For the third year in a row, Morris Community High School has a student who scored a 36 composite score on the ACT test.
Trevor Lines, who begins his senior year in the fall, took the test with the rest of his class as a junior as required by the state.
“The results letter came in the mail when I was at a baseball game. My mom didn’t open it, she saved it for me,” Lines said. “I was excited. My mom was there when I opened it, and then I called both sets of grandparents and some of my aunts and uncles.”
“I was surprised. I believed it, but I was definitely surprised,” he said. “It wasn’t something I expected.”
Lines said he took multiple practice ACT tests both outside of school and in class. He advises all students preparing for the ACTs to take as many practice tests as they can.
The key, he said, is understanding what the questions are asking.
Most of the time, the answer to the question is in the passage or problem given.
Across the country, students earning a composite score of 36 varies annually, but less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students earn a top score. Among Illinois test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned a 36 composite score, according to a press release from Morris Community High School.
Out of the whole country, Illinois consists of 15 percent of perfect ACT scores in the last two years, MCHS Principal Kelly Hussey said.
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.
Hussey told the school board Monday that this year’s ACT score data appears to be above all of the school’s last five years of spring test scores. Preliminary data shows MCHS’ class of 2014 had an average composite score of 21.0. He will be able to give the board more details in July or August.
In addition to being committed to his academics, Lines is the starting shortstop for the Redskins varsity baseball team, and he is a starter on the golf team. He is also on Mathletes and on the scholastic bowl team, among other groups and activities.
Hussey described Lines as diverse as far as the types of activities and organizations he dedicates himself to.
“He’s a combination of hardworking, diverse and pretty humble,” Hussey said.
“Because of his extracurricular activity involvement in athletics, clubs and organizations, as well as his academic abilities, he is the type of kid those elite schools are looking for,” he continued.
Lines hopes to play baseball in college and hopes his 36 ACT score will help him earn some scholarship money. He does not have a college in mind yet, but has an interest in business and psychology.
Lines is the son of Greg and Joan Lines. His school and parents are not the only ones proud of him.
“It’s amazing,” said his 8-year-old sister, Grace. “But I don’t think I will (score a 36).”
Her big brother disagrees.
“She’s pretty smart.”