The week of April was a busy week for Marion High School junior Colin Williams:
- He decorated for and attended prom.
- He ran track.
- He did his homework.
- He scored a 36 on his ACT.
Colin found out about his score after logging onto the website at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. He wasted no time in telling his mom the good news.
“I walked upstairs and shook her and said ‘Mom, I got a 36,’” Colin said. “She was very excited.”
Marion High School principal Tod Gordon said he couldn’t remember a time when a student received a perfect score on the test.
“This could be the first in school history,” Gordon said. “I think it probably is.”
Colin was not new to taking the ACT, having taken it twice before had scoring a 31 and a 34.
“I feel my previous two tests I spent more time on practice tests and going through those types of things,” Colin said. “I’m a year older. I’ve taken a year more of classes so that probably helped out.”
One difference Colin noticed this time around was that he felt more alert.
“One thing I did do differently was I woke up a lot earlier,” Colin said. “I went on a run, I cleared my mind, I woke my brain up, I had a big breakfast. That was something I didn’t do on the previous tests. I felt like that gave me the brain power I needed.”
For how it has helped students prepare for the ACT, Gordon said that it comes down to the educators.
“He’s got some excellent teachers and he works hard.” Gordon said. “He’s a good kid, and he has some teachers who push him pretty hard.”
Marion High School guidance counselor Mark Felvus explained that the school also goes through a day where teachers go through the different sections along with sample questions to help prepare kids for the test.
“I think we talk about it a lot more than other schools do,” Felvus said. “Kids are hearing about it the start of their sophomore year. The information is available to the students who want to take advantage of that.”
USD 408 superintendent Lee Leiker said Colin deserved the score because of his hard work.
“He’s a great young man and a great student,” Leiker said.
Leiker also stated that the school wants to help give students an opportunity to excel in their ACT.
“We want to do the best we can to help them and implement things to help students as well as they can on these tests,” Leiker said.
Colin participates on the quiz bowl team. Gordon said his strong suit is in math.
“In the math section they’ll say you have 30 seconds to work the problem,” Gordon said, “but as soon as they give it he’s already figured out in his head and he’s buzzed in.”
Once Colin did not wait until the full question was read before buzzing in with an answer.
“There was a 45 second math problem and I interrupted on it,” Colin said. “I got it right.”
Colin said he is not sure where he wants to go to college, but he said he wants to receive a bachelor’s in mathematics from a Kansas school, and then possibly travel out of state to receive a Master’s.
“It’d be nice if Kansas got to keep him around,” Gordon said.