Sydney Thomas, a senior at University’s School, and Vijay Ananthula, a University School sophomore, both made a perfect score of 36 on the ACT last month. 

Thomas, who lives in Johnson City with her parents and sister, has been attending the University School since she was in kindergarten.

She loves science; her favorite subjects are chemistry and biology, and she hopes to study these subjects in college so that she can go to medical school.

“I’ve been really working towards my goal of a career in medicine,” said Thomas.

She knows that she’s interested in medical school because she enjoys volunteering at Tacoma Hospital in Greenville, TN.

“One of my favorite things is working in rehab and physical therapy,” said Thomas.

She enjoys gaining the hands-on experience of interacting with the patients and doctors. She is interested in a career in pathology.

Her top choice college is Vanderbilt. Currently, she has received acceptance letters to the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

In her free time, she likes to go hiking with her best friends and Great Dane, Bow.

Thomas plays the violin, she’s played the violin since she was four. She plays the violin for the ETSU Chamber Orchestra.

In addition to performing with an orchestra, she also performs her own concerts and provides private violin lessons.

Thomas received a 36 on the state exam that she did not study for. She had previously received a score that she was content with.

“It feels really good, but it was really surprising, I wasn’t expecting it at all,” states Thomas.

She is currently a National Merit Semifinalist and hopes to become a National Merit Finalist. She is currently undecided on what her senior quote should be, but she has decided what she wants people to remember about her as she heads off to college.

“I worked really hard in high school and it’s because I hope to one day, after college, make a difference,” states Thomas.

Similarly to Thomas, Ananthula is also interested in pursuing a career in medicine, though he has a few more years before graduation. In the meantime he is president of the Science Club, the Math Club and the Scholars Bowl Club at University High, which he has been attending since the seventh grade.