By Anisa Sullivan Jimenez
Carver Goodhue of Clarke Central High School was named the System STAR Student in a surprise announcement at today’s Rotary Club luncheon. Also representing the Clarke County School District at the luncheon was Cedar Shoals High School student Erin Hollander. STAR Students also choose STAR Teachers– for Goodhue, the honor was given to Spanish teacher Meri Blackburn, and for Hollander it was Hilsman Middle School math teacher Shareef Bacchus.
“I commend our district’s STAR Students and Teachers for their highly deserved recognitions,” said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue. “These students excel academically, as well as in extracurricular activities including community endeavors. I thank the teachers for going above and beyond, and they should know that they have made a difference in the lives of these students and many others.”
Goodhue is a senior at Clarke Central High School and is the son of Alice Harris and Dale Goodhue, a professor in the Terry College of Business. He plans on obtaining his undergraduate degree biology and Spanish, and has been named a Foundation Fellow for the University of Georgia. He participates in wrestling, cross country, the Iliad literary-art magazine and was the organizer of DREAM Fest. He is the recipient of the Georgia Certificate of Merit and the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award. He chose his ninth grade Spanish teacher Meri Blackburn as his STAR Teacher.
“Carver Goodhue exemplifies not only the model student, but the model life-learner," Blackburn said. "His intellect, curiosity and innate desire to explore life to the fullest are only a few of the qualities that make Carver the amazing person that he is. I am truly honored and humbled that he named me STAR Teacher.”
Hollander is a senior at Cedar Shoals High School and is the daughter of Edith and Barry Hollander. She plans on majoring in a biochemistry and genetics. She is president of the school’s honor society, is on the school’s tennis team, plays piano and is cofounder of service organization Empower 2013. She was the recipient of the Pinnacle Award – the top project at the state science fair. She was an attendee of the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program and is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Shareef Bacchus, Hollander’s math teacher at Hilsman Middle School, was selected as her STAR Teacher.
"I am humbled by the fact that Erin should think of me in this way after having spent four years in high school," Bacchus said. "I remember her as being a thoughtful, considerate person who was an absolute joy to teach.”
The STAR Student-Teacher recognition luncheon is an annual event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Athens.
“It is both an honor and a privilege for the Rotary Club of Athens to serve as the local sponsor for the STAR program and get the opportunity to lift up the best and brightest students and teachers we have in our wonderful community,” said Phil Bettendorf, Rotary Club of Athens president. “Literacy and youth services are important to Rotary International and we take it seriously in making sure we do what we can to assist the youth of Athens- Clarke County. This is just one way we can focus the spotlight on education.”
To be honored as a STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) Student, the following criteria must be met:
SAT scores must meet the national averages or above. The students who receive the award have the highest SAT scores in all three sections – critical reading, math and writing.
Class standing must be noted. The student must be in the top 10% or among the top 10 students numerically, whichever category provides the largest number of eligible students in his or her graduating senior class.
The student that has been declared the STAR Student chooses the STAR Teacher.