Four Fairhope High School students score perfect on ACT

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:04 PM CDT
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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - Fairhope High School has a lot to brag about and so do several of their seniors. Not one on two, not three, but four students made a perfect score on their ACT tests last spring. It’s the first time in school history it’s happened.

After waiting all summer, Payton Null, Noah Sugg, Tucker Goodin and Jack McKenzie just found out their ACTs taken back in March as juniors came back with perfect scores. They’ve earned a spot on the ACT 30 + Club “Wall of Fame” at the high school. Scoring a 30 or higher is a huge accomplishment but according to school officials, only 0.250 % of test-takers score a perfect 36 like they did.

After waiting all summer, Tucker Goodin, Payton Null, Noah Sugg,  and Jack McKenzie (left to...
After waiting all summer, Tucker Goodin, Payton Null, Noah Sugg, and Jack McKenzie (left to right) just found out their ACTs taken back in March as juniors came back with perfect scores.(Hal Scheurich)

Fox 10 News had an opportunity to sit down with them for some insight on what it took to get the perfect score.

“See, I spend hours studying so that I seem test-prepared, but it doesn’t just come easy,” Null said.

“Easier to me,” Sugg chimed in. “It only…I only study for an hour or so, maybe at most.”

“I usually try and just absorb as much information in class as possible so that I don’t have to study afterwards,” added McKenzie.

“It’s really important to make sure that you’re actually comprehending information rather than just uh…regurgitating,” said Goodin.

Study habits may differ some but it’s apparent that comprehension of what’s taught is key to each of their successes. You may wonder what the future holds for these four young men with such a bright path ahead of them…and so did we, starting with Tucker Goodin, who’s applying to 22 universities, including MIT, Princeton and Yale.

“Software engineering, programming, different directions of comp. sci. (computer science) because it allows you to kind of have a large presence in the development of the world,” explained Goodin.

Well, I’ve applied to and been accepted to USA across the bay,” said Sugg. “There, I’m probably going to do bio-med…get into medical school there.”

Noah Sugg hasn’t made up his mind yet where he’s going and as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, there’s sure to be plenty of opportunities.

Payton Null hopes to follow in his parents’ entrepreneurial footsteps and Jack McKenzie has his sights set on aerospace or mechanical engineering. These students didn’t get to where they are without great teachers and mentors. Those who’ve worked with them say it’s inspiring to see their accomplishments.

“It takes a lot of studying, for one. It takes a lot of dedication,” said Fairhope High School International Baccalaureate and junior class counselor, Cammie Adams. “You know, these students, they had a goal. You guys have talked to them. They knew what they wanted to do, and they just wanted to meet that goal, so from that, they have jobs. They have extracurriculars.”

These students lead a full life both at school and away, from student government to cross country and band…youth orchestra to multiple school clubs. Payton Null even hosts his own podcast.

“It’s called, ‘Scene it All,’ spelled like movie “scene” and I do it about once a week…review the newest movies, TV shows. Talk about all that stuff,” Null explained.

“I listen to a lot of symphonic power metal. It’s one of my favorite genres,” said Jack McKenzie. “I’m wanting…I got Spotify at the beginning of the year because I’m like, I want to see what my year in review is going to be like.”

It’s those things away from the classroom that all agree are also keys to success. Always allow yourself time to decompress.

To put things in perspective, across the entire Baldwin County school system there were just seven perfect ACT scores. Fairhope High School also announced that four students have made the list of National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Good luck to you all.