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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Geometry class aces SOL test
Eight students earned perfect scores
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Eight students in Yolonda Shield’s geometry class scored a perfect 600 on their SOLs this year. The students are (from left) Jacob Smith, Catie Hodges, Leah Wood, Kimberly Fike, Timmy Brown, Devin McCulley and Mykah Heaslip. Not pictured is Lauren Simmons.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Eighth-grade geometry teacher Yolonda Shields has a reason to be proud this year, as students in her class achieved incredible scores on their SOLs.

The class of 27 students has a 100 percent pass rate on their SOLs with 22 of the students passing at an advanced level.

"We had eight perfect scores this year," said Shields. "That is amazing."

A perfect score on the SOLs is 600.

Students in last year's geometry class also had a 100 percent pass rate, with 70 percent of them passing at an advanced level (score of 500 or higher), Shields said.

The students in last year's class created a handmade torch to pass on to this year's students as a way to inspire and encourage them to do their best on their SOLs and to challenge them to beat the scores from the previous year.

"I have a 'wall of fame' that is a class picture of the top scoring class," said Shields. "This year's class will go on the wall until a different class tops their scores."

The idea of passing the torch came to Shields while watching the Olympics, and she thought it would be a good way to challenge students and give them a goal to work toward all year.

Students in this year's class liked the challenge idea and said it motivated them to work harder, she said.

This year's students created a new torch that actually lights up to pass on to next year's students.

"I think the (torch) program has been successful and I would like to see more students take friendly competition and academic focus and challenges seriously," said Keith Pennington, director of curriculum and instruction.

"I want to thank, not only the students, but the parents and adminisrators who supported them throughout the year," said Shields.

Benjamin Franklin Middle School's eighth-grade geometry class is year-long and is good for one high school credit.

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