Perfect SAT score pays off for N. Canyon senior
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 23, 2004

Before Ben Strauber, 17, took the SAT earlier this year, his father promised him $1,000 for each 800 score he got.

Strauber's father recently presented him a $2,000 check.

"It took me a second to realize what it was for," Ben said. He'd scored a 1600, or perfect, on the college entrance exam.

Of the 1.4 million students nationwide that took the test this year, he's one of 939 high school seniors who received a perfect score, according to the College Board, the company that administers the test.

Ben, a senior at North Canyon High School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District, is the eighth North Canyon student since 1993 to snag a perfect score, said Catherine Flesner, coordinator of the International Baccalaureate program, a rigorous academic program where Ben takes honors classes.

Ben took an SAT prep class before the exam, but it was the study books that he found the most helpful, he said.

"They gave me a better feel for the vocabulary," Ben said.

At school, Ben is involved with the academic decathlon, Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society. After school, he spends his time helping translate for parents and students at Echo Mountain Elementary School. Last year, he finished his foreign language requirement and is working towards fluency in Spanish.

His mother, Linder Strauber said that Ben was born to do academics.

"We didn't have to push him at all," she said. "We're so proud . . . he's been given the gift to understand and he wants to pass it on to the world."

Ben hasn't decided which college he'll attend. He applied for a Flinn Foundation Scholarship, which comes with full tuition, housing and books at a public Arizona university and travel valued at more than $40,000. He'd like to study research science, possibly genetics.

And the $2,000? Ben's keeping it in his savings account for now.

Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-6879.