Luisa R. Kenausis, daughter of Veronica and Jeff Kenausis and a rising senior at Bethel High School, earned a perfect score of 36 on a recent ACT test.
Kenausis took the test after she had already excelled in her SATs. Her high score of 2,250 was better than 99.3 percent of takers according to SATscores.us, and she didn’t really expect to do better on the ACTs. “The ACT was a better test, cleaner. I wasn’t always really sure what the SATs were asking,” she said.
With one more year left at Bethel High School, Kenausis is looking forward to a possible career in biomedical engineering. “People think that means making new animals, but what I want to do is work on viruses that have DNA, like AIDS. Maybe develop a treatment that uses gene therapy to combat those diseases.”
Kenausis thinks that the field has been villainised and there is a lot of good to be done. “Carrots were genetically changed. They should be purple, but people want them to be orange,” she said. “With plants it is less dangerous and you can really control the way they reproduce through cross breeding.”
While she always thought she would end up doing something with math, Kenausis said she fell in love with genetics in her Advanced Placement Biology class.
Right now, Kenausis is third in her class and has a GPA of 4.425. She said it would be higher if she were taking her math classes in the high school. However, she opted to take Multi-Variable Calculus and Probability and Statistics at Norwalk Community College.
But there is more to Kenausis than just her grades. She is also is the saxophone section leader of the BHS Marching Band and she sings with the BHS Chamber singers, and she is also the literary editor of the school publication, “Mirage.”
Kenausis lives with her younger brother Owen and sister Ruby, her parents Veronica and Jeff, and her two cats, Coco and Puff.
Alice Hutchinson, owner of Byrds Books, has had Kenausis working for her for several months, said, “She is not just smart, she is intuitive,” and, “I am lucky to have her.”
According to a statement released by the ACT boards, “Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, roughly one-tenth of one percent receive a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2011, only 704 of more than 1.6 million students earned a composite score of 36.”