Acing the ACT is becoming old hat at Forest Lake Area High School.

Joe Goossens, 18, a senior, learned recently he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college entrance test -- the same rare feat recorded four months earlier by classmate Ryan Sudo, 18.

"Having one of our students getting a perfect ACT score is tremendous all by itself, but having two of them in the same year join this elite group is just amazing," Principal Steve Massey said in a district news release. "I think it's a real credit to the great students we have and the teachers who do such a great job in preparing our kids for college."

Last year, 704 of the 1.6 million students taking the test earned a perfect score, or 0.04 percent.

To prepare for his Oct. 27 test, Goossens used two study guides and a sample test. But he spent no more than two to three hours on the task, he said.

Goossens, a swim team captain, currently carries a 3.9 grade point average. He said that he plans to study mechanical engineering in college, and is considering attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison.


14 apply for vacant school board seat

A former South Washington County school board member and three other people who unsuccessfully ran for board seats are among the 14 people seeking to serve the remainder of departing Board Chairwoman Leslee Boyd's term in office.

Katy McElwee-Stevens, formerly on the South Washington County school board, was an unsuccessful candidate this year for a Newport City Council seat.

The other three include Steve Lagoon, a substitute teacher from Cottage Grove; Joe Ryan, a veteran and risk management consultant from Woodbury; and Katie Schwartz, a stay-at-home mom and volunteer from St. Paul Park, all of whom failed to unseat Boyd and two other incumbents in election bids in 2011.

They join 10 other people seeking to win board appointment to Boyd's seat, which she is vacating because her husband accepted a job in Oklahoma. The person appointed will serve from Jan. 1, 2013, to the end of the day on Nov. 5, 2013, which is election day.

The board is expected to interview applicants and make the appointment at its Dec. 20 meeting. The candidates by community are:

Cottage Grove: Sue Berthiaume, Rick Goecke, Mike Heavner, Steve Lagoon, William Thurmes and Stacey Vogele.

Newport: Katy McElwee-Stevens.

St. Paul Park: Katie Schwartz.

Woodbury: Dick Hanson, Jonathan Hunt, Marisa Novak, Daryl Parks, Joe Ryan and Lisa Vaske.


Friday is deadline for Da Vinci Fest

Da Vinci Fest, the Stillwater area schools' annual art and science competition, is set for Jan. 5 at Stillwater Area High School, and students wishing to compete must register no later than Friday, organizers say.

The event is open to students in grades 4-12 and will include an artist reception on Jan. 4.

Students also can take part in a film fest competition. Videos may include music, public service announcements or "whatever you want," organizers say, so long as a positive message is presented. Videos must be submitted by 2:15 p.m. Friday.

For information about registration, video uploading and other details, go to