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Highlands math whiz earns perfect score

• Sixth-grader is only the second in district's history to ace the honors test

Posted: June 9, 2008 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 10, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Andy Evans is the second student in the district's history to achieve a 100 percent score on the Math Honors Test.

Most sixth graders don't even pass the Math Honors Test given each year by the Saugus Union School District, and only one student in the 12 year history of the test has earned a perfect score.

Until now.

Highlands Elementary School sixth grader Andy Evans recently found out that he is the second student in the district's history to achieve a 100 percent score on the extremely challenging test.

"It was very hard," Andy said. "It had questions like this one where there was an employee discount, and then there was also a sale going on, and you had to figure out how much something would cost. It was complicated."

But not too complicated for a math-lover who hopes to someday be an engineer like his parents.

"I just really like math - with math you can always get a certain answer, unlike other things," Andy said. "I like to be sure about things."

Andy also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is active in Boy Scouts.

Not all students qualify to take the two-hour exam, but out of 1,625 sixth graders at 15 schools in the Saugus district, only 50 students passed the Math Honors Test this year.

"Even to pass it is just amazing," said Randy Snyder, Andy's math teacher. "Andy just completely excelled, which surprised everyone."

Andy credits Snyder with helping him to prepare for the test.

"He's a really great math teacher," Andy said. "He was proud of me, really proud."

The Saugus district's Math Honors Test is developed by local junior high math teachers and deals with concepts higher than sixth grade level math. All of the answers are open-ended and there are no multiple choice questions, Snyder said.

Out of the 50 students who passed the test, 13 were from Snyder's class. The math teacher is retiring this year after 37 years at Highlands.

"Well, I'm certainly leaving on a high note," Snyder said.


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