Sean Walsh may not have been looking for perfection, but he found it.
The St. Dominic junior recently discovered that he scored a perfect 36 on his ACT.
“I am quite grateful for the score,” Walsh said. “I remember being overjoyed upon first seeing the results, especially considering that a 36 was by no means my goal, and I absolutely did not think I had done that well on the test. Looking back on the achievement, the feeling is similar to having done well on any other test – there is a sense of accomplishment, but it does not cross my mind that often.”
Walsh’s accomplishment is truly special because, according to American College Testing (ACT) Inc., just 0.334% of those who take the test score a perfect 36.
The perfect score came on the second test attempt for Walsh.
He took the test early in his sophomore year where he scored a 32. Walsh also earned the Glory Award for Knowledge as a sophomore.
When it came to the ACT, he knew he could do better, Walsh said.
“While that was a good score, I was not content and decided to get at least a 34,” Walsh said. “I always thought a perfect score would be nice, but I was also realistic in realizing that a single question on a several hour long test could easily knock me down to a 35, and for something as sensitive to so many unpredictable factors as the ACT, I never expected it to actually happen.”
Walsh said that he’s excited for the doors that the perfect score has opened for him.
While he had a set course as far as his collegiate studies go, the ACT result have modified those plans.
“I feel quite certain that I will be studying Computer Science, although I am not entirely sure where yet,” Walsh said. “I had previously settled on a few schools, but with the scholarships and new opportunities this score provided, I have to reassess those older plans.”
Walsh said that his time at St. Dominic has helped him adjust to the life of a hard-working student.
Even though there was something of a growth period, he has come out better for having had it, he said.
“From what I have observed in my peers, and certainly in myself, it seems quite common that students who were successful in middle school and elementary school are hit particularly hard by the increased work load in high school,” Walsh said. “I was no exception to this. However, I think acquiring the discipline necessary to actually study or work towards some difficult goal has positively impacted almost every aspect of my life, not just academics.”
St. Dominic principal Stacy Stewart extolled Walsh’s virtues as both a student and a valued member of the St. Dominic community.
“It is easy to say that Sean is smart, but I can also state that Sean possesses intellectual capabilities beyond his years,” Stewart said. “Sean is a wonderful young man who continues to inspire others around him. He continues to collaborate and inspire his peers every day. Sean is a gifted young man and I am excited to see where he will impact our community and world.”
School President Jim Welby added that Walsh's hard work is a testament to who he is as a young man.
"Sean is a great kid and we are incredibly proud of him," Welby said. "He has the personality, intelligence, and work ethic to accomplish anything he commits to."