By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Oxford High School has eight Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Students and teachers this year – a record for Mississippi schools.
“We don’t have records all the way back to the 1960s when the program started, but at least in the last 12 years, no Mississippi high school has had that many STAR students,” said Vickie Powell, vice president of foundation programs at the Mississippi Economic Council, which sponsors the STAR Student honor.
“These Star Students should be embraced by the entire community (along with) the parents, the teachers and all those who helped mold and guide their success,” said OHS Principal Michael F. Martin. “This state record number of STAR Students is a truly unbelievable achievement.”
Any Mississippi high school with at least one senior with a score of 25 or greater on the American College Test and a 93 or higher grade-point average is eligible to name one STAR student, who then shares the honor with one teacher.
Powell said subsequent nominees from the same school must have at least a 35 on the ACT (just shy of a perfect score) and at least a 93 GPA.
“For both the student and the teacher, it’s a huge honor because of the student’s achievements and because the student chooses the teacher who had the most impact on their educational career,” she said.
Oxford High’s 2013 STAR Students, their intended majors and colleges, and STAR Teachers and their subject areas are as follow:
• Dora Chen – chemical engineering or Spanish – Princeton University, the University of Virginia, or Harvard University; Joan Westmoreland, English
• Taide Ding – neuroscience – Yale University or Stanford University; Barbara Lowe, debate
• Rosalie Doerksen – biochemistry – the University of Pennsylvania; Mary Stone, pre-AP world history
• Chase Gladden – neuroscience – Bowdoin College; John Davenport, theater
• Sam Mossing – mathematics – the University of Mississippi; Jeffrey Jones, mathematics
• Jimmy Pan – Vanderbilt – engineering, Chris Baughman, mathematics
• David Rozier – Ole Miss – chemical engineering; Jim Reidy, science
• Yujing Zhang – Vanderbilt or Ole Miss – biology; Marni Herrington, science
Martin said of the STAR students, “These are the folks who’ll be doing our surgery one day, building our skyscrapers and solving world problems.”