Helena’s Tucker Bremer starts senior year with perfect ACT score
Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023
By EMILY SPARACINO | Special to the Reporter
HELENA – When Helena High School senior Tucker Bremer sets a goal for himself, he is nearly relentless in his efforts to reach it.
Take the ACT, for example. The first time Bremer, 17, scored a 35 on the test, he decided to take it again to try to earn a perfect score of 36.
“When I made my first 35, I was so excited and felt like, ‘Wow, I can really get a 36,’” Bremer said. “The next two times I took the ACT, I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t improved. But I really felt like I could get the 36 and wanted to try one more time.”
After earning three consecutive scores of 35, Bremer decided that, if his fourth attempt yielded another 35, he would accept it and move on.
“I felt like if I got another 35, then that’s just it and I’d be done,” he said. “I studied a lot harder knowing this was the last chance to get the 36, and I got it!”
Bremer credits his early AP classes during freshman and sophomore year with helping to prepare him for the ACT by providing challenges that he learned how to navigate.
“They taught me how to learn, how to study, and how to do well on tests,” he said. “My calculus summer work helped me because I did it the two weeks preceding the ACT, and that helped me do better on the math section, which is one of the sections I needed improvement on.”
But, according to Bremer, math and science are his favorite subjects in school.
“Math comes easy to me and makes sense; it’s a language of logic, and I like that there’s a definite answer,” Bremer said. “I also liked chemistry a lot. It’s so closely tied with math that it also came easy to me as well. I find the mechanisms of how chemistry works fascinating because basically everything is chemistry.”
Knowing this, it’s not surprising that Bremer is involved with his school’s math team and is a member of math and science honor societies, along with the National Honor Society.
As strong as Bremer is in the classroom, however, academics are only one part of his high school achievements.
Bremer plays the flute and piccolo in the HHS marching band and wind ensemble. He also serves as the flute section leader.
This marks his seventh year playing flute, his first year playing piccolo and his fourth year in Helena’s marching band.
“My parents made me take band, but I grew to love it,” Bremer admitted. “I remember trying out all the instruments and choosing flute because it seemed easy, like blowing into a Coke bottle. Now, I know that flute is not easy and requires a lot of multitasking like listening to pitch, articulating properly, paying attention to intonation, and reading the music.”
Bremer and his bandmates spent two weeks in band camp, working on their show for the new season.
“This year’s band is strong fundamentally, and we finished putting the show together and are now refining it for the season,” he said. “I’m looking forward to playing the music. The show’s theme is about space, which is already an interest of mine. I feel like with a bit of practice, we can make a huge impact on the crowd.”
If the band’s impact is anything like Tucker’s has been throughout his high school career, the future is certainly bright.
Tara Bremer, Tucker’s mother, has had a front-row seat for his many accomplishments academically, musically and in other areas, such as community service. (As a member of Boy Scout Troop 532, Tucker is working toward earning his Eagle Scout rank.)
“Tucker is kind and mature, principled and slow to anger,” Tara said. “He rarely complains, to the point where my husband, Dave, and I have had to get after him to tell us when he doesn’t feel well. He is disciplined in many areas of his life and is a joy to talk to.”
When Tucker finally scored a 36 on the ACT, Tara was elated for him.
“Dave and I were over the moon,” she said, “Mostly because it was an important goal for Tucker. Certainly, we are proud that he’s academically gifted, but it was a thrill to witness him set a demanding goal, work really hard for it and get it. We took the family out to dinner to celebrate and surprised him with the news there.”
Tara said Tucker’s and his siblings’ music education is a priority for them, too.
“Tucker plays flute, and Calvin is a percussionist at school and is teaching himself trumpet, piano and clarinet at home,” she said. “Our daughter Gigi will start band this fall in sixth grade and wants to learn the trumpet. Dave and I were both heavily involved in high school and college band and, in fact, we met in the Purdue University All-American Marching Band, where Dave was a percussionist and I was on the color guard.”
Tara noted Tucker’s love of music and breadth of musical knowledge, which he expanded during the pandemic.
“During the Covid shutdown, Dave created a Spotify playlist called ‘Kids’ Music Appreciation,’ and he made it essentially a class period that the kids had to listen to for 45 minutes a day,” Tara said. “Every genre you can think of, with composers and musicians from Tchaikovsky to Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross to John Mellencamp, Genesis to John Williams. Tucker grew to love many of those pieces, and it added a lot of color to his repertoire.”
Tucker said he is sad his last season in the HHS band has arrived, but he will take many good memories from it and hopes to continue with marching band in college.
“It’s hard to see something so important to me come to an end,” he said. “I have loved my time in the band. I also have a lot of good memories of the halftime field shows; I loved coming off the field after the show and talking about it with my bandmates. It felt amazing to be a part of such a large group of people who just pulled off something significant like a field show.”
Tucker is taking multiple AP classes this year and “would like to finish high school with a strong GPA,” he said, adding, “An intangible accomplishment is that I want to continue to get to know my friends better and make new friends before I go off to college.”
“Tucker has a big year ahead with six AP classes, as well as being on the Student Leadership Team in the band,” Tara said. “He will earn his Eagle Scout soon, which will be a meaningful way to wrap up his involvement with Scouting in September when he turns 18.”
According to Tucker, his post-high school goals include studying aerospace engineering in college and becoming a field engineer, “working on rockets and taking ideas from theory to reality.”
“Dave and I know he will do the school year well, and we will equip and guide him in every way we can,” Tara said. “We have a village around us in Helena – Dave’s parents, two uncles and their families, plus a network of dear friends, and they are all a part of who Tucker and our other children are becoming. We are so thankful.”