It was eight o'clock in the morning, but STARS shone brightly Thursday at the Family Life Enrichment Center.
The Oconee County Chamber of Commerce held its annual breakfast to honor this year's STAR students and teachers from each of the five high schools in the county.
After hearing a rundown of the many accomplishments of the scholars and their mentors, the audience of school officials, Chamber members and community leaders learned that two had tied for the system award: Athens Academy's Elyse Paneral and Steven Thomas of North Oconee High School.
Local school system STAR students advance to compete for regional honors. Winners at the regional level then vie for the state STAR award.
The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Georgia's outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development, according to the PAGE Foundation. Students must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average, the website notes.
2013 STAR Winners
Student- Elyse Paneral
Teacher- Dr. William Leonard (AP Spanish)
North Oconee High School
Student- Steven Thomas
Teacher- Mr. Timothy Armstrong (AP Chemistry)
Oconee County High School
Student- Jared Munneke
Teacher- Amy Mize (Honors American Lit)
Prince Ave. Christian School
Student- Marian Douglas
Teacher- Mr. Jimmy Phillips (AP English)
Westminster Christian Academy
Student- Lindsey Vinson
Teacher- Mr. Mike Ediger (Algebra)