Aspiring paleontologist earns top LEAP score in English II

Published 10:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2022

VIDALIA, La. — Concordia Parish Academy student Kailey “Rory” Freeman, one of the top 10 English II LEAP test takers in Louisiana, has a fascination with all things about fossils.

“It’s like a mixture of science and history, my two favorite subjects,” Freeman said. “Since I was young, I’ve had such an obsession with fossils and dinosaurs that it’s kind of crazy. People think it’s strange but I do a lot of research. There are always new advancements in the paleontological field and every time I hear about it, I dive into it.”

Her fascination has drawn her to online articles about new discoveries in the field, such as the new species of dinosaurs or a mammoth colony that had been isolated on an iceberg.

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It’s no surprise that Freeman enjoys reading, having earned a perfect score on the English II LEAP test.

The English II exam is comprised of three sections that include multiple choice and essay answers on a range of science, social studies and literary topics.

Two CPA 10th-graders, including Freeman and Meredith Black, earned perfect scores on their English II LEAP exams last school year. Individual test scores were delivered to CPA students on Friday last week.

Freeman, now an 11th-grade student at CPA, said she recalls finishing the LEAP test faster than expected.

“Whenever I take the EOCs (End of Course assessments) I always freak out but it was kind of quiet and wasn’t that bad. I remember getting through with it very fast and thought that was strange.”

She never dreamed she would get a perfect score.

“That’s why it came as a shock to me,” she said.

Freeman has other hobbies besides fossils, including making jewelry, hiking and taking nature photos, which she uses to enter 4-H competitions. She is a member of the 4-H Junior Leaders and National Beta Club.

Freeman said her best role model is her mother, Jolene Carpenter.

Freeman said Carpenter, as a single mom, “battles a lot in life but is great. She is like my own personal superhero mom, and she is so smart.”

Freeman thanked her English teacher, Johanna Clingon.

“She is a great teacher. Whenever we found out about my score, she told me ‘I’ll buy you whatever you want,’” Freeman said with a smile.

When she graduates, Freeman said she plans to study paleontology at Louisiana State University and pursue a doctorate degree to perhaps become a teacher or work in a museum.