Three Kirkwood High School students earn perfect ACT scores


Kirkwood High School

KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Three Kirkwood High School seniors each earned a perfect score on their ACTs.

Helena Verbrugge, Sara Simkins, and Ezra Mendelson each scored a 36, according to a press release from the Kirkwood School District.

Helena Verbrugge

Verbrugge was born in the U.S. to Belgian parents and spent her early childhood in Denmark. At the age of nine, her family moved to Kirkwood.

She plays tenor saxophone, bassoon in the KHS Pioneer Pride Marching Band, and the jazz band. Verbrugge additionally is involved in the KHS Mock Trial team and was formally a member of the KHS Robotics Team. 

Traveling to Chicago with the KSD band was one of Verbrugge’s favorite high school memories.

She attends the St. Louis Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program in the Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing strand, and is a member of the student-led organization Clean My Planet, advocating for more solar energy usage in the St. Louis community.

After graduation, Verbrugge was to pursue a degree in environmental engineering.

“Our first duty is to help the plant, and the second is the help the people in it,” Verbrugge said. “The planet is first because, without a healthy planet, life cannot be sustained.”

Sara Simkins

Sara Simkins is a member of the KHS Mock Trial Team, captain of the women’s KHS Racquetball Team, an officer in the KHS Club, and works on costume designs for the KH Players.

Her favorite high memories are being a member of the mock trial team and racquetball team.

“I loved when the racquetball team went to nationals in Oregon. It was an incredible experience that I got to share with some amazing people,” Simkins said.

She loves to read and has a personal goal to read one book per week. Right now, she is on her 44th book of the year.

After graduation, she wants to pursue a degree in international relations and be a foreign service officer, working abroad furthering U.S. relations.

Ezra Mendelson

Ezra Mendelson is a member of the KHS Tennis team, and enjoys the collectible card game “Magic: The Gathering.”

One of his favorite high school memories was performing a scene from “Romeo and Juliet” during his freshman year.

“We chose the duel scene between Tybalt and Mercutio. We chose to turn the scene into a Western. We all wore jeans and cowboy hats and made a tumbleweed by putting tissue paper on a Roomba. The Roomba caused all kinds of problems which made it very enjoyable and about as fun as a freshman Shakespeare scene can get,” Mendelson said.

One of his favorite subjects is math and plans to be a croupier at a casino after graduation.

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