Two Lyons Township High School students earn perfect ACT scores
Jaime Duncan of Indian Head Park, a senior at Lyons Township High School, was one of two Lyons Township High School students who scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:12AM
LA GRANGE — Two different approaches helped two Lyons Township High School seniors achieve perfection.
Both Jaime Duncan of Indian Head Park and Rachel Adducci of La Grange earned a score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam.
“It’s no small task,” said Scott Eggerding, director of curriculum. “It’s a pretty thorough exam with a wide range of topics, and to come out with a 36 is pretty rare.”
Duncan of said she didn’t take a prep course, because she was concentrating on doing well in her classes junior year, which were demanding. She scored a 33 in the spring when all Illinois juniors take the test.
“I was hoping to improve on that when I took the test again in June for the writing portion to apply to certain schools,” Duncan said. “I went in with the mind set it’s important; I tried to do my best, and it worked out. Yeah, I was definitely surprised.”
Duncan credited her teachers at LT with preparing her well to take the test through rigorous courses. She plans to major in biochemistry and pursue a research career in genetics.
“It’s a field where so much is going on and a lot of new information is being discussed,” she said.
Duncan also is a member of LT’s badminton team and competes in the school’s Model UN program.
Adducci said she, too, was surprised at her test result of 36 in February.
“I didn’t know I’d do that well. No one knows that,” Adducci said. “It was a lot of luck and a lot of hard work.”
Adducci said she hoped her score would excuse her from taking the test with the rest of her class in the spring, but no such luck.
“It wasn’t quite as high, but it was still a good score,” she said. “I’m very proud. I’m getting lots of mail and emails from colleges.”
Science and math are Adducci’s favorite subjects prompting her interest after school to participate on LT’s Math Team and Science Olympiad. But still, she said she needed a little extra help to prepare for the ACT.
“I knew the science section was going to be the hardest one with the graphs and not much time to complete questions,” she said. “So, I got someone who specialized in tutoring for the ACT to go over the science section. It was very helpful.”
Eggerding agreed LT prepares its students well for the ACT, which measures readiness for college, as well as predicting future success in college.
“The school always gets a plaque when a student scores a 36, and we have lots of plaques,” he said.
The number of students with a perfect score has ranged from one or two each year since 2002 to five in 2008 and a high of eight students in 2010.