Cactus Shadows junior earns perfect score on ACT


Katianna Blackwell-Scott, a junior at Cactus Shadows High School, earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT Test.

Miss Blackwell-Scott has been enrolled in Cave Creek Unified School District since seventh grade when she attended Sonoran Trails Middle School.

Her achievement is significant and rare. Less than one-half of 1% of test takers earn this score. Fewer than 5,000 students out of 1.8 million who took the test in 2019 received a perfect score, according to a press release.

“We are proud of Katianna for her national achievement,” Laurie Umbarger, assistant principal at Cactus Shadows, said in a prepared statement.

The ACT is an entrance exame colleges and universities use to make admissions decisions. The ACT is a multiple-choice test with four sections: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. There is also an optional 40-minute period for an essay.

The purpose of the test is to measure a high school student’s readiness for college. College admissions officers review test scores together with the grade point average and the classes taken in high school.

“What an accomplishment,” CCUSD Superintendent Dr. Debbi Burdick said in a prepared statement. “We are so proud of Katianna. She is another outstanding example of a Cactus Shadows student.”