Scholars Academy Student, Dorman Junior Gets Perfect Score On ACT Test

February 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm


Published: Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 12:12 a.m.

As a child, Matthew DeAngelis tinkered with circuit boards. It was an early indicator that as a teenager he would accomplish an academic feat that roughly one-tenth of one percent of students in the nation can claim. DeAngelis earned a perfect composite score on the ACT.

The Dorman High School junior took the college entrance exam for the first time in October, and for him, the first time was the charm. The ACT is broken into four parts — English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. DeAngelis, 16, earned a composite score of 36.

Among test takers in the high school graduating Class of 2010, only 588 of nearly 1.6 million students earned a composite score of 36, according to a news release from the ACT.

“I don’t get stressed out about it,” DeAngelis said of test-taking. “I just go in there trying to do the best that I can. I studied hard in my classes, and that was the best preparation.”

DeAngelis is junior class president with the Scholars Academy, a partnership between Dorman and other Spartanburg County schools and University of South Carolina Upstate that allows students to take college courses during high school. At Dorman, he’s a member of the Beta Club, the Interact Club and JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society). He plays recreational soccer and is involved in the Boy Scouts.

Corinne DeAngelis, Matthew’s mother and a math teacher at Dorman, said her son never walks away from a challenge. She said she and her husband, Fred, always push their children to be their best.

“It’s wonderful, but it’s also expected from him,” she said. “I only ask my kids to do what they’re capable of, and he’s capable of that. He really is very self-motivated and very conscientious.”

Dorman Principal Jerry Wyatt said DeAngelis has always been prepared to take on rigorous courses in high school, as evidenced by participating in the Scholars Academy.

“We’re very proud and extremely happy for him,” Wyatt said. “It’s great to see that learning matters. Obviously it matters to him, and it matters to his family.”

DeAngelis acknowledged the perfect composite score will look good on a college application one day, but he hasn’t yet decided where he’ll further his education. For a career path, he’s leaning toward computer engineering.