Rockwood Summit High
junior Zack Swayne was inside doing schoolwork Wednesday when he heard a police siren outside his house.
He assumed someone was being pulled over ... until he heard his name echoing from a megaphone wielded by Rockwood Summit Assistant Principal Dr. Kelly Mignerone in the passenger seat of a St. Louis County Police Department car.
With schools closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), Mignerone brought the customary Summit prize patrol to Swayne's home to celebrate the perfect 36 he scored when he took the ACT in February.
"The prize patrol was awesome, especially because I didn't know it was coming," Swayne said. "I was very confused until I saw Dr. Mignerone in the car. That was when I realized what was happening. It was definitely cool to have my accomplishment celebrated, and I am especially grateful for how much effort everyone put into it."
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Only around 0.3 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2019, only 4,879 out of nearly 1.8 million students who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.
Swayne is one of 14 Rockwood students to earn a perfect ACT score this school year. He had taken the test once before, in October, and earned a 34.
"I was extremely excited when I found out because I had thought I had a chance to get a 36 after taking it, but I was also worried I would barely miss it," Swayne said. "The experience was also very surreal because after I got the 34 in October, I set a goal to get a 36 on the February one, but I guess I never thought I would actually do it."
Swayne said he hopes the perfect score will boost his college prospects and put him in a position to earn more scholarships.
"I'd like to thank my parents for pushing me to do my best in school and all of my teachers who taught me the skills and concepts I would need to succeed on the exam," Swayne said. "Without them, this would have in no way been possible."