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Talented H-F junior earns perfect ACT score

Allie Mangel of Homewood has many talents. She proved that point by earning a perfect score on the ACT exam, and a near-perfect score on the SAT exam.

Allie Mangel of Homewood has many talents. She proved that point by earning a perfect score on the ACT exam, and a near-perfect score on the SAT exam.
 
  H-F High School junior 
  Allie got a perfect score on
  her ACT test.
(Provided 
  photo)
 

The exams test students in English/Language Arts, reading, science and math. There is an optional essay portion that Allie completed. The Homewood-Flossmoor High School junior was one of an estimated 0.10 percent of the estimated 1.8 million students taking the ACT exam to score a perfect 36. She also scored 1580 out of 1600 on the SAT.

 
H-F requires juniors to take the SAT, which Allie took on April 5. Three days later, she took the ACT. The exams are required by colleges as part of their incoming freshmen placement decisions.
 
“My SAT score was not perfect unfortunately, but it was really close,” she said. She doesn’t plan to retake the exam to try and close the 20-point gap. “It’s a 1580 so that’s good. It’s really frustrating to be so close, but it’s a good score.”
 
Allie has been the top of her class since her years at Western Avenue School. She didn’t feel the need to study for or take any preparatory classes for either exam. 
 
At H-F, she is in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a specialty program that is part of the H-F Gifted Academy, a four-year program for academically talented students. 
 
She has been playing violin since fourth grade and is a member of the H-F Viking Orchestra.
 
As an IB student, Allie is required to write a 4,000-word essay on any topic. She chose to focus on the influence Irish music had on the development of bluegrass music. While most of her repertoire is classical music, she does “like to fiddle. It’s really cool.”
 
“I gravitated toward violin because I knew it was an instrument I liked,” she explained. Her love of music is leading her to major in music performance in college “because I’m really passionate about it.” 
 
She will have a second major in another field that interests her, although she hasn’t selected what it will be because “I really like math. Science is interesting but there are so many fields I don’t know what I’d pick. I like to read. I just don’t know and I don’t feel any pressure yet to decide what I want to do.”
 
Allie will be making a decision soon on whether to go with the Viking Orchestra to Cuba in spring 2018, but she hasn’t committed only because “it’s such a busy time of year and it might conflict with some college things.”
 
Allie also performs with the Chicago Youth Symphony (CYS), a group she joined after passing an audition her sophomore year. She is preparing for a 10-day June trip with CYS to Budapest, Belgrade and Prague. The group will give four concerts, meet with local musicians and do some sightseeing.
 
“It’s a really cool group,” she said and it is very demanding because the pieces CYS plays are “much more difficult (than H-F’s music). We’re preparing a Tchaikovsky symphony” and other works by grand masters of Europe for the trip.
 
Allie is the daughter of Vicky Valancius-Mangel of Homewood. Her older brother, Marcus, graduated from the IB program at H-F. He attends the University of Michigan.

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