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Andy Watkins of GMC's Prep School is named "STAR Student"

(STAR Student Andy Watkins with his STAR Teacher Amanda Mercer.) 

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) award is presented to Mr. Andy Watkins, a senior at GMC preparatory school.  As the STAR Student for 2017, Watkins selected Amanda Mercer, GMC’s Prep School Advanced Placement (AP) English Language teacher, as his STAR Teacher. Watkins earned the recognition for academic achievement and his performance by scoring a 1490 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

“I worked really hard and I took the SAT a couple of times and it really means a lot to recognize one of my teachers for STAR Teacher,” said Andy Watkins.  “She really inspired me to write a lot and my writing really improved in her class. She gives a lot of homework, but it made me a better writer.”

Since its creation by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 1958, the STAR program has honored nearly 26,000 students and the teachers selected as the most influential to their academic achievement. High school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average to qualify for STAR nomination.

STAR begins each year in participating Georgia high schools when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. Amanda Mercer says she was surprised to learn that Watkins had chosen her as his STAR Teacher.

“In my class our focus is analyzing how language is effective and Andy already came with a very strong gift in writing,” said Amanda Mercer. “Writing is one of the things that he loves to do. Andy is one of those students who loves feedback on how to improve his writing skills. Him choosing me as his STAR teacher gives me validation and it’s a very humbling experience.”

The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from one of the more than 165 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local sponsors of the STAR program.  Students then compete for school system recognition as the top STAR Student, and those winners compete for region honors. Region winners contend for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student. STAR Teachers continue on with their STAR Students at every level of the program.

A luncheon for the Baldwin County STAR Students and STAR Teachers will be held on February 16 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.