Newton County’s top students shined on Thursday as the Newton County School System named its 2013 Student Teacher Achievement Recognition teachers and students at the Kiwanis Club of Covington’s meeting on Thursday.
The STAR program, which is in its 54th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education.
To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT, a national college entrance exam some colleges and universities utilize to measure critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college.
In order to be named a STAR student, the student must have not only the highest SAT score at the school, but also be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.
Alcovy High School
Jansen Lindner was named the STAR student for AHS this year. He selected his AP calculus teacher Scott Rains, as his STAR teacher. Lindner scored 2070 out of 2400 on the SAT. He’s a member of the AHS Math Club and is the salutatorian of the AHS graduating class of 2013.
“He’s a remarkable student and very easy to teach,” Rains said. “He’s actually like having a second person in the classroom that can teach. If I can get one group, I can leave him in charge with another, which actually makes my job rather easy.”
Lindner has taken a total of nine AP courses including Latin, statistics, English language, chemistry, U.S. history, calculus, English literature, physics and macroeconomics. He plans on attending Georgia Tech with a major in aerospace engineering. Lindner was influenced by his father, Shaey Lindner, who’s an airplane mechanic and attended the luncheon to support his son.
“I’m very excited and very proud of him,” Shaey said.
Newton High School
NHS 2013 valedictorian Alex Grady was recognized as the STAR student for his high school. Grady selected his economic teacher Aaron Robinson as his STAR teacher. He scored 1980 out of 2400 on his SAT and has taken a number of AP classes, including world history, chemistry, U.S. history, language and composition, statistics, physics, economics, psychology, art studio, literature and composition and two AP calculus classes.
“He’s an all-around student,” Robinson said. “He’s a learner not looking for a grade, but the education.”
Grady is captain of both the cross country and the track teams and he also is captain of the school math team. He’s member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Government, Academic Team, and Key Club.
Grady plans to attend Georgia Tech in the fall and major in mechanical engineering and is expected to sign with the cross country and track team. His mother Heidi Grady, said she was excited about her son’s honor and she thanked God every day for her son.
“I really don’t know where he comes from,” she joked. “I’m just blessed.”
Eastside High School
Marshal Conner Bryan was named as the STAR student for EHS and as the 2013 STAR student for the Newton County School System. Bryan selected his Latin teacher Eric Adams, as his STAR teacher. Adams is Newton County School System’s 2013 STAR teacher and this was Adams’ eighth time being selected by a student as the STAR teacher. Adams explained why it was an honor to teach Bryan.
“It’s his effortlessness it seems that he has when he does his work and his understanding of things,” Adams said. “That’s what makes him to where it’s more than enjoying him as a good student, but it just gives one joy to realize that someone has intellectual gifts.”
Bryan is the class of 2013 salutatorian for EHS. He scored a 2130 out of 2400 on the SAT. Bryan has taken nine AP courses, which include Latin, language, U.S. history, European history, British literature, calculus, chemistry, government, and economics. He’s a member of the Junior Classical League, Academic Team, Creative Writing Club, Beta Club, and National Honor Society.
Bryan plans to attend the University of Georgia as a double major in Latin and English. His parents Susan and Carey Bryan and his “Nana” Mary Shrader attended the luncheon to help him celebrate his achievement.
“We’ve always known he’s been very bright and just loves language and loves words,” Susan said.
“We’re just very, very proud and very happy for him.”