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Canisius High School student scores perfectly on ACT

Santino Panzica scored a 36 on his first try
Posted at 6:35 PM, May 01, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Think back to 2016 and you may remember hearing the name 'Santino Panzica.' That's because the then 14-year-old master spelled competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee,

Fastforward three years, and this now 17-year-old from West Falls walks the hallway of Canisius High School where he is a junior. Panzica's name graces the academic honors list and often he can be heard playing the piano at school.

"I love to play the piano, I've been playing since I was about 5," he said. Panzica is also a member of the choir and a published poet.

So you may not be totally surprised to hear-- "I got a perfect score on the ACT," he said. And that was on his first try.

According to, in 2018, the national average on the ACT was a 20.8. In New York, it was a 24.5. Panzica scored a 36.

"I did not think I did perfectly, I figured I had done well, but I didn't think I got a perfect score," he said. Panzica is only a junior, so he has another year to decide what college he'll attend. For now, though, he's focused on getting through the rest of this year.