STARS of the school sys­tem

Ki­wa­ni­ans honor stu­dents with top SAT scores

The Covington News - - School Beat - By Jenny Thompson

This year marks the 50th an­niver­sary of the STAR (Stu­dent Teacher Achieve­ment Recog­ni­tion) Stu­dent pro­gram spon­sored by the Pro­fes­sional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ge­or­gia Ed­u­ca­tors (PAGE).

The pro­gram, lo­cally spon­sored by the Cov­ing­ton Ki­wa­nis Club, hon­ors high school se­niors in the top 10 per­cent of their class who log the high­est score in one sit­ting of the SAT. At the lo­cal level, each high school names its STAR stu­dent and each stu­dent picks a teacher to honor.

New­ton County’s 2008 STAR Stu­dent is Justin Michael Walden of Al­covy High School, who scored 2200 out of the pos­si­ble 2400 on the SAT.

New­ton High’s STAR Stu- dent is Thad­deus Car­pen­ter with a score of 2070, and East­side High’s STAR Stu­dent is Spencer Tomp­kins with a score of 1970.

“All three of th­ese young men rep­re­sent the motto of New­ton County Schools — spirit, pride and ex­cel­lence,” said Kathy Reese, di­rec­tor of high school cur­ricu­lum for New­ton County Schools. “We con­grat­u­late them, their se­lected STAR teach­ers and their fam­i­lies for this out­stand­ing honor.”

Walden plans to ma­jor in neu­ro­science and be­hav­ioral bi­ol­ogy at Emory Univer­sity where he has been ac­cepted. He would like to at­tend med­i­cal school.

He chose Latin teacher Charles Gam­mel as his STAR Teacher.

“As a teacher he’s very ex­cited about what he’s teach­ing and his class is full of in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sions,” Gam­mel said.

Gam­mel said Walden is a stu­dent who is com­pletely in­di­vid­u­ally driven.

“He reads and learns just for the heck of it — just to learn and it’s pretty im­pres­sive,” Gam­mel said.

Al­though Car­pen­ter said he does not know where he wants to at­tend col­lege, he is con­sid­er­ing a few lib­eral arts state col­leges as well as a Catholic Col­lege.

His chose Pamela Greer, New­ton High English teacher, as his STAR Teacher.

“I picked her be­cause she teaches English and that’s a big part of the SAT, and I know she’s part of the rea­son I got such a good score,” Car­pen­ter said.

Greer said Car­pen­ter can play games on a cal­cu­la­tor con­stantly and still make an A on and English test. She de­scribed him as one of the smartest stu­dents she’s en­coun­tered in her al­most 25 years of teach­ing.

“Thad is a non-con­form­ist and en­joys it,” Greer said.

Tomp­kins grad­u­ated a se­mes­ter early from East­side High and plans to study en­gi­neer­ing at Mercer Univer­sity in the fall. He re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant schol­ar­ship from the school.

East­side Latin teacher Eric Adams, also the 2008 New­ton County Teacher of the Year, was Tomp­kins choice for STAR Teacher.

“He’s the most ded­i­cated per­son I know,” Tomp­kins said. “ He prob­a­bly spends more time with his class than I do awake.”

Adams said Tomp­kins would no doubt suc­ceed in his fu­ture aca­demic en­deav­ors and thanked mem­bers of the Ki­wa­nis Club for rec­og­niz­ing the stu­dents and giv­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to rec­og­nize the teach­ers who in­spire them.

“Of all the things teach­ers can re­ceive ac­co­lades for— to be hon­ored by your stu­dents is the most im­por­tant one,” Adams said.

Lo­cal STAR Stu­dents com­pete for re­gion hon­ors in 12 re­gions, and re­gion win­ners ad­vance to the state STAR Stu­dent hon­ors cer­e­mony in At­lanta.

Jenny Thompson/The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton County’s 2008 STAR Stu­dents and Teach­ers were hon­ored at Thurs­day’s Cov­ing­ton Ki­wa­nis Club lun­cheon. The are English teacher Pamela Greer, left, and stu­dent Thad­deus Car­pen­ter of New­ton High, Latin teacher Eric Adams and stu­dent Spencer Tomp­kins of East­side High and Latin teacher Charles Gam­mel and stu­dent Justin Michael Walden of Al­covy High.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.