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MHS class of 2014 bested state ACT average

Staff writer

Just weeks after being named to Newsweek’s list of the top 500 high schools in the country, Marion High School has accomplished another feat to be proud of.

Composite ACT scores returned and showed MHS students averaged a composite score of 23.8 on their ACTs. The maximum ACT score is 36, and the state average is 22.

“That composite of 23.8 that’s one you’d like to have every year,” Principal Tod Gordon said.

Gordon commended the students, and said it wasn’t a curriculum change or any measures taken by staff, beyond working well with a determined group of students.

“You saw last year’s kids maybe competing against each other individually to see who could get a higher score,” Gordon said.

That individual competition helped scorch the statewide competition, as Marion outscored state averages in not only the composite score, but every individual category — English, mathematics, reading and science — as well. MHS hadn’t done that in any of the previous four years, and its highest average composite score in the past four years was 22.1.

The class improved upon the previous class’s scores by at least two points in every category but science, where it jumped 1.6 points.

Superintendent Lee Leiker, himself a former math teacher, said that beating the state in that category was a proud accomplishment because “that’s something we focus on heavily.” Marion had beaten the state average in that category just once in the previous four years.

Gordon said the core teachers take it upon themselves to help students before school who want to study for the ACT. Practice tests like the PLAN and EXPLORE tests as well as the actual Practice ACT also helped prepare the students to succeed on the test.

Gordon said while he and faculty knew the class would have high scores, given they saw the scores come in individually, they were nonetheless impressed by the final numbers.

“Until you actually get final composites and state averages, you don’t appreciate just how special of a group it was,” he said.

Last modified Oct. 30, 2014

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