Summit Country Day School senior Irene Calderon of Hyde Park earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. The average composite ACT score for 2020-2021 is a 20.7.
A student’s overall score is a composite of results on the four mandatory parts of the exam — English, math, reading and science.
Irene is an avid scientific researcher, a self-proclaimed Latin nerd, prolific writer, talented musician, is committed to community service, a blackbelt in Taekwondo and has challenged herself academically.
She has been published in scientific publications on six occasions and written or contributed to nine scientific abstracts.
“One experience that stands out to me is the independent scientific research that I have been doing since freshmen year,” she said. “I started the project after a computational biology camp I attended at the University of Michigan. Every year, I have added to my work and findings, published abstracts and presented posters at international conferences. I’ve taken courses in statistical and programming software and read a lot about immunobiology. A multiyear project takes a lot of persistence, tenacity, discipline, creativity and inquisitiveness.”
Irene is the 2021-2022 National Junior Classical League Historian. She is responsible for creating and editing the national scrapbook of the organization. She’s held JCL leadership positions at the state and school level and is a decorated Latin scholar at the local, state and national level as well.
She is the only one in her class who has earned four consecutive gold medals in the challenging National Latin Exam with two perfect papers, the only Summit student who scored a perfect paper in the Medusa Myth exam and the only honorary inductee to Eta Sigma Phi in her class. “My participation in the classics has allowed me to grow in different ways,” she said.
Irene has obtained both gold and silver medals across different writing categories at the Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Contest.
She furthers her artistic pursuits by performing and composing music. She plays the flute, violin and piano. She’s been composing her own pieces since 2018. She tested perfect pitch by a composition professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Music.
During her years in The Summit Upper School, Irene has more than 150 hours of community service with organizations such as Matthew 25: Ministries, Ronald McDonald House, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, St. Margaret Hall Nursing Home and St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Irene’s athletic pursuits include being a first dan blackbelt in Taekwondo and as well as fencing in the foil discipline.
With everything that she puts on her plate, it would be easy, perhaps expected, for her to relent on her academic pursuits. She has not, at all.
She’s taken advanced courses at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins and UC. By graduation in May, she will have taken 12 Advanced Placement courses.
“I love academics primarily because I love learning,” she said.