Madison, Miss. (Madison County Journal) – Madison Central beat its previous ACT testing record with 154 students having a score of 30 or higher.
School district spokesperson Gene Wright said that this was a historic benchmark for the school and the district at large.
“Madison Central High School has more members in the ACT 30+ Club than ever before, shattering their record with 154 students in grades 10 through 12 scoring 30 or higher on the ACT,” Wright said.
This group makes up more than 20 percent of the Class of 2019, eight of whom scored a 35 or 36 on the test earning STAR Student recognition. One in every 8 students in the three grades is a member of the ACT 30+ Club at Madison Central this year.
The school held a ceremony recognizing the students and their outstanding academic accomplishments on Tuesday in the Madison Central High School Auditorium.
Dignitaries present for the event included Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and now former Superintendent Kimber Halliburton. She resigned Wednesday. (See story, page A1.)
Halliburton encouraged the seniors to continue to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities their score would open for them while encouraging the juniors and sophomores to retake the test and seek a higher score.
Hawkins-Butler was next to the stage.
“I could not be more proud of you,” she said before asking the students who had been in the school system through Madison Avenue and Madison Station to raise their hands.
She was met with a flurry of hands from the large group of students seated on the left side of the auditorium.
She went on to tell the story of a young man who stopped by City Hall and asked to have a quick word with the mayor.
“He said, ‘Mayor, you read to me when I was in the second grade and last week you read to my son,’” Hawkins-Butler said.
She said Madison’s success has been due, not to recruiting industry and business, but by “going after families.”
She said she hoped to see these students return their home community one day.
“One day when I am 86 years old,” she said. “I hope you will stop by my office. You are the real reason I have always wanted to be mayor of Madison.”
Hosemann started by asking the students to give their parents and teachers present a round of applause.
“I don’t think when I graduated high school we had 154 students score a 30 or higher on the ACT in the entire state,” Hosemann said.
He went on to talk about his time at Notre Dame and the work it took to graduate despite lackluster grades early on.
“Never let anyone else lower the expectations of what you can achieve. This is a gifted bunch of students and you are only limited by your dreams,” Hosemann said.
He went on to say, “You are the future leaders of our state.”
Three student’s names were drawn at random to receive $250 in scholarship money. Seniors Emma Barham, Lita Li and Thomas left the ceremony $250 richer.
MCHS Principal Sean Brewer ended the ceremony.
‘This is an accomplishment on a national level,” He told the students. “It speaks for itself from sea to shining sea.”
After the event, the students and their parents were treated to a brief reception with snack food and punch during the morning break.
Students also took a picture in the shape of a 30+ in the entrance way to the school.
In the middle of the fray of congratulations, hugs and picture taking, Li, a scholarship recipient who has a score of 32 said she was inspired by her fellow students to seek a better grade.
“Mainly I knew I needed to do good to get into college but then I saw my friends working hard and making good scores and that really started raising the ceiling for me,” Li said. ‘It made me want to work hard to go above and beyond what I thought I could achieve.”
Li said she is attending Mississippi State University in the Fall.
Club members include: Sophomore 30 Plus Club Members: Patricia Bethea, Robert Embry, Matthew Huerkamp, Carson Jones, Matthew Li, Rachel Narbo, Mary Rushton, Hanah Ryu, Jackson Strong, Judith Thomas, Phillip Wright, Albert Xu, Matthew Yin; Junior 30 Plus Club Members: Rania Abdo, Aswin Arunachalam, Tanbir Banipal, Elizabeth Barton, Allie Grace Bell, Conner Bell, Lauren Boykin, Luke Bridges, Grace Brian, Ian Brown, Emma Bryans, Vedanth Buddala, Eric Chen, William Clark, Davis Dear, Aidan Duncan, Drew Dunn, Chance Ferrell, Sam Gaines, Maddie Gall, Ian Garrett, Ethan George, Gage Gourley, Emma Harrington, Kaylee Hood, Maddie Howell, Georgia Ishee, Anna Johnston, Jackson Joyner, William Kalahar, Venkat Kota, Logan Landis, Emerson Liles, Amy Lin, Jordan Little, Amber Grace Luckey, Julie Luke, Sreya Maddali, Kelsey Mayhan, Ashley McGhee, Erin McKee, Maggie McKenzie, Chandler Miller, Mary Grace Nelson, Courtland Nobles, Christopher Ogburn, Ivy Renfroe, Jessica Shoemaker, Muhammad Siddiqui, Brooks Stewart, Brandon Strain, Anna Cate Strong, Andrew Tapscott, Lane Taylor, Abbey Temple, Annie Thomas, Caitlin Thrash, Meghan Thrash, Eren Topaloglu, Emma Grace Trammell, Grayson Wallace, Sophia Wilborn, Miller Widemire, Mary Morgan Williams; Senior 30 Plus Club Members: Macy Agostinelli, Saad Alamgir, Addison Baney, Emma Barham, Lauren Barham, Virginia Barksdale, Christian Berry, Tyler Blaylock, Lee Bowman, Mary Caitlin Boyte, Hayden Butts,, Samantha Caldwell, Courtney Coleman, Kira Cooley, Hannah Cloud, Eugene Crunk, Jackson Day, Mallory Dickey, Stephen Draughn, Katherine Earl, Bennett Estes, Mary Michael Evans, Addison Flasck, Kailyn Gardner, Natalie Gault, Clara Gibbs, Raegan Gourley, Jared Gross, Sarah Hall, Jeb Hatfield, Bonnie Hill, Claire Iupe, Sarah Elizabeth Johns, Garrett Johnson, Daniel Joshua, John Huey Kirk, Billy Joe Lam, Robert Lawson, Lita Li, Henri Kate Long,, Davis Lowry, Haley Manor, Kaelyn Martinez, Abigail McKenzie, Garrett Medlock, Lillian Melvin, Emeree Moncrief, John Paul Moorman, Elle Muirhead, Eric Narbo, Cale Nation, Amy Pang, Haaris Patel, Ryan Phillips, Sean Pooley, Cade Proctor, Macie Railsback, Jace Rasmussen, Ryan Ricchetti, Kathryn Scoggins, Kaitlyn Sills, Taylor Simmons, Carter Slater, Jacob Stanard, Andrew Storey, Sydney Storm, Jessica Styres, Jack Thoms, Tu Truong, John Tucker, Phoebe Waters, Christian Watson, Kaci Wilcox , Bailey Wood, Andrew Zhang, Michael Zhang.