Butler Tech student earns perfect score on ACT

WEST CHESTER TWP. – Local high school junior Maryam Tunkara is conflicted.

The Butler Tech student recently learned she is the first in the Butler County career school’s modern era to earn a perfect ACT exam score of 36.

Moreover, the 16-year-old Bioscience Center student – who was moved up a grade early in her schooling – aced the highest possible score on the college entrance test, which is a feat only done nationwide by 0.25% of student test takers.

But Tunkara said the more she learns, the more she wants to learn about the world. And are so many hours in a day — hence her conflict.

“It’s just stressful to think there is so much I’ll never know. So I have to kind of lock into something so I’ll know as much about that as I can,” said the Lakota Schools student who is already earning college credits through Butler Tech’s advance placement courses.

For now in her young life, she is focusing on computational biology studies at the career school’s Bioscience Center in West Chester Twp. but she also squeezes in a long list of other courses and extracurricular school activities.

According to Butler Tech officials, Tunkara excels not only in her studies but also participates in lacrosse, student government, art club, and the FIRST Robotics team at Lakota West High School.

And she also serves as a Student Ambassador for county wide Butler Tech system and is a member of HOSA—Future Health Professionals. Her skills recently secured her a first-place award and qualification for the national HOSA competition in Healthcare Issues.

She wants to pursue a degree at Ohio State University combining the fields of biology, genome research and computer science and then, perhaps a career in healthcare.

Danielle Mink, her biomedical science instructor at Butler Tech, said the star student “sets high standards for herself, which is reflected in her achievements.”

“She possesses a remarkable ability to integrate new knowledge with existing concepts and often raises questions that push the boundaries of typical classroom discussions,” said Mink.

Abbie Cook, principal of the Bioscience Center, echoed Mink’s praise of Tunkara, adding: “She is a very humble spirit but she is a leader here on this campus.”

Cook described the teen as perpetually curious and inspirational.

“When she gets interested, she gets very focused. She is amazing.”

About the Author