VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Every year, roughly 2 million students take the ACT. Less than 1 percent of them earn a perfect score.
Valdosta senior Katelyn Lancaster is now in that number, earning a perfect 36. While she put in the work to do well, she said those results caught her by surprise.
Katie said, "Logged into my account and went to my scores and it said 36! I just looked at it for a second and then I went (scream)."
Like millions of high school students, Katelyn Lancaster was nervous in the hours before she took the ACT, studying all the way up to the very last minute.
"I went to breakfast with my mom beforehand," said Katie. "And we kept going through math formulas beforehand, I didn't feel good about the math section at all. We were sitting there going through math equations as we were sitting there having breakfast."
In talking to some of the teachers at Valdosta High School, while they're not surprised about Katie's perfect ACT score, they tell ABC 27 that's not what impresses them the most about her.
"Tremendous integrity and honesty. She's very kind," said Kevin Norman, a math teacher at the high school. "I''ve never heard her say a cross word about any student or anyone else."
"In the best way possible, she's like a dog with a bone. She is going to work, work, work until she accomplishes a goal and I love that about her," said Narci Drossos, an Englist teacher at Valdosta High.
Katies isn't just book smart. She has a lot of wisdom for a 17-year-old and wants to encourage other students.
"I have a lot of friends who are absolutely brilliant, that just aren't great test takers," said Katie. "And you have to remember that those test scores … that they are not what makes you, you."
Katie says she plans to major in bio-medical Engineering. Before she heads off to college she said her next goal is to be her class valedictorian. Katie shares similar scientific ambitions with the newly crowned Miss America.