Kent senior 1 of 8 in world to earn top Calculus score

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by ALISON MORROW / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @AlisonMorrowTV

KING5.com

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 6 at 1:00 PM

Of the 2,100 students who attend Kentridge Senior High School, only about a dozen make it into the Calculus AB classroom.

"This is the cream of the crop we have here," explained Mark Champoux. "Not only do you have to be hardworking but you also have to be extremely intelligent."

Champoux calls all of his students "intelligent", so he wasn't surprised that one of them Tracy Tran, 18, recently scored a 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam.

As a child, Tran's parents had to force her to stop reading and go to bed. She calls books an escape. Math, however, brought her back to reality.

"We can solve so many problems with it. So now it's become like a passion," Tran said.  "By turning it into a graph and revolving it around an axis and taking integral. It's just crazy stuff."

Though humble, even Tran knew she'd do well on the test.

The surprise came later, when the College Board sent Kentridge Principal Mike Albrecht a letter.  It reads: "Only 14.3% of the 3,938,100 exams taken in 2013 earned this top score. She was one of only eight students in the world to earn every point possible..."

"I've never had a kid score a perfect score on any of our AP tests," Albrecht said.

When he told her class, however, no one seemed shocked.

 "If anybody was going to get a perfect score, it was going to be Tracy," said Josh Curtis.

For Tran, the credit belongs to her entire class. She call calculus a community effort, and she plans to use her math skills to give back to her community.

"It's really humbling because I know that it's not all my success," she said. "Whatever I want to do, I want it to have an impact on the way we live our lives."

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