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Holy Spirit student earns perfect scores on SAT, ACT tests
by Nicole Dow
July 23, 2014 09:25 AM | 2532 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Meredith Jones
Meredith Jones
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Meredith Jones studied for the SAT and ACT tests before taking them June 7 and 14, respectively, but said she was not expecting to score perfect marks on both of them.

The 17-year-old rising senior at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Buckhead earned a 2400 on the SAT and a 36 on the ACT. According to recent data from the College Board, which administers the SAT, only 0.02 percent of test-takers score a 2400 in one sitting. Data from the ACT reports about 0.06 percent of test-takers earn a 36.

“When I heard the news, I was very excited but also surprised,” Meredith said. “Both of the tests are long and difficult, and although I had studied for both, there is always an element of uncertainty when taking any standardized test.”

When the news of the scores came out, Meredith was on a school mission trip in Whitley City, Ky. Her mother, Joann, said the family received news of both scores the last week in June.

“My older brother, Todd, told me over the phone each time the news came in,” Meredith said. “At first I thought he was kidding, especially when he told me about the second test score for the SAT, but when he confirmed he wasn’t joking, I was very happy.”

Joann Jones said her children share a friendly competitiveness. Todd, who graduated from Holy Spirit Prep in 2012 as the valedictorian and STAR student, scored a 2390 on his SATs in one sitting, missing one question, his mother said.

“But his reaction when he heard [the news of Meredith’s scores] was he was so excited for her,” Joann said.

She said she and her husband Todd Sr. are very proud of their daughter. Meredith said she set aside time during the first two weeks of June to study for the exams.

“I spent a lot of time during those two weeks working practice problems and taking full practice tests,” she said. “I also went to three one-hour sessions at Chyten, a test prep center in Sandy Springs. The instructor provided me with practice materials, focusing on topics that were most challenging for me, as well as topics that generally are considered to be the most difficult.”

Meredith credits her academic success to supportive foundations both at home and at school.

“First of all, I have been blessed with an amazing family that encourages me daily to work hard and challenge myself,” she said. “I have been brought up in an environment in which giving 100 percent is expected, and in turn, I have learned to expect that of myself. Also, I have had a series of excellent teachers at my school. [Holy Spirit Prep] has a rigorous curriculum, and it offers both Greek and Latin, which are helpful in so many areas of study, especially SAT vocabulary words.”

Meredith also said the school has a great approach to balancing academics with faith, sports and the arts, which she considers fun de-stressors. She has been attending Holy Spirit Prep since preschool and is exploring options for post-graduate study.

Joann said Meredith is a well-rounded student who plays soccer and basketball, runs cross country, sings in the school choir and is a Girl Scout ambassador working toward her Gold Award. During the 2014-15 school year, Meredith will serve as the Head Girl at Holy Spirit Prep, the school’s highest student leadership position.

In a news release, Head of School Kyle Pietrantonio said it has been a joy to see Meredith grow and share her talents with others at the school over the years, and he was “thrilled” to learn of her test scores.

“Whether on the soccer field or on the basketball court, in the classroom or on the stage, Meredith is a star,” he said. “She truly excels in all areas but does so with a beautiful grace and humility that would make any educator extremely proud.”

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