Soaring test scores

Students rewarded with hot air balloon rides

SULPHUR — Students at Life Christian Academy celebrated the end of the school year Wednesday with surprise tethered rides in a hot air balloon piloted by Dustin Howell.

Taite Barry, a seventh-grade student, said the opportunity to ride in a hot air balloon was something he always had an interest in.

“I wanted to go up and high and just keep going,” he said grinning.

Principal Stefanee Tolbert said the festivities were in part a reward for the students’ outstanding scores on recent standardized tests.

“We’re literally soaring!” she said pointing to the balloon hovering above the students. “The students truly excelled this year and we just wanted to reward them for their hard work.”

Tolbert said students scored an average of 2.7 levels higher than their grade on the Stanford Achievement Test administered last month.

Eighty-two percent of students in the school’s junior high program scored with post high-school outcomes, she added.

Seventh-grader Joslynn Deal said she was thankful for the end-of-year celebration but attributed much of her testing success to her teacher’s hard work.

“I felt like we were really prepared,” she said. “They (teachers) did everything they needed to be sure we were ready when it came time to test.”


Students at Life Christian Academy in Sulphur ride in a tethered hot air balloon Wednesday as part of their end-of-the-school-year activities.

MarlisaHardingEducation Reporter