During her senior year, Kaitlyn Long cracked a 35 on her ACT, made all district band and was named an all-state scholar by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
During her official signing to Oklahoma State University’s marching band, ACS Band Director Chauvin Aaron and Superintendent Kim Holland recognized her for her accomplishments over the year.  
“Not only is it a big honor, but it’s something Ardmore hasn’t had in a while,” Long said. “Just being able to put my mark on the school and leave a legacy is really great.”
Her score qualified her for the scholarship and a full tuition waiver.
“If I had to tell anyone else how to get here, it’s just find what you love and stick with it,” she said. “Even if you feel you’re spreading yourself too thin, those things you’re spreading your attention out for will help you be able to achieve.”
Long found out she’d been named a scholar just two days before her All State band audition.
“When I was younger I always kind of knew
academics would get me further,” she said. “I always knew, maybe my family wouldn’t be able to help support me in college. I knew I was going to have to work hard to get there.”
She plans to major in English with a specification in professional writing. She intends to graduate summa cum laude and participate in marching band and concert bands.
“I’ve always loved reading and writing, but I don’t necessarily love the creative writing aspect of it,” she said. “I like technical, journalism, stuff like that. When I saw there was a big demand in today’s economy for people who write grants, I realized that would be a good (decision).”  
Long said she started taking the ACT her freshman year, took pre-AP and AP classes and took prep courses provided by the school.
“I was able to get a better understanding of what the ACT required, and I was able to get my scores up,” Long said.
In addition to playing clarinet, she spent her senior year in golf club, Leaflets and other leadership groups. She said for her, those groups are like extended family.  
“Being in band helped me gain a sense of responsibility, especially being drum major,” Long said. “Not only was I in charge of what I needed to do, but I had to make sure everyone was ready. It made me feel ready to go into a place where so many things would be expected of me.”