McDONOUGH – Union Grove High student Tyler Cook and Emily Mai, Community Christian School, have been named the STAR Student winners for Henry County.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual ceremony held at Eagle’s Landing Country Club was suspended this year. However, all STAR Students and STAR Teachers were recognized at their respective schools with a visit from school officials and members of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Students earning the county’s STAR Student designation represent the highest score on the SAT among finalists from each high school – public and private – in Henry County. This is the second year in a row that two students have tied for the top score. Unique to this year’s slate of honorees is the three-way tie for one school’s – Luella High School – top SAT score.

The two county winners are sharing their accomplishments with their chosen STAR Teacher. Cook, a senior at Union Grove High School, chose teacher Amanda McClure, while Mai, a senior at Community Christian School, chose teacher Beth Burer. The two duos moved on to the regional competition for a chance at advancing further.

For a student to be a STAR Student at their respective high school, that student must have the highest SAT score and be in the top 10% or top 10 students of the class based on grade point average.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Department of Education sponsor the state STAR Program each year. The Henry County Chamber of Commerce takes on the local recognition efforts with sponsorship support from various businesses in the community. This year, there were 10 sponsors for the recognition of this academic achievement.

This is the 63rd year for the STAR program. Since the beginning, the STAR program has recognized nearly 28,000 students and their teachers from around the state.

The Henry County STAR Students and Teachers are as follows:

♦ Bible Baptist Christian School – Joshua Pass (student), John Knoedler (teacher)

♦ Community Christian School – Emily Mai (student), Beth Burer (teacher)

♦ Creekside Christian Academy – Hallie Baffic (student), Stacy Wright (teacher)

♦ Dutchtown High School – Maximilian Ratmeyer (student), Rajeswari Narasimhan (teacher)

♦ Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy – Zhihan Wei (student), Scott King (teacher)

♦ Eagle’s Landing High School – Iman Khan (student), Jessica Gemmill (teacher)

♦ Hampton High School – Matthew Polichemi (student), Myranda Masters (teacher)

♦ Locust Grove High School – Alexander Hammonds (student), Danna Seigle (teacher)

♦ Luella High School – Makylah Jackson (student), Quinyonia Kearse (teacher) TIE

Noelle Phillip (student), Michelle Thompson (teacher) TIE

Angel Yang (student), Jennifer Coleman (teacher) TIE

♦ McDonough High School – Ilham Abdelkadir (student), Charlena Raines (teacher)

♦ New Creation Christian Academy – Mackenzie Middlebrooks (student), Lee Kirk (teacher)

♦ Ola High School – Chaeli Herzler (student), Laura Coons (teacher)

♦ Stockbridge High School – Kennedi Anderson (student), Karen Camp (teacher)

♦ Strong Rock Christian School – Katherine Craven (student), Angie Rice (teacher)

♦ Union Grove High School – Tyler Cook (student), Amanda McClure (teacher)

♦ Woodland High School – Katelynn Nguyen (student), Sandra Swindall (teacher)

For more information on the STAR Student Program, visit For more information on the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, visit

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