The Kiwanis Club of Covington, chartered in 1927, first held meetings in the old courthouse with 58 original members. Over that time, officers have come and gone and the surrounding community has grown exponentially.
For the past 50 years, the Kiwanis Club has sponsored the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program through the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.
At 12:45 p.m. Thursday at the Covington YMCA, PAGE will honor one of the club's longest standing members, Perry Haymore, for his involvement with the STAR program.
Haymore, a long-time educator and administrator and a former Newton High School athletic director, has headed the STAR program since the mid-'80s.
"I can't really remember how I came about being in charge of the program," he said. "It has changed a bit since then though. We went from one high school to three."
The STAR program recognizes one student from each high school who scores the highest on the SAT in their first sitting and who is also in the top ten of their class. Out of those three students, the highest overall is honored as the county's STAR student and goes on to represent the district at the state level.
This past year, Justin Walden represented Alcovy and received county honors. Walden, who attended Newton before district realignment sent him to Alcovy, is attending Emory University this fall.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce originally conceived and designed the program in 1958. Over the years, the program has enjoyed support from more than 165 local sponsors statewide. The Kiwanis Club of Covington is one of 64 original sponsors.
"The program begins at the community level, and every accredited high school in the state participates thanks to the loyal and active support of local organizations such as the Kiwanis Club of Covington," PAGE Foundation President Tom Wommack said. "We are grateful for their continued support of a program that honors students for their academic accomplishments and the teachers who inspire them."
The PAGE Foundation has served as the state coordinator of the program since 1994 and is host of the annual State PAGE STAR Banquet, during which the state PAGE STAR student and state PAGE STAR teacher are announced.
Haymore, whose son Chris is an assistant principal and the athletic director at Alcovy, works half-days at Newton and is no longer involved with the Ram football program. Instead he enjoys participating in Kiwanis and said he isn't quite ready to leave education.
"I enjoy Kiwanis and I'd love to continue at the school for a couple more years," Haymore said. "I love working with the kids and being involved in the schools."