Students shave teachers for scores

Grand Mesa Middle School teacher Marty Wood wrenches in pain as Jessica Crabbe waxes his legs. Various staff at the school promised the hair removal if Northwest Evaluation Association test scores improved at an awards assembly today.

Marty Woods discovered what it feels like to get his legs waxed Thursday morning during a student assembly at Grand Mesa Middle School.

“It feels like when you get road rash after you fall off your bike,” said Woods, a physical education teacher at the school.

Woods and six other teachers and administrators lost hair Thursday as part of a bet with students. If the school as a whole exceeded winter Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessment scores by 10,000 points on their spring round of NWEA tests, staff agreed to lose facial hair or go bald on the last day of school. Students met that goal and exceeded it by 3,750 points.

Taryn Gay, 13, was overjoyed to help complete the bet Thursday.

“I got to cut my science teacher’s hair. I’m speechless,” Taryn said.

“I didn’t think they’d ever agree to do that,” said Travis Liden, a 14-year-old Grand Mesa student.

Shane Sarnac, 13, said all the hard work on the three seasonal NWEA tests given at Grand Mesa paid off.

“We definitely deserved to see that,” he said after the assembly.

The desire to shear the hair of their teachers spurred students to take NWEA standardized testing more seriously, Woods said.

“I think it slowed them down and got them to focus and not just put down any answer,” he said.

Grand Mesa Principal Mark Vana, who lost his goatee in the bet, said he hopes this is just the beginning of events and prizes that change students’ attitude toward testing.

Vice Principal Dan Bunnell said the school will “elevate the bar” for achievement next year and maybe offer another incentive for improved test scores.

“If I have to lose my hair again, I’ll do it,” Bunnell said.


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