McMURRAY – Just before noon Friday, Nick Roberts, Roy Wang and Matt Gummersbach sat around a table in the guidance room of Peters Township High School eating lunch and conversing about whatever juniors talk about. There was nothing extraordinary about the conversation and nothing unusual about the boys, with one huge exception.
Roberts and Wang each scored a perfect 2,400 on the college SAT, and Gummersbach scored a perfect 36 on his ACT, missing a perfect SAT score by only 50 points, with a score of 2,350.
All three will pretty much have their pick of colleges after graduation in 2015. None has narrowed the search, but Roberts is looking at Penn State and Carnegie Mellon University, and has yet to visit the University of Virginia and Stanford University on his quest to study engineering.
Wang is leaning toward bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University or Stanford, eventually ending in, perhaps, the medical field.
Gummersbach, who is looking at Notre Dame, Stanford, Washington and Harvard universities and MIT, is also hoping to major in engineering because, as he said, there are a lot of jobs and good salaries.
They are 16 and 17 years old, just old enough to drive a car, yet the teens are planning the rest of their lives with the help of pretty impressive resumes of perfect test scores.
Each credits the classes offered at Peters Township High School, along with the teachers and the school environment. They don’t just sit around in or out of school.
Reading, each said, is one way to broaden mental horizons. Roberts is reading “Game of Thrones,” Gummersbach likes “The Count of Monte Christo,” and Wang is reading one of his favorite mysteries, “Sherlock Holmes.” Nick plays trombone in the high school marching band; Matt pitches for the high school baseball team and ran cross country in the fall, and Roy reads, plays piano and is on the school’s chess team. The trio exemplify the term “well-rounded.”
Of about 1.6 million nationwide who took the SAT in 2013, only about 400 registered a perfect score, said Shelly Belcher, district spokeswoman. And to have two students from the same school achieve perfect scores on the SAT and one score perfect on the ACT and nearly perfect on the SAT is downright astounding, said Belcher.
Nick, son of Cheryl and Tim Roberts; Roy, son of Jin Wang and Chumnei Song, and Matt, son of Todd and Lori Gummersbach, said they all went to preschool and none took SAT preparation classes. All of their parents, the boys said, are extremely proud of their accomplishments, but their friends and peers aren’t treating them any differently.
Emily Sanders, assistant high school principal, said she has been in the education field for 13 years, including in three other school districts, and this is the first time in her career anyone has scored perfect SAT or ACT scores, let alone three students in one year.
“This is a true testament to the community values and the school district,” Sanders said, adding the primary focus of the district is to prepare the students for postsecondary education.
Co-facilitators in the guidance department, Jeff Sudol and Heather Wawrzeniak, credited the boys with being intelligent and talented.
Wawrzeniak has worked with Gummersbach since the ninth grade and had a big smile on her face when she discussed his perfect ACT score and nearly perfect SAT score.
“This is great for the kids and great for the school,” Wawrzeniak said.