Fall semester is in full swing, and seniors at Chanute High School are preparing for their future, making lists of colleges of interest to them, and taking the all-important ACT that determines what colleges are within their reach.
CHS Senior John Stanley has managed to hit the pinnacle on the standardized test with a perfect score of 36 on his fourth try. Not far behind him, classmate Jillian Vogel scored a 35 in her sixth attempt on the test.
The two have developed a friendly competition over the years, trying to outdo each other on the test.
“It’s definitely a competition we’ve had going that provides extra motivation,” Vogel said. “There’s a lot of love, though.”
The two estimate that they have devoted a combined 30-plus hours to studying for the test, often together. They focused on taking practice tests leading up to the big test days.
“Honestly, we could have studied more,” Stanley said.
Vogel said that she had been stuck at a score of 29 on several ACTs before breaking the 30 barrier.
“After taking it four times and being stuck at 29, I didn’t think I could overcome that,” Vogel said. “It was so satisfying to finally get it.”
Both said that their families were very excited about their scores and their teacher in gifted studies, Adam Wilcox, has been very encouraging.
“Mr. Wilcox was so excited about my score he bought the entire soccer team popsicles,” Stanley said. “He didn’t buy us popsicles when we beat Riverton 7-0, but he did for my ACT score.”
Stanley is in the process of applying to attend the Naval Academy, which he described as a very intense process. His goal is to do something useful.
“That’s why I want to attend the Naval Academy,” Stanley said. “I really want to be a part of something bigger than myself and make a difference.”
Vogel has her eyes set on the Ivy League. Her top school choice is Columbia University in New York City. She wants to study medicine and possibly have a major or minor in music. She plans to take the ACT again.
“I can’t let him beat me,” she said.
Their advice for students preparing to take the test is to pace themselves. Vogel said she wore a watch for the first time to the last test and it really improved her ability to gauge her time.
Stanley had one request for the community to help celebrate his accomplishment.
“Everyone should come watch Chanute soccer,” he said. “We’re having a really great season and we would love the support.”