Good Hope Middle School student bests faculty, administration members in Rubik’s cube competition

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The Good Hope Middle School student body gathered to watch eighth-grader Bailey Tetro take two out of three rounds against Assistant Principal Scott Brown. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – The student body of Good Hope Middle School (GHMS) on Friday got a little break from the regular schedule to gather outside and watch Bailey Tetro, an eighth grader who has become a prodigy with the Rubik’s cube, take on two old-schoolers: GHMS Assistant Principal Scott Brown and Good Hope High School Head Football Alan Scott, both of whom were cube masters in their own school days. Tetro, who was introduced to the Rubik’s cube by her grandparents (Feeling old yet, cube fans?) and spent time studying online cube videos, split rounds with Brown and defeated Scott soundly using randomly mixed cubes, before the assistant principal got one more shot. It wasn’t even close; Tetro walked away with the victory and a new all-time personal best of 1:03.

GHMS Librarian Stephanie Hood got the cube craze going at the school two weeks ago by borrowing 400 cubes from an online lending program and directing students to use the cubes to create mosaic pictures. (See www.cullmantribune.com/2019/09/21/good-hope-7th-graders-create-rubiks-cube-mosaic-portrait-of-abraham-lincoln/) When, during a discussion on her cube projects, Hood heard Brown say he had been good with the cube in his youth, she got the idea for a head-to-head matchup.

Hood told The Tribune the hands-on experience of the cubes helps certain students shine when they may not be at their best in typical school instructional formats.

Said Hood, “I do believe that it’s that engineering frame of mind, and the hands-on, and being able to picture where that next color needs to go, and how you need to turn this to get it where it needs to be. It’s just amazing to me.

Asked what impact the project has had on her students, Hood replied, “Well, they ask to do it again. It piques their interest, and I think it helps the creative part, to me. A lot of times, they see other kids doing it and they want to know how. It impacts them in that way, that ‘This is actually something I’m going to have to try harder with, so I want to do it.’ It makes them want to. It opens that creative part of the brain, though; problem solving: that’s what it is.”

Principal Lesley Hembree expressed pride in what Hood is accomplishing, telling The Tribune, “She’ll take on any task, and she’s a leader in our school. She coordinates events, she’s always positive. She’s one of the most positive people that I work with; she cares about people’s feelings, she does what’s best for the students. She is not self-centered. She does what’s best for the teachers. She looks out for everybody; she’s selfless.”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com