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 www.courierjournal.com/summercamps.
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
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,”
“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
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
scored a composite 36 in
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
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
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
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people on that bus,” who
were happy to hear about
his score, but he first
called his parents to share
“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
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.
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