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March 17, 2014

STAR status

THOMASVILLE — Thomas County Central High School has named two shining examples of academic achievement.

Senior Lauren Rich has been named STAR student and she has selected Nancy Rogers, a former English teacher and current guidance counselor, as her STAR teacher.

“I knew about it and thought it would be very nice, but it was not something I actively pursued,” Rich said. “It was definitely a surprise. Ms. Rogers did a good job of hiding it from me. It (finding out) was really great.”

STAR stands for Student Teacher Achievement Recognition. The program, sponsored locally by the Thomasville Kiwanis Club and state coordinated by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation Inc., in association with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education, honors outstanding high school seniors and the teachers they feel have been most instrumental in their academic success.

The student must have the highest SAT score at one sitting and also be in the top 10 percent of his or her class, according to program guidelines.

“It’s not just a score, it’s a dedication to education,” Rich said. “I think the underpinnings of the program are more about just striving for academic accomplishment.”

Once the STAR student is selected, that student picks his or her STAR teacher. Rich said “every single one of her teachers” has helped guide her along the way to academic success, but Rogers stands out.

“Mrs. Rogers is one of the very few teachers I’ve had that have been with me all four years and someone who has helped with school but also with a lot of things outside of school,” she said. “She’s a teacher and a mentor, but I feel like she’s also a friend.”

Rogers is not surprised Rich is this year’s STAR student.

“As a teacher, I wasn’t surprised because Lauren was always very dedicated, diligent and focused,” she said. “She’s just very, very bright.”

It’s not her first time being named STAR teacher, either. This is the third time for Rogers, but she said being chosen by Rich is “extra special.”

“She’s just an awesome young lady,” Rogers said. “For someone like her to pick me was such an honor. I was very surprised and humbled.”

Dr. James T. Rehberg, director of honors, gifted and accelerated instruction, said he’s pleased to recognize Rogers and Rich through STAR.

“One, you couldn’t find a better example of a high-achieving student than Lauren,” he said. “Second, Mrs. Rogers is a consummate instructor. Put those two together and great things begin to happen.”

 

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Georgia Department of Education District Effectiveness Specialist Bobby Smith educates Thomas County teachers about Georgia’s new accountability program, the College and Career Ready Performance Index, at a Tuesday meeting.

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