Bulloch County Schools announced Wednesday the top STARs at a recognition luncheon, where local public and private high schools honored the nominees. Eric Lim of Southeast Bulloch High School and his elementary school teacher, Joey Harvey, are Bulloch County’s top STARs for 2023. The two will now advance to the Region 8 STAR Recognition at GSU in March.
The Bulloch County STAR Recognition Luncheon, with the community’s five public and private high schools, is an annual event hosted by the Statesboro Rotary Club, who along with the Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education also sponsor the event.
Lim, a senior at SEBHS, selected Harvey as his STAR teacher. A gifted teacher at Brooklet Elementary School, Lim was in her QUEST classes in second through fifth grades.
“She taught me the importance of learning new things,” Lim shared in a written statement. “No matter how smart you were, there was something new you could learn about. The values she taught in her class helped me become a successful academic student.”
Harvey remembers Eric as a highly intelligent young man from a very young age, who shaped her into the teacher of gifted students she is today.
“I am so incredibly humbled and honored to be selected as Eric’s STAR teacher,” Harvey said. “I was always tickled when he was stumped by something and being able to watch him work it out was a treat. I am so very proud of Eric and how humble he is, how he has a constant desire to learn, and I cannot wait to see the amazing future he has before him. He can and will do great things. I am grateful for playing a small part in his education, and that it meant as much to him as it always will to me.”
Lin is the son of Jeeyoon Byun. He hopes to attend either the Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia Southern University and major in electrical engineering.
Bulloch County’s STAR pair will now advance to the Region 8 STAR Recognition, which will be held on March 15, at Georgia Southern University and is sponsored by the Exchange Club of Statesboro. They will gather with district winning STARs from 16 area counties and a region winner will be announced. The region winners will advance to the State STAR Banquet in Atlanta on April 24.
The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, now in its 65 year, is a state program sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and the PAGE Foundation. The purpose of the STAR program is threefold:
- Recognize academic achievement in Georgia’s high schools and motivate students to be good scholars and high achievers
- Honor excellence in teaching, to promote teaching as a career and to encourage outstanding teachers to remain in the classroom
- Demonstrate the business community’s commitment to excellence in education and to increase interaction between students and the business community
2023 School-Level STAR Nominees
Five school-level STAR student and teacher pairs from Bulloch Academy, Trinity Christian School, Portal Middle High School, Southeast Bulloch High School, and Statesboro High School were recognized during this year’s event and enjoyed support from their families, school counselors, and principals who were in attendance. These are this year’s other school-level STAR student and STAR teacher nominees from whom Lim and Harvey were selected:
- James Burke, STAR Student – James is the son of Jerry and Amy Burke. He plans to study environmental engineering in college, and has been accepted to the University of Georgia’s honors program and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He hopes to work as a research scientist. He selected Beverly Campbell, his Kindergarten teacher as his STAR teacher. “Some of my favorite memories are the elaborate playsets she built to teach about the jungle and outer space and everything in between. I chose her because of the dedication she brings to school every day and the passion for learning and exploration she instills in her students.”
- Beverly Campbell, STAR Teacher – “James Burke is a bright young man that has always been aware that the choices he makes daily are an important part of his plans for his future. Becoming a STAR student is an achievement he has earned over time with a dedication to keeping his eye on the goal. I believe James chose me to be his STAR teacher because I focus on helping a child become a lifelong learner. Being selected as the STAR teacher by James is one of the greatest honors I have received.”
Portal Middle High School:
- Chandler Scott Grooms, STAR Student – Chandler is the son of Tronda Grooms. He has applied to Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia and anticipates majoring in accounting. “My future career plans are to earn my college degree and possibly open up an accounting firm. I selected my star teacher because of how well of a job he does at teaching. He breaks the concepts that we are learning down, which makes the content easier to grasp. He also has a great sense of humor that translates into his teaching to make learning much more fun and enjoyable. He is just an all around incredible teacher.”
- Dennis Moore, STAR Teacher – Moore, a math teacher, has been selected as a STAR teacher five times. “Chandler Grooms is just an exceptional overall well rounded student. He excels in the classroom and enjoys learning. He participates in several sports including basketball, baseball, and football. He also has his own personal business that he started this year by detail cleaning automobiles. I believe Chandler selected myself as the star teacher because he enjoys learning on a daily basis and likes to be challenged. This award is very meaningful to me because it validates that students such as Chandler are coming to class knowing they are going to learn something new and enjoy the process as they do.”
