The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 5, 2012

Milton Area High School juniors accept academic challenge

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— MILTON — Milton Area Senior High School Assistant Principal Nathan Minium’s truck could soon be in for a new paint job, courtesy of the Class of 2014.

In an effort to get juniors motivated for the Keystone Exams, which the school began administering Tuesday, Minium is pledging to allow students to paint his 1990 Dodge Dakota if at least the target percentage of students score proficient or advanced on the exams, he said.

The targets are: 91 percent for reading and literature, 89 percent for algebra and 85 percent for biology.

“It’s hard, you have to think about different creative ways to get students motivated,” he said. “You have to think about what has been done. Some administrators have kissed pigs, others have shaved their heads. ...  One teacher brought this up as something that had been done many years ago by a former teacher.”

Minium said the details are being worked out, but that students will indeed get to paint his truck if they meet their goals. Students in the school’s auto shop classes will help prepare the vehicle for painting, he said.

“They can do it all themselves,” he said.

This is the first year for the Keystone Exams, and some of the school’s 190 juniors are nervous about the tests, Minium said. “Many of them haven’t had algebra or biology for two years,” he said. “So to help, we gave them an assessment, and for the ones that needed it, we set up some review for them.”

Students will take the first round of exams through Dec. 14, then another two-week session after winter break, Minium said.

But students are interested in potentially leaving their mark on Minium’s truck, he said. Minium’s not too worried about the design the students will create.

“It’s not a brand new truck,” he said. “It could use some paint.”