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Posted on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:10 p.m.

6 students at Huron High School score perfect ACTs

By Ann Dwyer

Sure, Pioneer High School had reason to brag. Three of its students received perfect scores on their ACT college entrance exam. 

But Huron High School has double the bragging rights after six, yes six, of its students also aced the ACT.

The six students are Pelham Barron, Hwang Heemyung, Jong Hwan Koo, JooYoung Moon, Sussy Pan and Derek Wu. All will be entering into the 12th grade in the fall.

A score of 36 is considered perfect on the American College Test, which assesses a student's skills in the areas of English, mathematics, reading and science. The test is often used by colleges and universities to determine entry into their institution.

Huron High School does offer practice tests for the students, but there are no special courses or study programs set up through the school, according to 11th-grade principal Marcus Edmondson.

"All the credit goes to the students, parents and...the teachers at Huron High School," Edmondson said.

Unfortunately, the ACT company can't say whether six perfect scores in one year at one school is a record. 

Nancy Owen, a company representative, did say the scores were "very impressive." The national average score for the test is 21.1, and less than one-tenth of 1 percent of 2009 graduates who took the ACT scored a 36, according to the ACT website.

The school has had at most two or three students receive perfect scores in one year, according to Edmondson. "This was a great feat," he said.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Todd Roberts sent out an update last month that two more students from Huron High School also received perfect scores. The two students, Joshua Cheng and Philip Tsao, did not take the test at the same time as the other six students.


Ann Dwyer

Mon, Jun 21, 2010 : 9:03 a.m.

@Josh - The change has been made.


Sun, Jun 20, 2010 : 2:11 p.m.

Hi Ann I think you spelled my last name wrong- it's "Cheng" not "Weng" Also I think another student, John Han, got a 36 earlier in the year? Not sure about that one.


Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

If you don't have an accurate count of our wonderful, over-achieving student populace then perhaps don't mention their accomplishments until you have all the facts, e.g names? Is that so hard? Sheesh!


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 11:24 p.m.

@DagnyJ: Couldn't have said it better.


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

I totally agree with Ann. It's impossible to keep track of all the amazing accomplishments of local students. Thank you, Ann Dwyer and for at least attempting to highlight a few of them. I look forward to Sunday's Top Scholar publication!

Ann Dwyer

Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 9:09 a.m.

There are many, many high achieving students in the area. This Sunday we will be publish Top Scholars, which will feature photos and information about the top 5 percent of the graduating class from all Washtenaw County high schools.


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 8:29 a.m.

@Ray: sorry, the numbers you cite are for 2008-2009, not the current school year. The names of the 2009-2010 semifinalists from Pioneer can be found here: Huron's here: and Community's here: I mentioned in my original post that "the numbers go back and forth from year to year". This isn't a competition. (Hey, I was the first one to mention that there were actually 8 perfect scorers from Huron, not 6!) I merely wanted to point out that Pioneer has its share of very fine students, as does Community, and to counter DagnyJ's characterization of Pioneer as school where "sports rule". With a little sleuthing at the AAPS website I also discovered that Quentin Long from Community scored a perfect 36, and Daniel Kriz of Pioneer scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT.

Ann Dwyer

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 9:21 p.m.

The story has been updated to correct Pelham Barron's name, and the other two students who also received perfect ACT scores have been mentioned at the bottom of the article. Thank you to those who brought this to our attention.

Ann Dwyer

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 7:48 p.m.

@Ray - I took your friends name off of the Huron High School site. And here is what I found on the AAPS site regarding the other two students, written by Todd Roberts, AAPS superintendent: "Last week I reported that six students from Huron received perfect scores of 36 on the ACT. I found out about two more which makes a total of eight students from Huron with a perfect score. There were 638 perfect ACT scores this year and Huron has 8. There were 1.5 million high school students that took the test. The eight students from Huron are: Barron Pelham, Joshua Cheng, Hwang Heemyung, Jong Hwan Koo, JooYoung Moon, Sussy Pan, Philip Tsao and Derek Wu"


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 6:47 p.m.

@Ann: - Thank you for writing this article for Huron's ACT winners. - The listing of the student "Barron Pelham" is incorrect. His name is Pelham Barron. He's my friend. - Joshua Cheng and Phillip Tsao did also receive perfect scores, and they were indeed earned on test dates different from the other 6. However, they should still definitely be counted. @RTAA: I have no idea where you got your numbers from, because they're definitely wrong. I'm looking at Huron own planner right now, which lists NMF info for 08-09, and it says there were 28 National Merit Finalists and 30 Semi-Finalists. Pihi's website lists only 16: That's almost double the amount of NMF for Huron than Pihi.

Atticus F.

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 3:54 p.m.

Go River Rats!!!!


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

Ann, I think you're right - the two additional students are probably from a different administration of the test. I found the information here (the second bulleted item): Thanks for writing this article!

Ann Dwyer

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

To those saying there are eight students, I looked at Huron's website and still see only six listed. The spokesperson from the ACT company also said there were 6 perfect scores from Huron. Perhaps the other two students took the tests at different times from this group.

rusty shackelford

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:39 p.m. "does need" to get people who know how to write and edit to work for them. Huron High School does offer practice tests for the students By which I think you mean "Huron High School offers practice tests for the students...." As any one who aced the ACT can tell you, unnecessary verbs, especially "do" nothing ones, are not only annoying to read but make the person who writes that way look unprofessional and unintelligent in the extreme. I do look forward to reading a competently written article one day.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:32 p.m.

I congratulate the students on their accomplishment. But.... and I hate to sound like a grump, but one challenge for some students is that they spend too much effort on acing tests and getting perfect grades and neglect pursuing learning on their own outside of school. It takes more than just good grades to succeed in the real world. Don't forget to pursue practical knowledge and experience that you don't get just from memorizing answers and passing tests.


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:19 p.m.

RTAA is correct; Dr. Roberts sent a district announcement that listed eight, not six, Huron students with perfect scores. What about the other two deserving students? Can they please be added to the article?


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

Actually, there were 8 students from Huron with perfect ACT scores: the AAPS website noted that there were two additional students left off the original list: Joshua Cheng and Philip Tsao. @DagnyJ: I don't agree with your assessment of Huron as the "academic" school and Pioneer as the "jock" school. Last fall 32 Pioneer students were named National Merit Semifinalists to Huron's 23. Even given the larger class size at PiHi, the proportion of semifinalists was higher. This year, the four Presidential Scholar candidates from the Ann Arbor Public Schools were all from Pioneer. The numbers go back and forth from year to year, but to categorize the two schools as you have does a disservice to the great students and teachers at Pioneer.


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 12:36 p.m.

Nice. Huron was rated the top high school in Michigan for academics. Pioneer has long ruled sports, but Huron takes top honors in academics.