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Kodi Cumbo: Perfect act score

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For the first time in Fife High School history, a student has achieved a perfect score on the ACT (American College Testing), a standardized test that measures high school achievement and assesses college readiness. Senior Kodi Cumbo said he was pleasantly surprised at how he did despite that he has maintained an “A” average throughout his school years.


“I wasn’t entirely expecting that,” he said of his score. “I spent one weekend with a little ACT prep book and went in blind.


I really should have sat down and done it a month or two out but I was going back and forth on whether I’d even need the ACT because I was looking at a lot of West Coast colleges that prefer the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) but then I looked at some other places and they wanted the ACT so I figured I should take it.”
Fife High School Counselor John Sutich said he is very proud of Cumbo’s accomplishment. “I put Kodi at the top of the list of perfect scholars who have come through here. He’s an amazing young man,” Sutich said, noting that the ACT is really a measurement of students’ lifelong learning and skills. “So it’s an impressive achievement as far as I’m concerned. He’s an exceptional talent.”

I’m a National Merit semi-finalist so there are some smaller schools that will give you a full ride just for that and if I make it to finalist status then Washington State University offers full tuition and some offer full room and board, stipends and stuff like that. I’m hoping for UW if I can get the scholarships lined up but if not I’ve got other schools. I’m just avoiding the debt.
Kodi Cumbo

Sutich said that unlike the SAT, the ACT includes an additional measurement for science. “That’s one of Kodi’s amazing talents that put him over the top.” Having taken chemistry, physics and other such science classes, the science portion of the ACT definitely gave Cumbo a leg up. “That was a nice section that was pretty easy for me,” he said.


A Running Start student, Cumbo is currently taking classes at Tacoma Community College while also earning his high school credits to graduate this spring. He’s aiming to earn an associates degree at TCC and may attend the University of Washington to study computer science. At TCC he’s taking courses to satisfy the UW’s computer science program and to prepare for the university’s higher-level classes. Cumbo isn’t firmly set on going to the UW though, as he is keeping his options open according to what scholarships he can secure.


“I’m a National Merit semi-finalist so there are some smaller schools that will give you a full ride just for that and if I make it to finalist status then Washington State University offers full tuition and some offer full room and board, stipends and stuff like that. I’m hoping for UW if I can get the scholar-ships lined up but if not I’ve got other schools. I’m just avoiding the debt.”


In addition to his academic prowess, Cumbo is in leadership positions in several school clubs. He is vice-president of Fife High School’s Technology Student Association (TSA), president of the Key Club and editor in chief of Fife High’s Mirror Magazine, in addition to having been in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program for several years. Next month he will be helping out at the FBLA’s regional competitions at Columbia Junior High. Off campus he volunteers twice a week at the FISH Food Bank in Edgewood and works at Dairy Queen in Fife.


With his busy schedule, Cumbo still finds time to read a lot of books, one of his favorite pastimes (he said he finished most of author Isaac Asimov’s works while in middle school). “I’m an army kid so I spent all my time in libraries because I was moving every couple of years,” he said. “Right now I’m on a big old sci-fi kick.” He also makes time for his younger brother, Keegan Cumba, who attends Fife High and is involved in the school’s Technology Student Association and FBLA.
As Cumbo moves forward to life after high school, Sutich said he has full faith that the young man is destined for great things. “Wherever he
lands he will be successful,” Sutich said. “We’re wildly happy for him and hoping for big things for him.”

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