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THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2007
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A boy and his dog: Drew Tuggle and his yellow lab, Phoenix, in Drew's bedroom Wednesday. The Austin High junior scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. Phoenix, for his part, appears to have had his rabies shots.
Daily photo by John Godbey
A boy and his dog: Drew Tuggle and his yellow lab, Phoenix, in Drew's bedroom Wednesday. The Austin High junior scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. Phoenix, for his part, appears to have had his rabies shots.

Austin High's 'Renaissance man'
Bears' linebacker only student in state to achieve perfect score on college test

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

Austin High School math teacher Philip Gross calls junior Drew Tuggle a "Renaissance man."

Drew's score on the American College Test indicates he is a student of academic perfection. He was the only person out of 25,500 Alabama students and one of 75 out of 475,000 nationwide to score a perfect 36 when they took the ACT in October.

After scoring a 32 when he took the ACT as a seventh-grader in the Duke University Talent Identification Program, Drew's goal was perfection, but he never expected to attain it.

"I knew I would do well, but scoring a 36 isn't something anybody would expect," Drew said.

Drew said he scored 36s on reading and English sections and 35s on the math and science sections.

While his prized pupil was surprised, Gross wasn't. He sees the soft-spoken student's unusual, all-around abilities. Along with his excellent academic record, the junior plays linebacker for Austin's football team and tutors other students.

"I think he does well at everything he attempts," Gross said. "He is just a super, dynamic student, and he's one of the most well-read people I've ever met."

Principal Don Snow noticed how accomplished and interested in learning one of his best students is. First Baptist Church held a yard sale recently,.

While Snow saw most of the students were most attracted to the toys and electronics for sale, he said, Drew had an armful of books to buy.

Drew said he got his love of reading from his older brother, Brad, a Rhodes Scholar and an English professor.

He plans, however, to possibly follow in the footsteps of his father, Tim, a chemical engineer with BP Corp., or become a physicist.

"With chemical engineering, there's so much going on in the world where you have an opportunity to make a difference," Drew said. "You can research and develop new fuels or get into biological engineering and human gnomes. And there's always something new in physics."

While a perfect ACT will probably attract loads of college recruiters to his door as if he were a five-star football recruit, Drew already knows that he will attend The University of Alabama.

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