The Professional Association of Georgia Educators Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program honors Georgia's outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.
"This is a day we all look forward to," said Rotary Club President Susan Simonton.
STAR students must make the highest score in their class on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Seniors and their teachers from Bartow County high schools, Cartersville High and Excel Christian Academy were honored during the luncheon.
"This program has been going on since 1958 and has honored more than 22,500 high school students who, in turn, chose their STAR teacher to share in this recognition," said Rotary Club STARS program chairman Rick Drews.
Seniors took to the podium to tell about their current progress of their academic career and to give a glimpse into their plans for the future, which ranged from serving one's country at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, to a career in education, to gracing the silver screen. Teachers then spoke about working with these students to help reach their goals.
"After high school I plan on going to the University of Georgia," said Cass High School senior Jessica Lynn Tracy. "I would like to be a math teacher so I'm going to major in education."
She said she thought of her STAR teacher, Sue Campbell, as her "school mom" ever since the ninth grade.
"Since then I've had [Campbell] as my yearbook teacher every year and my respect for her has grown and grown and grown," Tracy said.
"When you think about 'stars,' what are they?" Campbell asked the crowd. "When you think about movie stars or star athletes or star students what do they have in common? The lone characteristic above all else is excellence in what they do."
System winners will compete for regional honors on March 15 in Rome and regional winners will compete for the honor of being named state PAGE STAR student. The system winner for Cartersville is Lyssa Ray Hoganson and the system winner for Bartow is Alexander Kollhoff.
STAR students and teachers are as follows:
Lyssa Ray Hoganson of Cartersville High and teacher Linda Templeton, Troy Peterson of Excel Christian Academy and teacher Justin Harvey, Ryan David Sexauer of Adairsville High and teacher Amy Abridge, Jessica Lynn Tracy of Cass High and teacher Sue Campbell, and Alexander Kollhoff of Woodland High and teacher Tammy Queen.