BALTIMORE, Md. - John Daniel Kerris, of Kulpmont, was recently honored as one of the brightest young students in the nation at a statewide awards ceremony for academically advanced children sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY).

The center honored Kerris, a participant in the CTY Talent Search, for his exceptional performance on a rigorous, above-grade-level test given to academically talented second-through-eighth-grade students.

During the CTY Talent Search, advanced young learners take above-grade level tests designed for older students as a means of gaining insight into their abilities. Seventh- and eighth- graders take the SAT or ACT - the same tests used for college admissions. These students, along with second- through sixth-graders, can take the School and College Ability Test (SCAT), an above-level test.

Kerris, a student at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, was one of more than 40,000 students from more than 120 countries who participated in the CTY Talent Search. Because of the difficulty of the tests, only 25 to 30 percent of students who participated earned an invitation to a CTY awards ceremony where they are individually honored for their academic performance and potential. Most students honored in 2013 CTY award ceremonies also qualified academically for CTY's summer courses and online classes.

"Today we face critical global problems that require the best minds of the future to solve using discipline, creativity and innovation," says Elaine Tuttle Hansen, executive director of CTY. "It's inspiring and reassuring to see this group of some of the best and brightest students emerging and to know that they will become tomorrow's thought leaders and innovators."

This spring, some 13,700 CTY Talent Search honorees were invited to participate in 49 CTY award ceremonies at 27 sites.

Pennsylvania's 2013 ceremonies were held at Bucknell University, May 4; Duquesne University, May 11, and Albright College, Saturday.

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."