Bright Peasley student skips high school and heads straight to college

by Kim Robins - Posted on Aug 10, 2011 - 05:22 PM

Photo: Katie Torr would normally be a freshman at Gloucester High School next month; however, she is bypassing high school entirely to attend the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at Mary Baldwin College. Photo by Kim Robins.

Katie Torr would normally be a freshman at Gloucester High School next month; however, she is bypassing high school entirely to attend the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at Mary Baldwin College. Photo by Kim Robins.

Like the other Peasley Middle School students who completed eighth grade in June, Katie Torr is ready for the next step in her education.

But Katie will not be joining her former classmates at Gloucester High School this fall; instead, she will be part of the freshman class enrolling at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton.

Torr will be part of Mary Baldwin’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG), part of MBC’s Early College program. The program offers bright and accomplished young women between the ages of 13 and 16 the opportunity to bypass high school to pursue a college degree.

Torr will be among about 70 PEG students on campus who will live together in a fully supervised residential hall.

Katie, now 14, was recruited for the program through the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth due to her scores on the ACT college entrance exam that she took at age 12. Because of her summer schedule, Katie was not able to attend the center’s summer programs for the gifted, but the chance to enter college early piqued her interest.