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36 is a special number for Gurnee teen

Warren High School student Joseph Severini 17 Gurnee achieved perfect ACT score. Severini presently has 4.49 grade point plans studying

Warren High School student Joseph Severini, 17, of Gurnee achieved a perfect ACT score. Severini presently has a 4.49 grade point and plans on studying molecular biology at either Princeton or Northwestern. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 13, 2013 1:40AM

GURNEE — Warren Township High School senior Joe Severini, 17, achieved respectable scores on his ACT test the first two times he took it — he got a 32 and then a 35. He got a perfect 36 when he took it for a third time.

“I think it’s pretty good. I feel like I did pretty well,” Severini said.

He will be recognized for this accomplishment at Tuesday’s school board meeting. This is the eighth consecutive year a Warren student has gotten a perfect score on the ACT, according to Almond Campus Principal Pat Keeley.

“There’s not many perfect scores — it’s pretty special,” Keeley said.

Severini was one of 101 students from Illinois who achieved the perfect ACT score this year. Nationwide, 781 of 1.66 million students got a 36 this year.

Severini said he took five practice ACT tests to prepare. He took the ACT before the Prairie State exams. The ACT is part of the statewide academic testing for high school juniors. That was Severini’s second ACT score — the 35. He had to retake the test to include a writing section that was not part of the standardized Prairie States.

The Gurnee resident is taking six Advanced Placement classes this year. His favorite is chemistry. He plans to study molecular biology so he can go into cancer research. He has applied to Princeton and Northwestern University.

“I’m predisposed to doing research. A lot of my family members are researchers. It sounds interesting,” Severini said.

He is not just about academics. He is on the school’s cross-country and track teams. He also plays the bass guitar and harmonica.

Jazz is his specialty, but he is also in an unnamed folk band with some classmates. He plays bass guitar at his church, St. Gilbert’s in Grayslake.

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