Bellaire High School Student Earns Perfect ACT Score
“Math is just like chess. You use a sixth sense, the intuition, and everything flows,” said the Bellaire High School junior. “You have the board where all the pieces are laid out and you have to see the whole picture. It’s just like a math problem. You approach it in pieces, but work your way through to find the answer and see the big picture.”
And it was seeing the big picture that kept Jeff focused to tackle the ACT college admissions and placement exam and land a perfect score. Jeff earned the highest composite score of 36. To put that in perspective, among the high-school graduating of 2009, nearly 1.5 million graduates took the ACT and only 638 earned a perfect score. That means, that on average, less than one-tenth of one percent of all test-takers earned the top score.
“What an outstanding academic performance from an outstanding Bellaire High student,” said Principal Tim Salem. “We are very proud.”
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges in consideration of college admissions.
Jeff’s favorite subject is mathematics and every year, he takes the US Mathematics Olympiad exam to improve. “If I do well on the Olympiad, I would attend a special camp this summer, the Mathematical Olympiad Summer program (MOSP) or I’ll go to Boston University, where I can experience life on campus and study business or mass communications all revolving around math,” he says.
Jeff is also a valuable member of the Bellaire chess team, which tied for second place in the nation at the spring United States Chess Federation tournament. Jeff is ranked 1900 nationwide.
“Jeff sets very high expectations for himself,” said Bellaire biology teacher and chess team coach Michael Mavronicles. “He’s one of the hardest-working students I know and he really deserves to be recognized for his achievements. In chess, he’s fearless and has the best recall I’ve ever seen. He can look at a chess game, at a complex position, and say ‘I remember that; that’s from a 1940s game between two master players,’ and he names the players. He is just remarkable.”
Jeff attributes much of his success to his family and the teachers he had along the way. Before coming to Bellaire, Jeff attended HISD’s West University Elementary and T.H. Rogers Middle Schools.