By Jason A. Smith
McDONOUGH — Henry County will unveil its best and brightest students at the annual Student Teacher Achievement Recognition breakfast at 8 a.m. Thursday at Eagle’s Landing Country Club.
The STAR program is co-sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber launched the program in 1956 to recognize high school students with the highest SAT scores in their respective schools. Since that time, more than 23,500 STAR students and STAR teachers have been recognized for their accomplishments.
STAR students have been named for each of Henry County’s nine public high schools as well as Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, Bible Baptist Christian School, Community Christian School and Strong Rock Christian School.
According to a press release from PAGE, a senior must have the highest SAT score from any one administration of the three-part test through the November test date of the student’s senior year, and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 members of their class to obtain a nomination. Winners compete at the regional level for a chance to be named the state’s PAGE STAR student.
School system spokesman J.D. Hardin said this year’s STAR students are academic leaders for their respective schools.
“Their aspirations beyond high school should make anyone feel that the future is bright for Henry County, and society in general,” he said. “Each of these students, it should be noted, experience their success due in part to the level of community support, both in and out of school, they receive.”
The guest speaker for breakfast is Henry County Chief State Court Judge Ben Studdard. He is a graduate of Henry County High School, and he was the school’s STAR student in 1979.
PAGE Foundation President John Varner said although many programs tout the achievements of successful students, STAR also recognizes teachers who inspire those students.
“It is also unusual in that STARs are recognized locally, regionally and at the state level with support from business and civic groups and generous philanthropists,” said Varner in the release. “I think STAR students truly appreciate the fact their endeavors are noticed and appreciated by business and community leaders.”
“The students that are selected are always tops in their class from an academic standpoint,” said Hardin. “It really is phenomenal to see the students selected for this award and all they have accomplished in their school career.”