Two years ago, Clinton High School established the 30+ Club as a way to honor students that scored a 30 or higher on the ACT. This year, over fifty students have qualified for the club, and CHS principle Brett Robinson says more are being added each week.
“It began as a way to emphasize the importance of the ACT and celebrate those kids that were excelling,” says Robinson.
Members are added to the club each semester once the school receives ACT scores. A ceremony to honor the students is held both in the fall and spring. Friends and family are invited, and each student is given a medal that they can wear at graduation. They also have their picture taken for the 30+ Club Wall.
Robinson says the club includes a diverse group of students, but they all share the same strong work ethic and commitment to excellence in their education.
“They are football players, Attaché members, band members,” says Robinson. “They represent the wide variety of our student population and are kids that embody what CHS values.”
Kate Camillo is a senior 30+ Club member, originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She is also involved in numerous clubs and sports teams, including student council, volleyball, and Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society). She plans to attend Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at Ole Miss next year and major in biology pre-med and minor in psychology.
Herleen Kaur, a senior from Utah and also a member of the 30+ Club, plans to attend Duke University to study biology pre-med. She’s the president of the thespian society, a science olympiad, and the vice president of CHS national honor society, among other activities.
Robinson says that students in the 30+ Club are planning to attend colleges “from west coast to east coast.” He adds that the real benefit of scoring high on the ACT is the scholarships that it provides for students to pursue higher education.
“I have received numerous automatic scholarships from the school and state that cover the full tuition, primarily due to my ACT score,” says Camillo. Kaur also said that her tuition costs will be low because of scholarships and financial aid.
Robinson says Clinton High School invests a lot of time and energy into preparing students for the ACT. In addition to informing students about local ACT workshops, the school also has an ACT prep elective, as well as a Humanities class that meets before school in the morning. Camillo says that having Humanities every day for a semester brought her ACT score up five points.
Robinson adds that they try to get students practicing the test as soon as possible. During their sophomore year, students take the PSAT. And in January, Juniors take a free practice ACT. According to CHS assistant principle Brock Ratcliff, this is often many students’ first time to take the test. The school then uses those scores to know what areas of ACT prep to focus more on in the classroom.
Robinson says this kind of college and career readiness is a priority.
“We know the ACT is a good measure of students’ performance in college,” he says. “And we set the bar high because we want to prepare them to be successful in the classroom and beyond.”
“My class is very academically competitive so we all are constantly motivating and building off of each other, which makes Clinton a place to thrive,” Camillo says.
“The school and its staff have really encouraged me to secure as much knowledge as possible and assert myself as a student on both a local and national level,” adds Kaur. “I’m grateful for all the opportunities the school has given me.”