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Eighth grader takes high school level math

Tongen+works+on+his+classwork+during+the+class+period
Tongen works on his classwork during the class period

Tongen works on his classwork during the class period

Jenifer Bautista-Lopez

Jenifer Bautista-Lopez

Tongen works on his classwork during the class period

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Eighth graders are expected to  take Algebra 1, but Micah Tongen, [who currently attends Skyline Middle School] is taking Algebra 2. Tongen was encouraged by his father, a JMU math professor, to take higher level math classes.

“My dad is a math professor at JMU and he really pushed for me to be in a higher math class,” Tongen said.

Although Tongen enjoys coming to Harrisonburg High School to take Algebra 2, he does face some hardships. Tongen, along with fellow eighth grader Luke Tao, have to get on a bus after first period. Every other day Tongen and Tao get on a bus that drives them to Skyline Middle School, but Tongen believes that this can be a waste of time on two parts.

“It’s pretty nice [coming to HHS, but] not being with my friends every other day at the middle school [is hard]. [Driving from school to school every other day] is either wasting the bus driver’s time or the teacher’s time,” says Tongen.

Many people do not know that Tongen is taking Algebra 2 so when his teammates see him in class they question him. They wonder what an eighth grader is doing there. Not only do they question him at school, but they also question him at home about his schooling.

“Lots of people ask me what I’m doing and I’m not really sure what to say. I do JV sports and so when I see people they’re like ‘I thought you were in eighth grade’ and then it’s like ‘Yeah, I’m taking a math class.’ And lots of people at home ask me how I’m doing in school and my parents always bring [up my Algebra 2 class],” says Tongen.

Tongen is planning on proceeding to precalculus or trigonometry next year, with the encouragement of his dad.

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Eighth grader takes high school level math