Willy Reichert

Willy Reichert, this week's achiever

Published in the Courier Journal on 9-5-12
Age: 17
Grade: 12
School: DeSales High School
Hobbies: Bowling team, academic team, math team, student body president, guitar.
Willy Reichert, 17, got a 35 on the ACT in December and was happy because his score was just one point away from the top. But teachers encouraged him to try for a perfect score, so he took the college entrance test again.
And he did it, scoring a composite 36 on the ACT in June, the highest score possible. He scored a 35 on science and 36 on English, math, and reading.
Willy, a senior at DeSales High School, lives in Highview with his parents Debbie and Paul Reichert and his younger brother Joe. His older sister Andrea lives in Connecticut.
"I didn’t want to take it again,” Willy said, before adding that his chemistry teacher, Shelley Strong, “kept talking to me about it.“
“When I heard he scored a 35,” said Strong, “my first thought was to encourage him to take the test again. The opportunity to achieve a perfect score on the ACT is rare, and I didn't want him to miss out on that chance.“
“Willy is very intelligent as well as very humble,“ said Strong.
Willy attributes his success on the test in part to Strong for pushing him, and also to his parents for paying for the re-take. “They were like, ‘Do what you want,’“ said Willy. “I was being kind of lazy about it, but they were quick to get behind me when I decided to do it.“
Strong gave Willy an ACT study guide, and he said it really helped, providing tips for what to do when confused by a question. He said the book suggested “getting the answer in your head first so you’re not pulled away by a good-looking answer. Especially in reading and science.“
He said another good strategy was to check over his answers when he finished the test.
“When I got to the last question I was thinking, ‘I’m done,’ and I didn’t want to look over them again but I made myself go back. I changed some things, and that was good. Sometimes you should stick with your first instinct but other times you completely miss something in the question or misread it.”
Willy said that by the testing date he was “in the summer swing of things, sleeping all day.” He said, “It was a little weird to start working on the ACT book” in the summer, but he spent a week on it and is glad he did.
He was at Murray State University for the Governor’s Scholars Program when the score report arrived and his parents called to give him the news. He said he didn’t tell too many people, but when he went back to school everyone seemed to know about his score.
He says he is a friendly person and likes to “go and hang out with friends.” He is very involved in his school, and he serves as an ambassador for DeSales with prospective students.
He is considering attending the University of Kentucky and intends to become a medical doctor.