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‘Gimme an S-A-T'

May 06, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH, Staff Writer

Kids enthusiastic about taking a week-long series of academic tests? Kids cheering and chanting joyously about exams — on this planet, third rock from the sun?

With principal Sue Smith at the helm, the entire student body of John F. Kennedy Middle School in El Centro turned out Friday in front of the school for a morning pep rally with a difference.

"We've been working on getting our students excited about the SAT 9 tests for quite a while now," Smith said as the school band struck up the opening theme from "Star Wars" behind her.

Wearing a blue KMS baseball hat and armed with a megaphone, Smith marshaled the school's cheer squad to kick off the rally.


The KMS squad was joined by cheerleaders from Southwest High School and the rally revved into high gear with students waving homemade placards and yelling enthusiastic endorsements for the coming week's tests.

Ask Louis Garcia's sixth grade class what's so great about the SAT 9 tests and they'll give you some great answers — answers that would have the most hardened educator grinning from ear to ear.

"SAT 9 is used to compare us with other students around the U.S. and it's good for us to know how we're doing," was 12-year-old Raphael Marroquin's answer.

Jamelia Galef, also 12, was equally as enthusiastic.

"The teachers use the results from the tests to help us do better in school," she said.

The enthusiasm wasn't confined to the classrooms.

Outside the school office principal Smith was buttonholed by an ebullient eighth grader, 14-year-old Loni Guerrero.

"That was great, Miss Smith! That was great that we got to come outside for the rally and everybody had lots of spirit about the SATs," Geurrero said as she munched happily on a donut.

"I'm ready to go with that test now," Loni told her principal with a wide grin. "I'm ready to take that test and go on to high school … but I'm sure gonna miss Kennedy Middle School."

>>Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or

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