WSB: Atlanta teen earns perfect scores on SAT, ACT exams
Georgia Bulletin: Perfect score on SAT and ACT by Holy Spirit Prep student
Neighbor News: Holy Spirit student earns perfect scores on SAT, ACT tests
Reporter News: Standout Student: Meredith Jones scores perfect SAT, ACT
Buckhead Patch: Holy Spirit Prep Student Aces Admissions Tests
11Alive: Atlanta teen gets perfect SAT, ACT scores
Meredith Jones, a rising senior at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta, has earned the highest possible scores on both the SAT and ACT exams, the standardized tests famously used by colleges in their admissions process. Meredith scored a 2400 on the SAT and a 36 on the ACT, each in one sitting, taking the two exams just a week apart from each other this June. The most recent data by the College Board, which administers the SAT, reports that just 0.02% of students earn a 2400 on the SAT in one sitting, and the ACT reports that roughly 0.06% of test-takers earn a 36. Official data on test-takers who earn top scores on both exams is not readily available, but it is generally acknowledged that only a handful of students across the country accomplish the feat each year.
“The SAT and ACT are not easy tests, by any means,” said Meredith, “so I feel fortunate to have achieved the scores I did. The values of hard work and confidence that my school, Holy Spirit Prep, and my family have instilled in me since day one certainly played a big role in the results. I’m proud of what I accomplished, but never could have achieved it without the support of the people around me.”
Meredith is giving her brother, Todd Jones, a run for his money: he graduated as Holy Spirit Prep’s valedictorian and STAR Student two years ago in 2012, and now attends Harvard University.
Meredith has attended Holy Spirit Prep since its Mother’s Morning Out program for children under the age of two. This year, Meredith will serve as the student body’s Head Girl, the school’s highest student leadership position. She is a member of Alpha Phi, HSP’s women’s service organization, and an admissions ambassador; she is working towards her Gold Award, the highest honor awarded by the Girl Scouts; she was a participant in the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program in 2013 and Youth Leadership Sandy Springs in 2013-14; and she is an avid soccer, basketball, and cross-country athlete, lettering in all three varsity sports at Holy Spirit Prep.
Meredith’s future is wide open and brimming with potential: “I’m still exploring different subjects in school, and fortunately the decisions regarding college and career choices are a little bit in my future” said Meredith about her college choices. “As of right now, however, I am leaning toward colleges out of state, particularly in the Northeast; but other colleges, including Georgia schools, are still possibilities. Academically, I’m very interested in both chemistry and classics, so I likely will focus on colleges that are strong in both of these areas.”
“We're very proud of Meredith and her accomplishments," said her parents, Todd and Joann. "Her achievement also is a testament to Holy Spirit Prep and its wonderful curriculum, faculty, and administration. Even better, the school has given her the opportunity to participate in the many extracurricular activities she loves, while surrounding her with great friends and classmates.”
When her science teacher, Matthew Reger, found out, he wasn’t surprised. “Meredith’s intellectual gifts are obvious, but what her grades and test scores cannot show is Meredith’s remarkable personality. She is humble, caring, generous, and well-rounded. In the two years I have taught her, I have never seen her brag, show off, or put another student down. She goes out of her way to encourage and help others, and she does it all with a cheerful and humble attitude that makes her a model Holy Spirit Prep student. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to know and teach Meredith.”
Her English teacher, Pete Radosta, said, "Meredith is good at a lot of 'stuff': shooting hoops, defending the back line (soccer), swinging a hammer, and baking cookies to name a few things, She is also one of the most talented writers I've ever taught. Meredith makes good writing seem easy, but this "ease" actually comes from hours of reading and writing on her own. Meredith is proof that the best way to learn is to read."
Holy Spirit Prep’s Head of School, Kyle Pietrantonio, praised Meredith’s array of talents, “I was thrilled to learn of Meredith’s extraordinary achievement on both the SAT and ACT. Meredith has been at Holy Spirit Prep since preschool, and it has been a great joy to see her grow and share her diverse gifts with others at school over the past number of years. Whether on the soccer field or on the basketball court, in the classroom or on the stage, Meredith is a star. She truly excels in all areas, but does so with a beautiful grace and humility that would make any educator extremely proud.”
“My advice for other test takers, as cliché as it might sound, is to practice,” said Meredith. ”Honestly, getting acquainted with the structure of the two tests and becoming familiar with the kinds of questions were the two things that helped me the most. I also encourage focusing on one section at a time rather than thinking about the test as a whole; it whittles down a daunting task into more manageable pieces.”
Established in 1996, Holy Spirit Preparatory School is an independent Catholic school in Atlanta, Georgia, that combines the best traditions of Catholic education with those of a classical preparatory school. Serving students from preschool through twelfth grade, the young school has become known for its strong Catholic identity and its integrated program of academic and spiritual formation. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education named Holy Spirit Prep a Blue Ribbon School. The school is recognized by the Cardinal Newman Society as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation for “overall excellence in Catholic identity, academics and civics education.”