Albany – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce today announced Deerfield-Windsor School senior Harrison Young Smith as the 2022 Dougherty County STAR Student, earning the recognition for academic achievement and performance on the SAT. Smith recognized Dr. Jake Clawson of Deerfield-Windsor as his STAR Teacher. Smith will represent Dougherty County at the March 15 regional competition in Thomasville.
The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is sponsored and managed by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and the PAGE Foundation. Since its inception in 1958, the STAR program has honored nearly 27,000 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. The Albany Area Chamber serves as the local program sponsor and host of the luncheon recognition event.
“The Albany Area Chamber – through our Talent, Education and Leadership division – has identified talent development and retention as a top priority for the long-term success of Albany and Southwest Georgia, ” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, the local STAR program sponsor. “Today, we have recognized incredible talent right here in the Albany community, and have celebrated them alongside many of our business partners; as corporate citizens, we should be encouraged to continue supporting these, and all our students, to ensure they reach their full potential.”
PAGE and the PAGE Foundation honor outstanding students and educators and encourage academic excellence through competitive academic programs such as PAGE STAR, the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades and the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon.
Honored at today’s recognition luncheon were the school-specific STAR students from throughout Dougherty County, and from among which the countywide STAR student was selected. Each student selected his or her STAR teacher.
The school-specific STAR students and teachers are:
- Parker O’Neal Freeland, student and Ms. Kimberly Lawhorn, teacher – Byne Christian School
- Harrison Young Smith, student and Dr. Jake Clawson, teacher – Deerfield-Windsor School
- Zion R. Heard, student and Mr. Leonard McCrary, teacher – Dougherty Comprehensive High School
- Kyla Tracy Randall, student and Dr. Jennifer Clark, teacher (Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School) – Monroe Comprehensive High School
- Victoria Vega, student and Mr. James Byrd, teacher – Sherwood Christian Academy
- Joshua Bernard Pratt, student and Dr. Roy Eaddy, teacher – Westover Comprehensive High School
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. 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.