High school senior and Grace Church member Thomas Fliss has achieved something only a handful of students in the St. Louis area have achieved in the past decade: a perfect score on his ACT college entrance exam.

Thomas took the ACT college exam on September 10, 2011.  He had no idea when he walked out of the classroom that he would earn a perfect 36 composite score. Less than 1/10 of 1% of all students who take the test earn that perfect score.

He is only the 51st student in the St. Louis region to earn a perfect composite score since 2000.  He is the first St. Louis Public School District student to post a perfect score during that time span.

“I knew I did well, but I wasn’t 100% sure about some of my answers,” Thomas recalls.  “I guess they went my way, though.  That’s the difference between earning a 34 or a 36.”

This was Thomas' second attempt taking the test. He  earned a 34 when he took the test as a junior last year. He credits his parents for his success.  “My parents have always been very supportive of my academics, so I owe them,” says Thomas.


and Barbara Fliss, Thomas' parents, say they're bursting with pride at their son's achievements. “Thomas is very self-motivated and has high academic ambitions,” says Ed. “Barbara and I have helped open doors for him by enrolling him in the gifted track of the SLPS magnet school program and by providing him with the time needed for academic preparation… with some time left over for fun as well.”

Thomas is one of 69 students in the senior class at Metro Academic and Classical High School. He is involved in concert band, the math club and the NERD club.  He has been a member of the school’s debate team for three years. Thomas plans to major in computer science in college and is currently considering Stanford, Cal Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Carnegie Mellon University.

This past summer, the 17-year-old  attended an eight-week summer college program at Stanford where he earned nine college credits studying java programming, piano and oceanography.

Thomas and his family have been members of Grace Episcopal Church for 11 years. Ed is active in the church choir and is a former vestry member. Barbara has served on the worship committee. Their older son, Charles, is 21 and is a senior at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, where he majors in American Studies and History.

Congratulations to Thomas and to the entire Fliss family on this wonderful achievement!


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