Students achieve academic excellence

Peter Mendenhall, Author

Boone students have racked up academic achievements this school year, some not having been done for seven years.

One junior got a perfect score on the ACT for the second time, nine others got a 30 or above on the ACT, seven juniors got into programs such as the  Governor’s Scholar Program (GSP) and the Governor’s School for the Arts Program (GSA), and one senior was named a National Merit Finalist.

Ten juniors—Kelsey Patton, Jennifer Sadler, Ryan Colmar, Zane Schneider, Brenden Hughes, Catherine Johnson, Autumn Jones, Michael Tilford, Brayden Miranda, and Ryan Zuesli—got a 30 or above on the ACT. That puts them in the 93rd percentile.

Sadler said she was happy with her score, especially on a “notoriously tough test.”

How did these juniors get such high scores?

“I’ve read anything I could get my hands on since I was 4ish,” said Johnson, who has now scored a perfect 36 on the ACT on two occasions.

Some of the juniors who got these scores on the exam were taking it for the third or fourth time.

Hughes felt that taking the exam more than once helped him get “used to the types of questions on the test.”

Junior Margaret Roundtree joins Hughes, Jones, Sadler and Schneider in qualifying for GSP, something only three Boone students did last year. GSP is a five-week program over the summer where some of the state’s smartest incoming seniors expand their knowledge and experience a lifestyle similar to college.

Jones said she is looking forward to “living in the dorms and having fun with new friends.”

Casey Beusterien and Hailey Hampton are going to GSA, a three-week program where some of Kentucky’s most artistically talented experience something very similar to college.

Getting into either program is seen as an accomplishment. The University of Kentucky offers full in-state tuition for students who make it into either program.

Hughes credited his success to his teachers and parents.  He believes that his strengths came from “extra-curricular activity and school involvement.”

Boone also has a National Merit Finalist in its halls.  Senior Greg McMillian has been named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

To become a national merit finalist, one must score in the top 1 percent on the PSAT as well as other academic standards. Colleges offer scholarships for those who are recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

McMillian said that he had been “very fortunate to have had great teachers” and is “thankful to his family for all their help.”

The last Boone student to be named a National Merit Finalist was Joe Kohake, who graduated in 2012.  He was also the last person from Boone to get a 36 on the ACT.