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Image 205 of The Courier Journal, March 7, 2012

Part of Porter, Jean

ACHIEVER | MEGHAMSH KANUPARTHY Senior with perfect ACT score offers his advice By Elaine Rooker Jack Special to The Courier-Journal Group leader Mara Muccigrosso helps Julia Niemeier, 5, with her homework at Fern Creek Elementary School’s YMCA site. guide is available now at Jefferson County Public Schools family resource centers are sponsoring a kickoff event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 24 at Beargrass Christian Church. At the kickoff, families can preview 30 to 40 different camp vendors. “Oh, it can be very overwhelming because there are so many different camps out there, but this gives them a chance to shop around,” said Nicole Clark, the coordinator of the resource centers at Bates and Tully elementary schools. “It’s not just for Louisville families or students who go to JCPS schools.” Clark said the school district isn’t charging vendors anything to be included in the event but is requiring each camp to donate a scholarship. The scholarships will be raffled off as door prizes for families who attend, she said. The district has paid special attention to making sure the vendor pool includes camps that offer options for students with disabilities, Clark said. Students in Bullitt County might also be interested in staying close to their home schools this year as the district’s family resource centers plan their own camps for students. Traci Gould, center coordinator for Shepherdsville and Nichols elementaries, is in the process of planning camps about science, art and horses. “Summer camps keep students engaged,” Gould said. “They are educational but also fun, and it helps maintain those connections to the school and to other students. If parents are interested, they should call their home schools to see what their options might be.” In Oldham County, the school district’s arts center is advertising its extensive list of musical, theatrical and artistic camps. The camps include options for Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | The Courier-Journal Julia Watkins, 6, left, and Emma Rose Powers, 7, work on homework at Fern Creek Elementary School’s YMCA site. students from 4 to18, and are open to anyone inside or outside the school system, said Alvin MacWilliams, the center’s executive director. “These are all arts-specific camps rather than more general summer camps,” MacWilliams said. “They each go pretty in-depth into whatever art form the student is interested in.” The arts center has classes for beginners and more advanced students, as well as half-day and full-day options, he said. Making a good choice for a student really depends on the parents and child talking beforehand, Owens said. “If I were a parent, I would be asking myself about what goals I want to accomplish for my kid this summer and then asking them what they’re interested in,” Owens said. “Do they need help being more social? Are they really hoping to improve in a sport? Is there a particular art skill they love? Do they really love science? All of those kinds of things matter if you want to make a good choice.” Reporter Sara Cunningham can be reached at (502) 582-4335. Meghamsh Kanuparthy, 18, says juniors at Manual High School, where he is a senior, have been asking him for testtaking advice recently. Students in Kentucky take the ACT in March of their junior year, and Meghamsh’s schoolmates consider him an expert. He scored a composite 36 on the standardized college entrance test, the highest score possible, when he took it in April 2011. His English and math scores were 35; his reading and science were 36. Meghamsh lives in Crestwood with his parents, Haripriya and Veeraehadra Kanuparthy, and his brother, Srikur, 11. “They’re asking me how to prepare, for advice,” he said, adding that he considered starting an ACT tutoring group at school. Instead, his best advice is to “work hard.” On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students score a 36 on a given testing date. Twenty-two students from Kentucky, including seven Louisville-area students, scored a composite 36 in 2011. Meghamsh also took the ACT in March 2011 and scored a 35, but he took it again in April in order to take the optional writing portion, which some colleges require. “Meghamsh is one of the finest students I have ever known, both academically and as a person,” said Glenn Zwanzig, a teacher at Manual. “As a freshman he was quiet but academic. I knew he was going to be a good student but I could never imagine he would Meghamsh Kanuparthy MEGHAMSH KANUPARTHY Age: 18 Grade: 12 School: Manual High School Hobbies: violin, hanging out with friends turn into such a dynamic figure. He has grown into a strong leader. Teachers and students alike admire and respect this young man.” To prepare, Meghamsh took sample tests out of an ACT preparation book. “Getting familiar with the testing stuff helped,” he said, adding, “If you trust your gut you usually find the best answer choice.” He said there were no complications or unusual circumstances surrounding his March or April testing experiences. But he did have some setbacks when he took a subject test of the SAT, known as SAT II, in India. The testing date coincided with a family trip. “We arrived at 4 a.m. and slept for a couple of hours before going to the testing center. And we went to the wrong testing center.” The confusion didn’t affect his performance. He scored an 800 — another perfect score — on that test as well. He found out about his 36 ACT score while riding on a bus to a Science Olympiad competition, which his team won. He said there were “a lot of smart NEIGHBORHOODS | people on that bus,” who were happy to hear about his score, but he first called his parents to share the news. “My parents are a big force in my life,” he said. “If I have something after school they’re there for me. If I need help, I can ask them.” To date, Meghamsh has taken 12 Advanced Placement courses, and recently he was one of two Kentucky students to receive the 2011 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, administered by the College Board. The other winner was Jessie Li, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, who has taken 10. Established in 1998, the Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement are given to two students from each state — one male and one female — who have earned the greatest number of scores of 5 on exams in AP courses. Winners receive $2,000 scholarships. Besides taking 12 AP courses, Meghamsh also taken two AP exams — Physics C Mechanics, and Physics C Electricity and Magnetism — without taking classes but by preparing for them on his own. “AP classes are cool because they allow you to get some very in-depth information and really connect the various disciplines,” he said. “They really give you a total view of the sciences.” At Manual, Meghamsh is chairman of the school senate, participates in National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, and is on Quick Recall and Science Olympiad teams. He has been accepted to Harvard and intends to study biomedical engineering there in the fall. SOUTHWEST | PAGE 5

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