Kevin Burke is one of eight Lyons Township High School students to score a perfect 36 on the ACT college entrance exam this year.
The news was especially sweet for 17-year-old Burke because he had already scored a 35—and felt completely satisfied with that mark—but was required to take the test again as a junior at LTHS.
Burke said he was "very, very excited" when he heard the second time around had yielded a flawless result, an achievement he shares with relatively few nationwide. Last year, approximately 1,400 out of the 1.4 million students who took the 215-question college entrance exam, received 36, according to the ACT official Website.
Most of his interests and activities reflect music, math and physical science—the latter two being subjects he'd like to study in college, and perhaps teach to high school students, an aspiration fueled by the positive impact of his own experience as a student.
At LTHS, where he'll begin senior year Aug. 23, Burke runs on the junior varsity cross country team, competes on the math team, and sings bass in both the chorus and the audition-only Madrigal concert choir.
Two months ago, he began pursuing his life-long dream of playing piano, after 12 years as a violinist. He has picked it up quickly, after fine-tuning his inner ear for so many years.
"The one hump to overcome is dual hand coordination," he said.
The youngest of five kids, this fall he'll be the only one home in Western Springs with his parents, Mary and Bill Burke—a first.
"That will be interesting," he said, noting the amount of spare focus his parents will be able to spend on him—at least whenever he is home. The busy scholar is in his second year as a summer lifeguard at the outdoor La Grange Country Club swimming pool.
Seven other Lyons Township High School students produced perfect ACT scores in spring 2010—five have contacted La Grange Patch and have appeared in articles. Three have not contacted La Grange Patch, and the school has not released their names.