THS students test well for college

By Ginny Miller

Daily Journal

Thirty-six Tupelo High School students are better than average, and they've got the ACT scores to prove it. The sophomores, juniors and 24 graduating seniors were recognized Monday for scoring 30 or higher on the college entrance exam. Senior David Brinton did the best, earning 35 points out of a possible 36.

“Traditionally, our ACT scores are above the state average and have been above the national average for the past five years,” THS principal Mac Curlee said, pointing to a national average composite score of 21.9 and a state average composite score of 20. Last year, THS students averaged 22.6.

These numbers are based on 2004-2005 test results, he said, but when state and national averages for the Class of 2006 are announced in August, he has no reason to believe THS won't make the grade again. Twenty-five THS students scored 30 or better on the test last year, Curlee said, and there were 39 ACT Scholars in 2004.

The ACT, administered five times annually in most states, asks 215 questions in English, math, reading and science. The multiple-choice test takes three hours to complete, or longer if students opt for the writing portion, which includes planning and composing a short essay.

“The ACT assesses a high school student's general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work,” Curlee said.

Routinely high scores from THS students “speaks to the depth and the width of the THS curriculum and how rich that curriculum is,” he said. “That curriculum is delivered by a very well-trained, committed and dedicated staff. The two go hand in hand.”

That's important when more than 80 percent of graduating seniors from THS usually attend college.

“We certainly want our curriculum to be such that it prepares our graduates for college,” Curlee said. “I would say that ACT scores above 30 certainly enhance any student's chance of a scholarship at their university or college.”

That's true, said Brinton, who in April was awarded a Presidential Endowed Scholarship worth nearly $50,000 from Mississippi State. “I think my ACT score was really helpful for me to get my scholarship,” he said. “It makes it a lot easier to go to college. It makes it a lot easier to go to graduate school.”

Brinton, 17, will major in biomedical engineering and said medical school may also be in his future. He is the son of Bob and Karen Brinton.

David Brinton first took the ACT when he was a seventh-grader, making a 25. Jane Anderson, a THS junior who was recognized Monday night in a group of students scoring 24-29 on the test, made a 23 the first time she took the ACT.

David Brinton first took the ACT when he was a seventh-grader, making a 25. Jane Anderson, a THS junior who was recognized Monday night in a group of students scoring 24-29 on the test, made a 23 the first time she took the ACT.

This time around she made a 29, and she'll try again so that she can hope to get high scholarship dollars next year.

The ACT score “is very important,” Anderson said. “It's one of the main things colleges look at.”

30 and above

A perfect ACT score is 36, and the following Tupelo High School students were recognized Monday for their results of 30 or higher on the college entrance exam:

Charles Alvis
Patrick Bland
Stewart Brevard
David Brinton
Devon Emig
Lloyd Gray
Jacob Harris
Daniel Hester
Marilyn Hill
Matthew Hink
Natalie Holland
Austin Huffman
Ben Kellum
Vance Kirk
Molly Lincoln
Reed Loden
Holly Mason
John Miles
Jeffrey Oliver
Katerina Pappas
Kamal Patel
Megan Pike
Stephen Rhea
David Rice
Lydia Rice
Adam Ruff
Russell Sklander
Scott Slocum
Matt Stratton
Matthew Tallman
Will Threadgill
Joshua Tucker
Adrian Turner
Daniel Webb
Andrew White
Cameron White