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HUDSON-- Hudson High School has not just one, but two students who have scored the elusive 36, or perfect score, on the ACT.
Andrew McDonald, a 17-year-old junior, joined sophomore Kyle Gluntz in the ring of ACT perfection.
According to Hudson High School Principal Brian Wilch, a perfect ACT score is very rare with less than 1/10 of 1 percent score a perfect 36.
"Andrew was new to us, moving to Hudson from Midland Michigan in the summer of 2015. He's got a knack for engineering and joined our relatively new, Makerspace Club last year when he and two classmates won the Summit County Bridge Building Contest as sophomores," Wilch said. "Another neat thing about Andrew is that he competes nationally as a curler in the annual USA Curling U18 National Championship in Milwaukee, and he just returned recently from a week of competition."
According to Wilch most of the "perfect scorers" in the recent past have been seniors, with about 95 percent of the senior class taking the ACT each year with composite means of 26.4 and 26.3 in the last two years, according to Wilch.
"I think it's fair to say that Andrew's earned an exemption from Ohio's required standardized test for all juniors coming in two weeks," Wilch said. "We're very proud of Andrew's accomplishment and congratulate his parents as well."
This is Andrew's second year at Hudson High School.
"I thought I'd do relatively well; I've always been a good test taker, but I never expected to get a true 36. Even after scoring a 36 on two official practice tests I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off under the pressure of the real day," he said.
Because the ACT releases scores on a rolling basis Andrew was not sure when he would see the scores.
"But I nonetheless checked twice a day from the day they said the first scores would be released. Luckily they came early so I wasn't left anxiously waiting, but in no way did it take the excitement away from it," Andrew said.
Andrew found out he had scored a perfect ACT during a study hall after logging onto the ACT site.
"I logged onto the ACT site and saw 36 on the screen, but didn't really believe it," Andrew said. "I must've refreshed the page five times before it started to set in. I instantly texted my mom and dad but kept it quiet for the most part--I wanted to be humble and tried to avoid being known simply as the kid who got a 36."
While Andrew was cool on the outside, his insides were a bit different.
"I was ecstatic and overwhelmed by how much the score could impact my future, in a good way. I knew the word would get out eventually, however, so I came forward to guidance to let my counselor Mrs. Carmichael know, who soon after let Mr. Wilch know," Andrew said. "He tweeted it and by the next day it seemed everyone at the school knew."
Andrew asked his mom, Maura, to pick up an ACT and SAT study guide over Christmas break, Maura said.
"I was a little skeptical that he would have time on top of everything else he's involved in. But he managed to carve out an hour or two here and there to read the guides and take the practice tests," Maura said. "Going into the exam he told me he felt pretty good and that he was about as prepared as he could be... and then after the exam he said he thought it went well."
However, neither Maura or Andrew's dad, Mike, expected their son to get a perfect score.
"His whole family is very proud of him" Maura said. "Andrew's older sister, Erin, even posted about his results on social media to tell all of her friends! We're not sure what happens next with results like these, but we are excited to see what the future holds for Andrew."
Erin, 21, is a junior at Michigan State University.
When not studying, Andrew spends October through March practicing and competing in the sport of curling.
"I compete with a team based out of Michigan and travel throughout Southwestern Ontario and the Great Lakes/Upper Midwest in the winter for tournaments," Andrew said. "This season we finished with a 2-3 record at the U18 Curling National Championships in Milwaukee, and last season we finished with a 2-7 record at the U21 National Championships."
Andrew also plays volleyball, enjoys skiing, hiking and mountain biking.
"At school, I'm the treasurer of the Community First Youth Board, the communications officer of the Makerspace Club, the features editor of the Explorer Newspaper, a member of the Leadership Conference Planning Committee, a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Hispanic Honorary Society," he said.
Andrew plans on studying engineering at college and to continue his curling.
"I've always loved math and science the most but enjoy all of my classes nonetheless. This year I'd have to say my favorite is a tie between AP Chemistry and AP Physics," Andrew said. "I'm thankful for everything the residents of Hudson do to make it such an opportunity-rich community, both within and beyond the walls of Hudson High. I'm fortunate to live in a city where the hard work truly pays off."