Gadsden City High School freshman Mithun Rameshkumar recently did something extraordinary. Mithun took the ACT, the notoriously difficult college entrance exam, and earned a perfect score of 36. This is a feat accomplished by less than two-tenths of 1% of all people who take the ACT, and to achieve this at age 14 is remarkable.
Mithun says when he completed the February 6 test he had a good feeling and thought he had done well. He was not completely unfamiliar with the ACT at that point since he had taken it once before when he was in 7th
grade and scored high considering he was only eleven. It was not until February 19, when he was preparing to go for a run in his neighborhood, that he discovered just how well he had done this time. “I got a text from a friend saying he had gotten his score, so I checked my phone for mine and it was there,” Mithun says. “I saw the subject categories listed…English, Math, Reading and Science…and then there was a big 36 for the composite score. I was so happy. I ran back into the house to tell my parents and we were all just really excited and crying with joy.”
Mithun’s parents are Gayathri Kandasamy and Ramesh Chellamuthu. The family moved from India to the United States when Mithun was just one year old. They lived in Brooklyn, NY until a job offer and the lure of warmer weather brought them to Gadsden when Mithun was seven. Mithun went to Eura Brown Elementary, starting there in the second grade, and then Gadsden Middle School, before starting at GCHS in the fall of 2020. His younger sister, Nila, is 8 years old and attends Eura Brown.
Mithun says he did not work with a tutor or do any ACT prep courses before taking the test. “I just did a lot of practice tests,” he said, “to be sure I had the pace down so I could be sure to complete each section without running out of time.”
While he is a diligent student who takes his academics seriously, there is more to Mithun than just being a scholar. He is a skilled tennis player who was one of the top players on the boys’ varsity tennis team this year. GCHS Tennis Coach Paula Reynolds says, “Mithun is a fine young man who works as hard to excel at athletics as he does at academics. He listens and learns, and he exemplifies the consummate student athlete.” Reynolds adds that Mithun is respected and loved by his teammates, coaches, and teachers.
Mithun is also involved in Key Club, and he is on the track and cross-country teams. He has always been an avid reader and these days, like a typical teen, he enjoys hanging out and having fun with friends. He says he does not know yet what college or career path he will choose when the time comes, although he does admit Harvard has always been his “dream school.” For now, though, Mithun says his plan is to just keep working hard in his classes at GCHS and enjoying his high school years. Gadsden City Schools superintendent Tony Reddick says, “We’re proud of this extraordinary achievement made by this student. Mithun is going to go far and that will be a tribute to his hard work and to the dedication of his parents and his teachers throughout the Gadsden City Schools system.”