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Crasta honored to be Vicksburg’s STAR student

Vicksburg High School senior Nicholas Crasta has been named the STAR student for the class of 2017. He will also serve as the class’s Valedictorian after finishing with straight A’s throughout high school.

“It is really an honor to be at the top of my class,” Crasta said. “It is a really tough race at the top. I think all of my class is smart; all of my class does well in their studies. To be at the top of that is really an honor.”

The STAR student program is sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council’s M.B. Swayze Foundation and recognizes the senior in each gradating class with the highest ACT.

To be eligible, students must score at least a 25 on the ACT and hold a cumulative average of 93 in core classes through the first semester of their senior year.

Crasta scored a 32 on the ACT and had a 98 average in his core classes.

“It is a big accomplishment, it’s a blessing,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work, a lot of motivation from my teachers, my parents, my family and my closest friends.”

He was a member of the swim team and golf team throughout high school and serves as the senior class president.

Crasta also earned the rank of Eagle School three years ago at the age of 14.

“It takes a lot of time,” Crasta said of balancing everything he was involved in. “Doing so many things, you have to balance your time because there are only 24 hours in the day. I say I take 20 hours of those days working on something. I’m up until 4 in the morning sometimes.”

As part of being named STAR student, Crasta chose biology teacher Regina O’Leary as his STAR teacher. O’Leary had the unique opportunity to teach Crasta in fifth grade and also in his freshman, junior and senior years of high school.

“She’s been my teacher for a while and she’s made a big impact on me,” Crasta said. “She got me interested in science.”

O’Leary added, “To see Nicholas and some of the other students I had in fifth grade and come here and watch them and see the growth in those students is a special thing to see.”

While in high school, O’Leary taught Crasta in biology, AP biology and duel enrollment biology.

“Nicholas is absolutely wonderful,” O’Leary said. “He is all-round, not just academics. His personality is great. He is a team player. He is not one of those that is smart and won’t share with his classmates.”

After graduation, Crasta plans to attend Ole’ Miss where he will double major in Political Science and Biology with the goal of attending medical school to become a nephrologist before pursing a career in politics.