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Saxony Lutheran student receives perfect ACT score

Saxony Lutheran High School student Megan Benkendorf earned a perfect 36 composite score on the ACT. Benkendorf is the first to receive a perfect ACT score in the school’s 20-year history, according to Saxony principal Mark Ruark.

“Megan is obviously an outstanding young lady and a tremendous student academically,” Ruark said. “You have to be a pretty special student to be able to get a perfect score on the ACT.”

Benkendorf, who will be a senior this fall, received the perfect score when taking it this February at her school, although she didn’t get her results until last month. She joked that her reaction to seeing the perfect score result was that she wouldn’t have to take the test again.

About two million students take the ACT every year, and only 2 percent of all test takers earn a perfect score. The ACT contains multiple-choice tests in four areas – English, math, reading and science. The composite score is the average of all four sections.

Benkendorf said she was not necessarily confident after taking the test in February, saying she found the science section to be the hardest. “I’m really bad at judging how I do on tests, so I wasn’t sure how I did.”

However, Benkendorf had taken the test once before as a sophomore and received a composite score of 34. She took the test early to get an idea of what the test is like and to get into a dual-credit pre-calculus class at Saxony.

Benkendorf is the daughter of Rev. Rod and Sarah Benkendorf of Uniontown. She attended United in Christ Lutheran School before attending Saxony. She is involved in band, drama, Spanish club, Beta club, National Honor Society and tennis at Saxony.

“Megan is one of the best academic students I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” Ruark said. “Our area is blessed with outstanding high schools and outstanding students.”

Benkendorf said that she is still looking at colleges but will probably major in mathematics or computer science after high school.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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