Originally Published: September 13, 2006 4 a.m.
PRESCOTT Of the hundreds of students who attended Granite Mountain and Prescott Mile High middle schools this past year, 19 proved that they really know their stuff.
All of them scored 100 percent on one or more portions of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards.
During the spring 2006 semester, all students took the AIMS, a standardized test on which students may fall far below, approach, meet or exceed state standards for their grade level in reading, writing and math.
Fifteen of those 19 students this past week celebrated their success during a luncheon at the Olive Garden restaurant.
JT Markham, currently a freshman at Prescott High School, attended Granite Mountain as an eighth grader and scored 100 percent on the math portion of the AIMS.
He was so confident that he'd score 100 percent on that particular test that he bet his teacher, Jack Jackson, 12 donuts that he'd achieve that score.
"There are a dozen red-filled Krispy Kreme donuts on my desk right now," Jackson said, adding, "I absolutely thought (JT) could do it."
Hiren Patel, also a freshman and a GMMS grad, said he didn't study for the AIMS test and it wasn't too hard.
Still, he said, "It felt good" to score 100 percent on the math portion.
"I was really surprised," GMMS eighth-grader Alison Fraher said of her perfect score on the math portion. "I usually miss one or two but it was really cool to get all of them right."
Similarly, her classmate Lani Mark said she was surprised.
"I always miss one problem," she said.
Becky Bridges, a GMMS seventh-grader, said she likes math a lot and thought the AIMS test was "pretty easy."
"I wasn't positive I'd get 100 percent," she said.
Another GMMS seventh-grader, Julia King said math is her favorite subject and she thought the test was "pretty easy for the most part."
However, "A few things were pretty challenging," she said, adding, "I feel very proud."
Mariah Franklin, a GMMS eighth-grader, said she expected to miss one or two math problems on the AIMS, and wants to try to get 100 percent again this year.
"The reading part was pretty hard," she said, "and the writing. A lot of the questions have more than one answer."
Mile High seventh-grader Nick Redmond said he earned 100 percent on the reading portion of the AIMS test.
"It seemed pretty hard," he said, "but I guess it was really easy."
His classmate Matthew Aaserud said he didn't know which subject he scored 100 percent on, but said he felt "really good" about the score.
"I wasn't really that amazed," said Mile High seventh-grader Lauren Stock of her 100 percent in math. "The AIMS test was pretty easy, actually."
Still, she said, she's proud of her achievement.
Charles Miller, a Mile High seventh-grader, said he scored 100 percent in writing.
"I wasn't expecting 100 percent," he said, "but I sort of knew I'd have an OK score at least."
Although, he said, "You need that confidence" to do well, he added that he's proud of his score.
Tyler Dalton, a GMMS grad who currently is a freshman at PHS, said he was surprised to score 100 percent on the math portion of the AIMS test.
"I wasn't the smartest person in the class, really," he said, "but I'm smarter than I thought I was, I guess."
Freshman and GMMS grad Aubree Schuenman said she scored 100 percent on the math portion of the AIMS.
"In my class, I was known as the dumb blonde," she said. "I asked the dumb questions. Nobody expected me to get all the answers right."
Mile High eighth-grader Callie Ochsner said she was "fairly surprised" at her perfect math score.
She said she's good at math and likes it better than reading and writing.
Mile High seventh-grader Amber Dean said she is kind of good at math. She thought the test "was pretty easy," and was "kind of surprised" to earn 100 percent on the AIMS test.
Larry Legler, a math teacher at Mile High, said it is a big deal to get 100 percent on the AIMS test.
Students who score perfectly on a standardized test not only have a mastery of skills, they also have "something else going for them, a wide range of educational experience" in order to beat the test.
Jackson said he has made donut-related deals with students before. Four years ago, he told all his students that if they increased their score by two percentage points, he'd buy them a donut.
English and Language Arts teacher at Mile High Dawn Dodson said all the students who scored 100 percent on portions of the AIMS test "are highly motivated individuals."
Their teachers, she said, "just help them fine tune" their skills.
GMMS math teacher Myrna Lare said these students "just want to do well."
"It's all intrinsic," she said.
GMMS math teacher Diana Canty said she's not surprised these particular students scored so well on the AIMS.
"We have some really smart kids," she said.
Dalma Rose, student council advisor and math and science teacher at GMMS said she's not surprised, either.
"I'd like to see it more," she said.
Other students who scored 100 percent on one or more portions of the 2006 AIMS test but were unavailable at the luncheon include Alexandra Schluntz, Niles Benghauser, Alexander Hendrix and Amanda Murray.
Contact the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org