Saturday, May 12, at Button Auditorium. 

A total of 51 students representing 33 counties from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky were recognized during the ceremony.

 “Today is a day of celebration for Craft Academy graduates and their families,” said Dr. Jay Morgan, MSU president. “These young people are well prepared for the next steps in their preparation for leadership in STEM careers.”

photo: Ambassador Kelly CraftThe Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics opened in August 2015. Dr. Joseph and Ambassador Kelly Craft of Lexington initially pledged $4 million in support of the Academy, which was the single largest cash gift in the history of the University.

“Joe and Kelly’s commitment to providing unique educational opportunities to academically gifted and talented students will provide lasting impact to Kentucky,” said Morgan. “Craft Academy students will forever benefit from their legacy.”

Brooke Hall of Paintsville was the student speaker. Hall is the daughter of Ronnie and Deanna Hall. Prior to attending the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, she was a student at Johnson Central High School. 

United States Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft was the featured speaker for the ceremony.

In the fall of 2018, students from the graduating class will attend 16 different colleges and universities across the United States, including 11 students who will enroll at MSU.

Additional information on the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is available by calling 606-783-9025 or visiting

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Members of the Craft Academy Class of 2018:
  • Bath: Margaret Hughes, daughter of Freda and Steven Hughes from Bath County High School
  • Boone: Emmi Fish, daughter of Doug Fish and Kaye Tyler Fish from Larry A. Ryle High School
  • Bourbon: Anne Park, daughter of Harry and Vivian Park from Paris High School
  • Bullitt: Ishika Patel, daughter of Kammi I. Patel and Ishwar M. Patel from Riverview High School
  • Bullitt: Garrett Jones, son of Tammy Scrogham and Gary Jones from Riverview High School
  • Carter: Cade Clark, son of Kimberly and Todd Clark from East Carter High School
  • Carter: Grace Edens, daughter of Beth and Neil Edens from East Carter County High School
  • Carter: Abigail Gillispie, daughter of Wayne and Darlene Gillispie from West Carter County High School
  • Crittenden: Landon Brooks, son of Jeff and Julie Brooks from Crittenden County High School
  • Crittenden: Corbin Wilson, son of William and Mary Wilson from Crittenden County High School
  • Elliott: Haley Dennis, daughter of Lesa and Jeff Dennis from Elliott County High School
  • Fayette: Samantha McInteer, daughter of Richard and Deb McInteer from Steam Academy
  • Fayette:  Caroline O’Neill, daughter of Tamara O’Neill and Brent O’Neill from Lafayette High School
  • Fleming: J.D. Kincaid, son of Danny Kincaid, Diane Kincaid (Step Mother) and Sarah Kincaid from Fleming County High School
  • Garrard: J.T. Fitzpatrick, son of Leigh Ann and Tommy Fitzpatrick from Garrard County High School
  • Greenup: Brandon Staton, son of Kim Staton and James Staton from Russell High School
  • Hardin: Rhianna Clemons, daughter of Angela Mullens and Rickey Clemons from Elizabethtown Sr. High School
  • Hardin: Mason Harris, son of Tony and Stacie Harris from Central Hardin High School
  • Hardin: Lenna Yong, daughter of Lisa Yong and Inn Hoe Yong from Elizabethtown Sr High School
  • Jefferson: Melaine Brazel, daughter of Michael and Kristen Brazel from Eastern High School
  • Jefferson: Hayden Hubbuch, daughter of Jan Youngblood and Mike Hubbuch from Atherton High School
  • Jefferson: Alex Jetter, son of Beth Immerso from Brown School
  • Jefferson: Alden Loring, son of Mark and Karen Loring from Brown School
  • Jefferson: Nate Murray, son of David and Karen Murray from Louisville Collegiate School
  • Jessamine: Cameron Arthur, son of George and Tracy Arthur from East Jessamine High School
  • Johnson: Sarrisa Hale, daughter of Sandra Hale and William Hale from Johnson Central High School
  • Johnson: Brooke Hall, daughter of Deanna Hall and Ronnie Hall from Johnson Central High School
  • Kenton: David Chai, son of Lucy Hu and Fengming Chai from Simon Kenton High School
  • Kenton: Haylee Mitchell, daughter of Dwight and Angela Mitchell from Simon Kenton High School
  • Kenton: Brooklyn Sauer, daughter of Frank and Maryann Sauer from Simon Kenton High School
  • Knott: Nadia Richardson, daughter of Stephen and Pamela Richardson from Knott County Central High School
  • Lawrence: Billie McCoy, daughter of Bobbie and Oscar McCoy from Lawrence County High School
  • Madison: Abigail Williams, daughter of Marty and Christine Williams from Madision Southern High School
  • Meade: Cody Madden, son of John and Patricia Madden from Meade County High School
  • Meade: Michael Thoma, son of James and Melanie Thoma from Meade County High School
  • Meade: Shane Walsburger, son of C. Paul Walsburger from Meade County High School
  • Montgomery: Callie Arnold, daughter of Brad and Norma Arnold from Montgomery County High School
  • Oldham: Sierra Hauck, daughter of Charles and Jennifer Hauck from Oldham County High School
  • Pendleton: Cullen Beard, son of Douglas and Laura Beard from Pendleton County High School
  • Perry: Alex Vermillion, son of Melissa and Kevin Vermillion from Hazard High School
  • Powell: Graham Fizer, son of Barbara Graham and Barry Fizer from Powell County High School
  • Pulaski: Kelly Brunson, daughter of Diane and Craig Brunson from Pulaski County High School
  • Rowan: Sean Daugherty, son of Donald and Michelle Daugherty, Nicholas and Michelle Whitley from Rowan County Senior High School
  • Rowan: Trevor Past, son of Melodie Past from Rowan County Senior High School
  • Scott: Kaylee Whitenack, daughter of Darrell Whitenack and Nina Johnson-Whitenack from Scott County High School
  • Shelby: Jack Dorman, son of Kelly Dorman from Shelby County High School
  • Union: Jolie Baird, daughter of Joe and Cara Beth Baird from Union County High School
  • Wolfe: Makayla Bush, daughter of William and Melissa Bush from Wolfe County High School
  • Wolfe: Savannah Perkins, daughter of Darrell Perkins and Elsie Mullins Perkins from Wolfe County High School 
  • Woodford: Mckenna Jobe, daughter of Susie and Ben Stivers / Jeff Jobe from Woodford County High School
  • Woodford: Gloria Mullins, daughter of Chris Mullins and Hope Woodcock from Woodford County High School
The Craft Academy offers a unique, project-based STEM+X courses that enriches the educational experiences and develop competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.

Students live on campus in Grote-Thompson Hall, which was remodeled with meeting and social space and 24/7 staffing. Counselors and advisors also are available.

Students are selected based on ACT and SAT scores, academic grades from their first two years of high school, interest in advanced STEM careers, responses to application essay questions, interviews by the Academy selection committee and recommendations from teachers and others who could attest to the student’s need and preparedness for the program.