Middle school graduates honored for top grades At Magothy River, 56 had at least a 3.92 average

November 21, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Elizabeth Miller sacrificed watching movies and partying with her friends to earn nearly all A's as a sixth- and seventh-grader at Magothy River Middle School.

Yesterday, the 13-year-old was one of 56 Magothy River graduates who were honored for achieving at least a 3.92 grade point average during their two-year stay at the Arnold school. The students, now eighth-graders at Severn River Junior High School, were given certificates and invited to a reception for their achievements.

Getting those grades "took a lot of courage," Elizabeth said. "Sometimes it's hard, but in the long run, it's worth it."

Elizabeth was among 18 students who earned a 3.92 grade point average, which means she earned only two B's. Seventeen others earned a 3.96 (one B), and 21 students compiled straight A's.

"These are students who excelled at Magothy River, and we wanted to recognize them and encourage them as they go to high school, college and beyond," said Marta Fitzgerald, a social studies teacher who organized the event.

The idea arose last summer when guidance counselor Sandy Schachter was preparing to send the records of all seventh-graders to Severn River.

"I saw the records for the kids who didn't do so well or who needed summer school, but sandwiched in between those kids were the kids with A's all over the place," she recalled. "These kids need to be rewarded."

Fitzgerald said one common characteristic among the honorees was a commitment to do well in school.

"They're the type of students who are excited about learning," she said. "The students are excited about life, and they embrace it and enjoy living it."

Earning the high grades wasn't easy. All of the honored students said they sometimes forgo watching their favorite television shows to spend at least an hour every day doing homework, writing reports or studying for exams.

Brandon Wright said he has stayed up as late as 1: 30 a.m. to finish a paper or study for a test.

"It's time-consuming," said the 14-year-old, who compiled a perfect 4.0 average. "You don't get much sleep."

The road to high marks will become tougher when they enter high school, said Alexandra Pruner, a junior at Broadneck Senior High School and president of the Maryland Association of Student Councils.

"I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but it only gets harder from here," said Pruner, a 1992 Magothy River graduate who was the guest speaker yesterday. "What you do now is what will help you in high school."

Many of the honorees said they expected the added pressure.

"I'm going to have to study more because that's harder and it counts," said 13-year-old Arthur Petersen, who earned a 3.92 grade point average.

Lin Blackman, principal of Broadneck, where most of the students will go as sophomores, said she expects the honorees to succeed in her school.

"I look forward to having them there," she said. "If they've done this well in middle school, this is an indication of their future success."

Pub Date: 11/21/96

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