A ‘Grand Slam’ Of Academics And Athletics

Hills West senior Josh Wende, pictured playing for the Colts baseball team, is headed to Dartmouth College in the fall.

Hills West senior Josh Wende, pictured playing for the Colts baseball team, is headed to Dartmouth College in the fall.

Just days before graduation this Sunday, Half Hollow Hills High School West senior Joshua Wende is reflecting on an accomplishment that earned him acclaim: a perfect 2400 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), followed by a perfect 5 on his American College Testing (ACT). 

Wende, who is committed to Dartmouth College in the fall and still deciding on a major, said he “didn’t do a ton of prep” for either examination, both of which he took twice. Rather, he opted for the real thing.

“Taking it before was preparation,” he said. 

He also made sure to take the tests in stride and not put too much pressure on himself. 

“I was trying to do as well as I could to the best of my ability, but I wasn’t thinking, ‘perfect score or bust,’” he explained.

He nailed the perfect SAT score on his second attempt, which kept him loose for his second go at the ACT – and the perfect score soon followed there, too.

“I was pleased, but I wasn’t really worried about it that much. It was definitely nice,” he said. 

In addition to his academic achievements, Wende was also active in his school as a leftfielder for the Colts’ baseball team, was recently recognized as a Hills West scholar athlete by the Town of Huntington and is starting to play more golf. He also serves as vice-president of the Hills West Spanish club, and has been the editor of the Hills West Roundup for the last two years.

Juggling his myriad interests with his academics was “not as difficult as you think it might be,” Wende said.

“I didn’t do clubs that all met on the same day. The teachers who run the clubs, they understand if you play a sport, and I was able to stay involved and go to meetings,” he said. “And baseball, I really enjoy it… it was something I was happy to do.”