Governor Recognizes Students For Top ACT, SAT Scores

Gov. Dave Heineman recognized 15 Nebraska high school seniors on Wednesday for their academic achievement in earning top scores of 36 on the ACT or a 2400 on the SAT college admissions exam.

“I want to congratulate each of these students on their perfect ACT and SAT score,” Gov. Heineman said. “This is an incredible accomplishment.

As of May, for the high school graduating class of 2013, 15 Nebraska seniors earned a top score on the ACT and SAT.

The top scoring students of the ACT test are: Preston Fegley of Grand Island High School, Patrick Fisher of Creighton Prep, Maranda Frey of Lincoln Southwest, Thomas Fryklind of Archbishop Bergan, Vaishnavi Ganesan of Elkhorn South, Alexander Gangwish of Bellevue West, Paul Kujawa of Elkhorn Mount Michael, Mackenzie Mikkelsen of Westside, Nick Nagengast of Bloomfield High School, Andrew Peterson of Lincoln Southeast, Thomas Rasmussen of Lincoln East, Bonnie Smith of Northwest High School, Marika Svolos of Central High School and Peter Xu of Millard North.

Marika Svolos of Central High School and Nathaniel Wei of Lincoln East High received a top score on the SAT. “When I found out that I got a 2400 I just couldn't believe it,” said Svolos. “It was very early in the morning and I woke my mom up and told her and I was so excited." Marika plans to major in math at the University of Chicago starting this fall.

Jon Erickson, president of ACT Education Division, said, “The scores achieved by these outstanding Nebraska seniors are significant and rare. We at ACT offer our congratulations to the students and we honor the important role played by the teachers, parents and schools to help these students achieve a top score.”

The ACT consists of four tests scored on a scale of one to 36. In 2011, more than 1.66 million graduates from the class of 2012 took the ACT, 52 percent of the entire graduating class nationwide. On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of all students who take the ACT earns a top composite score of 36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. The average composite score for Nebraska high school graduates in 2012 was 22.

Created and designed by educators, the SAT tests students’ reading, writing and mathematics skills. The SAT is a reliable measure of college readiness. It tests the academic skills and knowledge acquired in high school and how well students apply knowledge, which is a critical factor in college course work. Each year, the SAT is administered by approximately 6,000 test centers located in more than 170 countries.

Of the more than 1.66 million students in the class of 2012 who took the SAT, only 360 received the highest possible score (2400), representing just 0.022 percent of the total group of test takers. The mean score for the total group of SAT test takers in the class of 2012 was 1498; Nebraska SAT test takers in the class of 2012 had a mean score of 1723.

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