Two Harrison County Juniors Achieve Perfect 36 Score on ACT

Two more students in the Harrison County School District have achieved the highest composite score on the ACT!

Alyssa Stoner and Jeremy Wright have so much in common. They are both juniors, straight A students, and currently rank at the top of their class at Harrison Central High School. They have even joined many of the same clubs like Beta, tennis, film, Interact, and National Honor Society.  Now, these two longtime friends share another major distinction.  They have both earned a perfect 36 score on the American College Test.

“My parents heard the mailman pass and I was so excited!  I ran out, and I came in and I said, ‘drum roll please’. I opened it up and it was there, 36, and we were all just so happy!” said Jeremy Wright.

Alyssa was attending a conference in Louisiana when her mom texted her the good news.

“I was super excited!  I just told my friends that were there on the trip and they all hugged me.  It was a very lovely experience,” said Alyssa Stoner.

Alyssa and Jeremy have both taken the ACT six times, starting in the seventh grade.  Alyssa made a 21 on her first try.  Jeremy scored a 26.  Both students credit their siblings and classmates for pushing them to aim higher.

“We have a siblings group chat, and they would send to me, like, ‘This is going to be the one that you make a 36’, and it was THE one that made a 36!  Also, my friends group and our class are very encouraging with each other.  We just want to see each other succeed,” said Alyssa.

“I’m very lucky for my friends and my family.  Sometimes, the work is hard, and they would cheer me up if I was having to do the practice tests or work on my least favorite sections.  And my family, they would also be there.  Like my mom, she goes and buys ACT prep books.  When I made my 36, she cleared out half my bookshelf of just ACT prep books,” said Jeremy.

Jeremy and Alyssa have also taken advantage of the high-level courses offered at Harrison Central High.

“I struggle in math mainly, so I was able to take Algebra II and Algebra III this year.  That really helped me boost my math score.  You have to do preparation beforehand, so these rigorous AP classes set the standard for me to be able to take on the work necessary to make the 36,” said Alyssa.

Jeremy has high praise for his teachers.

“There are teachers that leave their mark on you and inspire you to work hard, even after you’ve long left their classroom.  Those teachers are what helped me to learn and have the work ethic to achieve the 36,” said Jeremy.

Both students also understand the importance of how each point increase on the ACT could lead to bigger and better scholarships.

“With this 36, it opens so many new opportunities for college, for getting into a more prestigious school.  I can’t go to a school without scholarships, so this means a lot for my family and for myself,” said Alyssa.

These friends’ future goals will likely lead them along different paths.  Alyssa’s dream is to get accepted into an Ivy League school, like Brown or Cornell University, and major in biology.  Jeremy wants to pursue a career in either engineering or computer science, and attend Cal Tech or MIT.

“I feel very excited, almost elated, about what I did!  It’s a tremendous accomplishment and I’m so proud of myself and of Alyssa,” said Jeremy.

“I was super excited for him, and then after I saw mine, I was like, ‘Jeremy, we did it! We made it!’  It hasn’t settled in yet exactly what my future will be like, but it’s exciting!” said Alyssa.

There are now three students in the Harrison County School District who have made perfect ACT scores this school year.  Last September, Michael Steil of D’Iberville High School also achieved a 36 on the assessment, and he was recognized in February by the Mississippi Board of Education.

You can watch the interviews with Alyssa Stoner and Jeremy Wright here: