Skip Navigation LinksCherry Creek School District > District News > CCSD honors students who earned a perfect ACT/SAT score
Print this page

CCSD honors students who earned a perfect ACT/SAT score

Students who earned a perfect score on the 2017 ACT or SAT

For Hari Sowrirajan, practice makes perfect.

In 2017, the Cherry Creek High School student earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT test, then a perfect score of 1600 on the SAT, then a second perfect score on a second ACT test.

“In the end, there’s no substitute for doing the actual practice tests,” Sowrirajan said. “I did a ton of ACT prep over the summer.”

That included a test prep course through an outside organization and doing every practice test he could find, even though some were less than encouraging.

“I actually never got a perfect score during SAT practice,” Sowrirajan recalled. “At one point I was missing over ten questions on the reading section.”

But Sowrirajan persevered and is one of 20 seniors in the Cherry Creek School District who earned a perfect score on the ACT or SAT in 2017. He is the only student who earned a perfect score on both exams. Earning a perfect score on either test, much less both, is truly remarkable. Each year, around two million students take the ACT and the SAT tests, and just a fraction of them – less than one-tenth of one percent – earn a perfect score. Congratulations to these outstanding scholars:

Perfect ACT score:
• Ansley Avis – Cherry Creek High School
• Hannah Cussen – Cherry Creek High School
• Ethan Elgavish – Cherry Creek High School
• Tagleet Geltser – Cherry Creek High School
• Kylie Hunter – Cherry Creek High School
• Gloria Jung – Cherry Creek High School
• Aditya Kumar – Cherry Creek High School
• Grace Lao – Cherry Creek High School
• Christopher Lee – Cherry Creek High School
• Ana Mayordomo – Cherry Creek High School
• Rachel Moes – Cherry Creek High School
• Paul Nicknish – Cherry Creek High School
• Ryan Olsen – Cherokee Trail High School
• Daivi Patel – Cherokee Trail High School
• Emily Powis – Cherry Creek High School
• Jared Scott – Cherry Creek High School
• Isani Singh – Cherry Creek High School
• Hari Sowrirajan – Cherry Creek High School

Perfect SAT score:
• Matthew Fox – Grandview High School
• Hari Sowrirajan – Cherry Creek High School
• Siddharth Mane – Cherry Creek High School

The 20 CCSD students who earned a perfect score seem to have 20 different ways to prepare for standardized college admissions tests. Cherokee Trail High School student Ryan Olsen didn’t take any kind of test prep course.

“My sister did have an ACT prep book and I think I took half a test, but other than that, I just did the practice ACT sections that we would do in classes in high school,” Olsen said.

Cherry Creek senior Hannah Cussen took a similar, low-key approach.

“I had my book and I would look at the cover in the month leading up to it but I never opened it until the week before,” Cussen said. When testing day arrived, she just stayed relaxed and let her natural test-taking abilities take over. “Standardized tests have always come pretty easy to me,” she said.

While their test prep approaches are unique, these 20 exemplary scholars have several things in common. For example, they are all very involved in school and community activities. Some play sports, others are involved in the arts. Nearly all are members of several school organizations, ranging from student government and DECA to math club and speech and debate.

In addition, they all have a passion for learning and are looking forward to continuing their educational pursuits at Ivy League schools and other top colleges across the country. Many are still waiting to hear on acceptances and scholarships before making a decision on where they will spend the next four years. But others, including Olsen, know exactly where they will be heading in the fall. Olsen, who is also a National Merit Semifinalist, will study actuarial science at the University of Nebraska, one of the nation’s 16 Centers of Actuarial Excellence.

Cussen, who is a talented musician as well as an outstanding scholar, will spend the summer traveling across the country, practicing up to 14 hours a day and competing as a member of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. In the fall, she will likely attend Stanford University where she will study biology and music.

“I want to make money with bio and have fun with music,” Cussen said with a smile.

Sowrirajan plans to study material science and engineering at MIT, though he’s not sure what type of engineering he will specialize in. He shares Cussen’s love of music and also has an interest in business.

“I’m a STEM guy, I like math and science. But music is something I’m passionate about and (so is) business… I want to see how you take the theoretical STEM world to the real world,” Sowrirajan said.

The Cherry Creek School District honored this elite group of students and their parents at a luncheon on Feb. 6. See photos from the celebration on the Cherry Creek Schools Facebook page. Dr. Harry Bull, superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, congratulated them on their many accomplishments and strongly encouraged them to savor their success and make time to relax and rejuvenate once in a while.

“My message to all of you is this: By virtue of your performance on these tests, you have established yourselves as probably the top one percent of students in this country,” Bull said. “What that means is you’re going to have these incredible opportunities that lie ahead. Pursue those heights, you’re prepared, you’ve performed exceptionally, but give yourselves permission to turn left when everyone else is turning right and go do something fun.”

Posted 2/12/2018 12:33 PM
Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

You are now leaving the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) portal. Please note that CCSD does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness, or appropriateness of any content contained on web sites and/or pages outside of the official CCSD portal. The information or opinions contained on these web sites and/or pages do not necessarily represent the views of the CCSD.

With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.