Duke honors homeschooled sixth-grader from Kingsport

Rick Wagner • Jun 2, 2018 at 2:00 PM

KINGSPORT — A local homeschooled student has been recognized for his high scores on the PSAT.

William Quesinberry, a sixth-grader from Kingsport, is among the students being honored by the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) for scores on the PSAT 8/9. He is the son of Brian and Malora Quesinberry.

Duke TIP’s 4th–6th Grade Talent Search identifies students across the United States who have scored at or above the 95th percentile on a grade-level standardized test. As part of the program, these academically talented youngsters are invited to take an above-level standardized test, the PSAT 8/9, to learn more about their abilities. Duke TIP then hosts annual recognition ceremonies to honor the students who scored the highest. Of 9,635 students who took the PSAT 8/9 through Duke TIP, 791 will be invited to one of the ceremonies.

“He scored in the 99 percent in verbal and math, 700 and 610 respectively out of a total possible of 720 per test (1310 out of 1440),” said William’s father, Brian Quesinberry. “William will attend a recognition ceremony to recognize his talent and hard work. William is one of 38 other Tennessee students recognized for their exceptional scores. William also plays soccer for Tri-Cities United Soccer Club, enjoys reading and playing video games.”

Brian said because the College Board was delayed in grading the tests, Duke postponed the ceremonies until next year. He said Duke usually has a state recognition event at Belmont University in Nashville and a national one on the Duke campus in Durham, N.C. William also will receive a medal later this year and is listed on the TIP website.

“We are extremely proud to recognize our remarkably talented students who have demonstrated key aspects of their academic potential by achieving these scores,” Shawna Young, executive director of Duke TIP, said in a news release.

“As an alum of our 7th Grade Talent Search, I still remember how it felt to be recognized by Duke and TIP, as well as my excitement and anxiety at taking an above-level test. As an organization, we cherish the opportunity to celebrate each of our ceremonies’ honorees for such an outstanding accomplishment.”

Working with host academic institutions, Duke TIP sponsors more than 30 ceremonies in 16 states in April, May and June each year. Speakers include university administrators and professors from the host institutions, state and government officials and accomplished former Duke TIP students. 

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