Crisp County High School and Crisp Academy's STAR students and teachers were recognized Tuesday by the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce at the Lions Club's noon meeting.
Chamber Chairman Richard Grogg introduced Amee Mehta, a CCHS senior and Jordan Howard, a Crisp Academy senior, both of whom had the highest SAT scores among their classmates to earn the STAR title. Mehta then was named the county-wide STAR student.
For her STAR teacher, she selected Susan Fuller, her DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) advisor and marketing instructor whom she described as a role model and a great friend because of all the time they spent together on DECA trips and while working on various after school projects.
She talked about the excitement both she and Ms. Fuller experienced when she was the first Crisp County High student to place in the top 10 at DECA nationals as a freshman. She continued to participate in DECA and took marketing classes throughout her high school career. "Through competing and being an action team officer, she added, "I have learned some life skills including thinking on my feet and leading others."
Howard chose his freshmen, sophomore and junior English teacher, Helen Hunt for his STAR teacher. He credited her with helping him reach his goal of becoming STAR student. "I would not be here today without her challenges and encouragement," he said.
Her English classes were challenging, he added. "Tests were usually difficult, so I had to develop good study skills in reading. She challenged me to improve my writing skills as well."
It was because of her, he continued, that he enrolled in the Brewton-Parker Accel English class at Crisp Academy where he is earning college credit. "She gave me the confidence I needed to attempt this class, and she taught me the basics I needed to succeed in this class.
"She is the one who inspired me, challenged me and encouraged me to accomplish more than I ever imagined I could."
This is the 11th year since 1983 that Ms. Hunt has been selected as a STAR teacher.
Ms. Fuller described Mehta as an "amazing kid. She soaks up everything. She is always prepared and always has been a 'star' student."
Referring to the national competition which Mehta had mentioned earlier, Ms. Fuller explained that 17,000 students were involved in the competition. "It was like the Olympics of marketing competition, and placing in the top ten was quite an accomplishment."
Of Howard, Ms. Hunt said, "he was one of the brightest young people I've taught. He is a critical thinker, an excellent writer and a star in athletics as well as academics."
She described him as a perfectionist who is willing to put in the necessary time to accomplish his goals. "He is disciplined and has a quiet humility. He is never arrogant or boastful and seems to realize that much is required of those to whom much has been given."
Turning to him, she concluded, "you are in every way possible a 'star.'"
Mehta, the daughter of Sonny and Parul Mehta is an honor roll student with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She is a University of Georgia Star Leadership Merit winner, a Governor's Honors Program participant and an active 4-H Club member in addition to her work in DECA.
She also is a member of Beta Club, Student Government and the Key Club. Mehta plans to attend the University of Georgia in the fall and pursue a major in business management.
Howard is the son of Les and Tiffany Howard. He has won all-region and all-state honors in baseball, earned the highest grade point average in college prep English III and qualified for honor roll.
He has played football, basketball and baseball and is a member of the National Senior Beta Club.
His future plans include attending Georgia Southern University on a baseball scholarship starting this summer and majoring in geology. Once he has obtained his bachelors degree and completed his baseball career, he intends to enroll at Georgia Tech where he will work toward a masters degree in earth and atmospheric science.