COTTONWOOD – A year ago, Violet King missed three questions on her PSAT test.
This year, she finished with a perfect score.
“I was expecting to do about the same this year,” the 16-year-old Mingus Union High School junior said Monday. “I came out of it thinking I’d done pretty well.”
It doesn’t happen very often, a perfect score on the PSAT – known officially as the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.
In fact, the school’s director of Student Support Services said that she cannot recall a time when a Mingus student finished the test with a perfect score.
“She is an incredible student both in her commitment to school and her positivity and kindness to others,” Gretchen Wesbrock said. “She is a ray of sunshine on our campus.”
Violet’s father said that “she’s been blessed to have had such fantastic teachers along the way.”
“She works hard in everything she does,” said her father Steve King, who is also superintendent of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District. “She’s quirky, she’s fun, and above all else she’s happy.”
PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and can potentially be tied to scholarship money.
According to Mingus Union Principal Genie Gee, Violet’s perfect score places her in the top 1 percent of PSAT test-takers.
“Violet is intelligent and hard-working, but she is also humble, thoughtful, and funny,” said Gee, also the district’s acting superintendent. “I am just so proud of her and the hard work that this score represents.”
Although she went through the study book to prepare for the examination, Violet said for her it was easier to study the subjects she already takes in school.
Taking AP classes at Mingus Union, Violet expects that she’ll have a “about a 4.26 GPA” by semester’s end.
With one eye on her art – she paints and draws – Violet said she would like to attend the University of Arizona to study linguistics.
“I like the phonetics and the syntax,” Violet said. “The great thing about linguistics is that it includes math, history, foreign languages, all these things combined.”
Since she does not want to teach, Violet could be headed to a career in research. But she also has an eye on travel.
“I think being a tour guide would be pretty fun, too,” she said.
But art is a daily part of Violet’s life. In fact, the school pulled Violet from her advanced art class to tell her about the perfect PSAT score.
“I was excited when they told me,” she said. “But of all the classes to take me out of. It’s always the class I least want to miss.”
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