Morenci excels on Michigan Merit Exam 07.28.10

Written by David Green.

School administrators are sometimes hesitant to celebrate the results from state testing because scores sometimes vary from year to year.

This year, however, is hard to ignore for Morenci.

Results from the Michigan Merit Exam given to 11 grade students shows Morenci as one of five county school districts to exceed state averages in all five areas tested.

Last year’s juniors produced the top scores in the county among the 13 public schools in reading and writing skills, third best in science, fifth in mathematics and sixth in social studies.

The ACT scores stand as third best with an average of 19.8. The state average last year was 19.3.

“I was excited to see the scores because we’ve had so much bad news with cuts and budget problems,” said high school principal Nate Parker. “It’s a credit to the teaching staff that they just keep on teaching and doing a great job.”

Although the test is given to 11th grade students, Parker is quick to spread credit to remainder of the school staff, from kindergarten on through middle school.

When he sees good results such as these, Parker said he also knows that parents are placing a strong emphasis on learning. He believes even the community’s strong library programming has an influence on the overall learning environment.

The strongest scores came in writing with a success rate nearly 14 percent above the state average. Reading and science came in 12 percent above statewide scores, math 4.6 percent above and social studies 3.1 percent above.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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