The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program has launched its annual search for Georgia’s highest SAT-scoring high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic success. The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, which co-sponsors STAR with the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, has received more than 500 nominations from public and independent high schools across the state. STAR students and STAR teachers will be announced in local communities throughout the state during February and March. Georgia’s 2010 State PAGE STAR student and teacher will be announced at the annual banquet held in late April in Atlanta.
In 1956, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce launched a program to recognize the student(s) in each high school in the state who had the highest score on the SAT. Two years later, in 1958, the chamber altered the recognition program to include the teacher who had the greatest influence on the student’s academic career. The name given to this expanded recognition effort was Student Teacher Achievement Recognition, or STAR. During the past 52 years, more than 21,500 STAR students and STAR teachers have been recognized for their academic and professional accomplishments.
To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest SAT score (from any one administration of the three-part SAT taken through the November test date of the student’s senior year) and be ranked in the top 10 percent or top 10 members of their class. These students then select an inspiring teacher to share in this recognition. High school students compete for school system titles and school system STAR students move up to compete for region honors in 12 STAR regions across the state. Winners at the region level head to Atlanta to vie for the state PAGE STAR award.
The statewide program is coordinated by the PAGE Foundation. At the local-level of competition, high school superintendents and principals and more than 165 business and civic groups work together to ensure the success of the program. STAR students and STAR teachers who win awards at the state-level receive scholarships and other awards made possible through charitable gifts to the PAGE Foundation from the more than 78,000 members of PAGE and donors such as AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation, the Cecil B. Day Foundation and the Mozelle Christian Endowment.
“Each year we have the distinct pleasure of honoring some of Georgia’s highest achieving students and the teachers who were the most instrumental in their academic development. Part of the mission of the PAGE Foundation is to raise student achievement, and we attempt to accomplish this through a variety of challenging and competitive academic programs,” said PAGE Foundation President Tom Wommack.
“What makes the STAR program unique is it not only recognizes the academic success of some of Georgia’s most hard-working students, but in turn allows those students the opportunity to acknowledge the teachers who most inspired and challenged them in their pursuit of educational excellence. Most of us can point to a teacher that had a profound and positive influence on our lives. The STAR program brings deserved public recognition to teachers throughout our state who work each day to make a difference in the lives of the students they teach,” he added.