Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School principal goes to the roof to reward students

The fifth-grade students of Sarah Diller, along with principal Chad Stover, had something to cheer about. The elementary school student body scored well in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment standardized tests last spring.

It was all in a day's work as Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School principal Chad Stover conducted business from his desk. However, on Oct. 3 he had a bird's eye view of the students and staff. He was called upon to fetch playground balls that landed on the school roof. He raised his voice a little bit in order to be heard. He had, after all, moved his office to the roof.

Stover followed through on a promise he made last March, that if the third, fourth and fifth graders did really well on the PSSA tests, he would spend a good part of a day working high in the air.

"They surpassed the goal," Stover said Friday. "They exceeded my expectations."

Therefore, he set up a chair and table, ran electricity, plugged in his computer and telephone, brought a cup of coffee and was all set.

A parade of students, including the middle school sixth-graders who helped up the scores during the spring assessment tests, came to visit with their teachers. Jill Gilbert's fourth grade class used Stover to illustrate a science lesson they were studying. Isaac Newton had said two objects dropped at the same time would hit the ground at the same time unless there was air resistance. Stover released a piece of felt and a stone.

Newton was right. So was the students' prediction. The stone hit the concrete first.

The principal was unable to report on the test scores, as they had not yet been released to the public by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Likewise, at the school board meeting Oct. 2, Supt. Greg Hoover was anxious to share the good news, but was also restricted.

Stover is already thinking about an incentive for spring 2015.

"I'm trying to keep them motivated for a test," he said. "It's challenging."