Trinity Christian School:
- Abigail (Abbey) Case, STAR Student – Abbey is the daughter of Tim Chase. She plans to attend Georgia Southern University and pursue a degree in English Literature. “In the future, I hope to read and write as much as I can as a professional academic working in the university system. I selected Charlotte Crowe as my STAR teacher for two reasons: over the past two years, Mrs. Crowe has not only dedicated hours upon hours to helping me refine my skills in language arts, but she’s also mentored me and helped me grow as a student, a leader, and as a person.”
- Charlotte Crowe, STAR Teacher – Ms. Crowe, is an English Literature and Language Composition teacher at Trinity Christian School. “Abbey embodies the hopes every educator has for their students; to take the skills and knowledge taught, learn them thoroughly; better than we know them ourselves; using what she can in the now while storing the rest, ready and waiting for whatever purpose may come. Abbey demonstrates a commitment to understanding as well as learning. She is respectful, tenacious, and willing to meet any challenge. When I first encountered Abbey as a student, she wanted more challenging work, and together, over the last year, we spent the attention and effort it often takes to search out and hone strengths and build up weak points. Abbey has differentiated herself from her peers both her desire to learn as well as her willingness to meet any challenge. She is light and elevates the standard of excellence wherever she chooses to invest.”
Statesboro High School
- Julia Basquin, Statesboro High School STAR Student – Julia is the daughter of Burke and Stacey Basquin. Although undecided on a major and college, she has considered majoring in architecture. “I’ve particularly looked into studying architecture at Georgia Tech. I would like to specialize in green buildings and environmentally sustainable architecture (shout out to Mr. Rich McCombs, my AP Environmental Science teacher). I would hope to work for or create my own firm.I selected Coach Anthony Hammett as my STAR teacher because of his dedication to his students. I had him two years in a row — first for AP Government and then for his first year of AP U.S. History. Both classes are a lot of information, so the fact that he took on the challenge of AP U.S. history and did such an amazing job teaching his students on his first go shows how devoted he is as a teacher. The mass of material he taught and its difficulty level came with many questions from students. The amount of questions I asked him over that two-year span could be compiled into a book and have a greater word count than the Bible. But Coach Hammett answered every one of them. His class lectures were engaging, and he always managed to throw in a joke or Hammett quote, such as “tough cannoli.” He offered tutoring sessions for students before tests and a multi-hour study session on the weekend before the AP Exam. On top of all his hard work as a teacher, he maintains his role as a committed Statesboro High football coach. I call that dedication. So thank you Coach Hammett for being awesome!”
- Anthony Hammett – Statesboro High School STAR Teacher – “It was an honor and privilege to serve as Julia’s AP teacher for Government and Politics and US History. Every teacher should be so lucky to have a student like Julia in their classroom. To be quite honest, I am relieved that I didn’t screw her up. I just tried to stay out of the way and let her grow and experience Social Studies with the information necessary to form her own perspectives and beliefs with regards to our nation’s rich history. Julia is a born leader with a knack to create an environment that her peers feel valued in their contributions to open ended discussions. She possesses a relentless work ethic in which complacency does not exist. She is constantly striving for that next level of learning. I could and should continue with the list of superlatives that describe her academic prowess but the thing that is most appreciated from my perspective…she is just a great human. I will miss our conversations and cram sessions that seemingly made us both go cross eyed in the end. I expect Julia to do amazing things in the next chapters of her life and I am blessed to have been a small part of her life experience.”
STAR Program Qualifications
To be a school-level STAR, a student must be a member of their school’s senior class cohort, have the highest score on a single test date on the College Board’s Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) and by the end of their junior year be in the top-10 percent or top 10 students of their senior class cohort based on grade point average. Their scores on their test may not be super scored by combining best scores from portions of the test from multiple test dates, and scores must also be equal to or higher than the SAT national average scores, for Reading and Writing and Math
The STAR program begins each year in participating high schools throughout Georgia when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from one of the more than 170 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local district sponsors of the STAR program. Students then compete for region honors. Region winners compete for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student. STAR Teachers continue on with their STAR Students at every level of the program.
Bulloch County Schools – District Coordinator
Bulloch County Schools serves as the district coordinator for the program. The Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education supports Bulloch County Schools’ role, by underwriting the financial costs associated with the local, regional, and state level STAR events. The Statesboro Rotary Club also provides financial assistance for the local recognition luncheon and provides a public forum to showcase the school-level STARs.
Professional Association of Georgia Educators
PAGE is the state’s largest and fastest-growing educator association. Deeply committed to excellence in public education, PAGE provides legal coverage, legislative advocacy, and professional learning opportunities to more than 95,000 teachers, administrators, and school personnel. PAGE honors outstanding students and educators, and encourages academic excellence through competitive programs such as PAGE STAR, the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades, and the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon.