De Smet Jesuit senior Roger Melton has earned the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT. Nationwide, fewer than one-half of 1% of all test takers earn a 35 or above.
“My jaw was open for a solid minute before I realized what had happened,” Roger said of the moment he saw his perfect score while at a friend’s house on December 26. High fives, shouting, and a call to his parents quickly followed.
The previous three times he took the test, he earned a 32 and two consecutive 33s. Understanding that every time his score went up by a point on the ACT it meant the possibility of additional scholarship money, Roger was highly motivated to keep improving. His previous test-taking experience served him well during the December 14 exam. “I had a feeling that I did well but didn’t want to get my hopes up for a 36 and then be disappointed,” he said.
Roger has applied to several colleges and universities and hopes to choose one “that has the right fit for me, a school with a solid Newman Center, and a welcoming student environment where I will be pushed to be my best.” He plans to study mechanical engineering with an emphasis on computer-aided design and 3D printing. “I have done my best to pursue every opportunity in this area at De Smet by taking both 3D printing and Intro to Design Thinking as a junior, and then doing an independent study as teacher’s assistant for one of the 3D printing classes last semester.”
Science teacher Evan Jenkins ’13 was Roger’s mentor for that independent study experience.
“Apart from his knowledge and expertise in the subject area, Roger’s ability to make personal connections and friendly day-to-day interactions with his fellow students helped the class immensely,” he said. “Roger inspired creativity among the students and his skill in 3D Design made the class run smoothly.”