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Gov. Pillen, Nebraska Department of Education Recognize 28 Students for Top ACT Scores


Nebraska Department of Education

Today, Governor Jim Pillen and the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) hosted a ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda to recognize graduates from the class of 2024 who achieved a top score on their ACT college entrance exam.

“Earning a top score on the ACT is an amazing achievement involving years of hard work and dedication to academic excellence,” said Gov. Pillen.  “The success of each student recognized today also reflects the contributions of parents and educators who have invested in them and supported their work. Congratulations to the students and thanks to the everyone whose involvement has helped these students excel.” 

NDE Commissioner Dr. Brian Maher joined the Governor to recognize the students for their outstanding accomplishments.

“Congratulations to the remarkable Nebraska students who achieved a top score on the ACT,” said Education Commissioner Brian Maher.  “These students are nothing short of incredible, displaying outstanding hard work and dedication.  All of Nebraska should be proud of their accomplishments and we wish them the best in the future.”

Historically, on average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students scor42es a 36 on the ACT. This year 28 Nebraskans in the high school graduating class of 2024 achieved that accomplishment.

Beginning in the 2024-25 academic year, the University of Nebraska Office of the President will fund a new Nebraska Presidential Scholars Program that will cover tuition, fees, books, housing and all other costs of attendance, plus a $5,000 annual stipend, for any Nebraska student who scores a perfect 36 on the ACT. The university’s ultimate goal is to provide total cost of attendance scholarships to all Nebraska students who score a 33 or above.

“I join Governor Pillen and Commissioner Maher in congratulating these students and their families on their incredible achievements,” said University of Nebraska Interim President Chris Kabourek. “These young people represent the best of Nebraska – humble, hard-working and ambitious. Each and every one will do big things in the future. I’m especially thrilled that so many of our 5-star students are choosing to stay in Nebraska to chase their dreams thanks to the Presidential Scholars Program. This program is having an immediate impact and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate and support all of Nebraska’s best and brightest.”

Creighton Prep had the most students with top scores in this year’s graduating class (5).  Millard North had four students with top scores.

The graduating students who earned a top score are:

Ruby Barger, Elkhorn South High School
Mark Bausch, Creighton Preparatory School
Charles Bork, Elkhorn North High School
Joseph Conner, Daniel J Gross Catholic High School
Josef Crenshaw, Creighton Preparatory School
Logan Doorlag, Papillion-La Vista South High School
Rachel Fernandes, Duchesne Academy
Jack Goltl, Creighton Preparatory School
Ruby Gutzmann, Blair High School
Caleb Kelly, Pender Public School
Logan Kieckhafer, Elkhorn High School
Lillias McKillip, Lincoln Southeast High School
Thomas McMullen, Millard West High School
Lucas Menard, Creighton Preparatory School
Advika Namasyvayam, Millard North High School
Kashif Nazmul, Elkhorn High School
Elias Parsonage, Westside High School
Lucy Rawlinson, Central High School
Katherin Richards, McCook Senior High School
Jeremy Robson, Millard West High School
Andrew Rogers, Creighton Preparatory School
Ethan Roth, Bennington High School
Gunnar Santelman, Elkhorn South High School
Nayan Vel, Millard North High School
Caeden Vetro, Millard North High School
Rachel Wu, Elkhorn South High School
Rohan Yalamanchili, Millard North High School
Rocco Zimmerman, Mount Michael Benedictine High School


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