DeKALB – Mary Lavoie has joined an elite group of test takers – one that fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of high school students can say they belong to.
The DeKalb High School senior earned the best score possible – a 36 – when she took the American College Testing Exam, commonly called the ACT, this summer.
What’s more, she said she wasn’t even nervous.
“I had already taken it during the school year,” Lavoie said. “So I wasn’t too nervous, because I knew what was coming.”
The ACT includes tests in mathematics, English, reading and science, which are graded on a scale of 1 to 36. It offers a guideline that some colleges take into account for admissions, which means that a score of 36 likely opens some doors.
Lavoie wouldn’t say where she is looking for college, but noted she might go in the direction of math, science or engineering.
“I don’t have any applications out yet,” she said. “I’m still looking around.”
When she’s not earning top scores on national exams, Lavoie plays violin in the DeKalb High School orchestra and participates as a member of the National Honor Society as well as the math team. She’s also busy with a number of Advanced Placement, or AP, classes, which enable high school students to earn college credits, as well as classes at Kishwaukee College.
Her mother, Jennifer, said the high score speaks not only to Mary’s talents as a student but also to a team effort from Mary’s schooling and parents.
“She’s very conscientious and self-disciplined. She always loved to learn, and has always embraced new experiences, and she loves to read and loves doing math problems,” Jennifer said. “The environment at home that is conducive to learning is important.”