Student aces big test |

Student aces big test

Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyBo Dwyer holds a black belt in jujitsu and teaches at the Vail Gymnastics Center. Here, he works with Audrey Deck, 4, center, as Isabella Tonazzi, 6, looks on.

EDWARDS, Colorado “The first time Bo Dwyer took the ACT college entrance exam, he scored a 35 ” one point away from perfect.

So, as with everything in his life, Dwyer saw room for improvement.

“It was a pretty good score, but I thought I could do better,” Dwyer said.

Second time around, Dwyer became one of two students in Colorado, and one of 172 students in the country to score a perfect 36 on the ACT.

Dwyer, a senior at Vail Christian High School, was teaching a martial arts class in Vail when his mom called with the news. Dwyer holds black belts in kenpo, judo and ju-jitsu ” accomplishments that sort of mirror his philosophy in life.

In martial arts, as with his ACT score or science classes, Dwyer is driven by personal bests ” not competition. He says his goal in life is to “aim high and see where it takes me.”

“Martial arts is something I can do and not have to be real competitive in ” I can try to raise my own level of expertise and proficiency,” Dwyer said.

He’s taking advanced math courses through Stanford University right now ” he’s already taken all the advanced courses at Vail Christian.

He’s a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist, and also reached near-perfect scores on the SAT, another widely accepted college entrance exam. He’s in the science club, the Science Olympiad Team, National Honors Society, Academic Decathlon, dabbles in video production and teaches kids and adults martial arts.

Dwyer is a science and math guy. He spent the past summer as a research intern at Boston University, where he worked in a X-ray crystallography lab. There, he grew bacteria, extracted protein from the bacteria and used it to grow crystals, which were used to study genetic diseases.

Earning a perfect score on the ACT will likely help Dwyer into some of the top universities in the nation, school counselor Mindy Larson said.

“I’ve always seen him as a incredibly driven person, one of the most outstanding students I’ve ever known,” Larson said.

He’s looking to some of the big boys ” Cal-Tech, MIT and Stanford. He’s not sure really what disciplines in science or math he’ll land in. But it’s all interesting now, and he wants some time to explore, he says.

Above everything else, Dwyer has a love of learning. He doesn’t particularly like “busy work” unless it really teaches him something. That’s why he really enjoyed his time studying bacteria and crystals in Boston ” he was actually contributing to the world’s wealth of knowledge.

“I know that anything I can do to learn now will help me in college, and what I learn in college will help me the rest of my life,” Dwyer said.

Despite a messy room and locker, Dwyer says he stays pretty organized, and that’s how he keeps his head cool with all his work. When he’s not in jujitsu class or studying, Dwyer likes to go fly fishing.

“It’s my one thing where I can get away from everything,” Dwyer said.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or

“It’s my one thing where I can get away from everything,” Dwyer said.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or

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