Star student & teachers Program honors schools’ top seniors and educators

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three Warren County students are among the more than 240 STAR students recognized this year by the Mississippi Economic Council’s M.B. Swayze Educational Foundation.

They are seniors Andy Bell of St. Aloysius High School, son of Nancy Bell; Daniel Kees of Vicksburg High School, son of Janice Kees and the late Dr. Stewart Kees; and Nathan Martin of Warren Central High School, son of Danita and Kenneth Martin.

The STAR program — Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition program — is in its 46th year. It was formed to encourage scholastic achievement among the state’s high school students and to recognize excellence and influence in teaching.

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STAR students are selected based on their scores on the American College Test and their scholastic averages, said Vickie Powell of the MSEC.

Once chosen, each student names his or her STAR teacher —the teacher who has had the greatest impact on the student’s academic achievements.

Bell named St. Al mathematics teacher Eleanor Phillips; Kees named VHS English teacher Ann Habeeb; and Martin named WCHS business and technology teacher Andrew Rainer.

At a recent MSEC celebration, each STAR student received a medallion and certificate in recognition of his achievement.

Since 1966, the STAR program has honored nearly 20,000 students and teachers. More than $70,000 in scholarships are awarded by the program each year to the state’s top finishers in the STAR student process.