Bethany Bentley is a one in 17,412 student.

The Carmel Elementary School fourth grader is the only student in the Hesperia Unified School District, out of the more than 17,000 students to take the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) tests last April to get perfect 600 scores in both the language arts and mathematics portions of the statewide test. The test is administered to students between grades 2 and 11. (Bentley is no relation to school board candidate Chris Bentley.)

Her mother Barbara, a substitute teacher at Carmel and formerly an aide for a handicapped Carmel student, had told her the test was important, Bentley said.

"She told me to study," she said. "I studied all my language arts and math homework."

"I told her to try her hardest and to read very thoroughly," Barbara Bentley said. "And that's about it."

Typically an A student, Bentley had previously gotten a perfect score on the language arts portion of the test when she was a second grader. Fittingly, she hopes to be a writer when she grows up.

"Sometimes I might get nervous that I might get a question wrong, and then I think 'it doesn't matter.'"

Bentley is the first Carmel student principal Chris Mauger knows of to get a perfect score on both halves of the test.

"To be so well-rounded as Bethany and score so well on both, that's really rare," he said.

"She never lets it go to her head," said Barbara Bentley. "She's a good student."

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.