Seventh grader scores high on ACT

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 4, 2001

Staff Writer

Many are amazed when a high school student scores a 26 on the ACT.

But, when that person is a seventh grader, he or she is in the sights of colleges and universities across the nation.

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Chris Fuller, a student at Zion Chapel, is one of those getting recognition by the Duke Talent Identification Program, which invited the bright student ­ who has never made a B on his report card ­ to take the college test.

He took it in February and scored a 26.

"I was really happy and kind of surprised," Fuller said of receiving his test scores.

Although he had taken the Stanford Achievement Test, the American College Testing Program exam was a different experience ­ one for which he was ready.

"I thought it would be a challenge," Fuller said of the invitation by Duke’s TIP to take the test many college-bound students fear.

Since receiving his scores, Fuller has been getting plenty of mail from colleges that have summer studies programs for people his age. Duke University, Vanderbilt and Northwest University in Louisiana are among the schools trying to lure Fuller to their campuses.

Because of his age, Fuller’s mother, Angie, thinks they will wait another year before he leaves home for the college experience.

However, he believes he’s ready.

"I think I’m ready to go to college for a couple of weeks," Fuller said.

In the meantime, Fuller was participate in the state recognition ceremony on May 19 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Grand Recognition ceremony on May 21 in Durham, N.C. He is only one of 1,158 who was invited to the national ceremony.

TIP Grand Recognition Ceremony honorees are in the top 1 percent of their peers (nationwide), academically. They have also scored better than 90 percent of college-bound high school seniors on the SAT and ACT.

Shannon and Angie Fuller, who live just over the Coffee-Pike County line are hoping his high test scores lead to scholarship opportunities, especially considering their son wants to attend MIT and study computer programming and robotics.

His dream job is to design video games. His mother said he’s well on his way since he’s actually been designing computer programs since he was about 4 years old.

When he’s not playing video games or on the computer, Fuller enjoys reading and playing all kinds of sports ­ basketball, soccer, baseball and football.

"I like to tinker with stuff," Fuller said of another hobby. "I’ve built a couple of things."

At Zion Chapel, Fuller is a member of the Junior Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America.