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STARs shine during annual ceremony

Staff Photo: John Bohn High School award winners pose for a group portrait as the Gwinnett County Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition hold a luncheon to present awards to local high school students Thursday at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

Staff Photo: John Bohn High School award winners pose for a group portrait as the Gwinnett County Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition hold a luncheon to present awards to local high school students Thursday at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

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STUDENTS/TEACHERS HONORED

Archer: Itoro Atakpa, Rand Stewart

Berkmar: Eden Hailmichael, Kevin Lewis

Brookwood: Eric Yao, Dana Kling

Buford High School: Grant Hall, Tim Harris

Central Gwinnett: Caskey Dyer, Keith Haber

Collins Hill: Manav Dutta, Laura Herbig

Covenant Christian Academy: Alex Garmon, Guy Crowley

Dacula: Steven Jeanfreau: Lesley Buchanan

Duluth: Jonathan Li, Chris de Castro

Grayson: Hannah Lawless, Greg Field

Greater Atlanta Christian: Christine Wilson, Terry Beasley

Gwinnett Online Campus: Megan Metcalf, Tonya Pohlel

Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology: Morrison Nolan, Patricia Caldwell

Hebron Christian Academy: Stephanie Murphy, Melissa Hornsby

Killian Hill Christian School: Yamamah "Mimi" Ackleh, Terry FulbrightLanier: Ming Chen, Rober Prill

Meadowcreek: Shahed Meah, Wayne Dail

Mill Creek: Britt Hatcher, Jana Penn

Mountain View: Rebecca Wilson, Dianne Akin

Norcross: Allison Fischer, Dwayne Alvis

North Gwinnett: Alec Cook, Kent Ames

Parkview: Julian Menzel, Caroline Miklosovic

Peachtree Ridge: Steven Emanuel, Matt Davis

Phoenix: John Power, Mark Stern

Providence Christian: Daniel Chi, Andy Randrup

Shiloh: Hermoon Worku, Sandra C. Dennis

South Gwinnett: Kendall Murray, Heath Gibson

Wesleyan: Cody Solomon, David Breslin

DULUTH -- When stars align at the 1818 Club it's hardly a rare occurrence.

It happens once a year, in fact, when honor is bestowed on local high school students with the highest SAT score at their school. Young people from all over Gwinnett County were in attendance Thursday to represent more than two dozen learning facilities.

In its 54th year, the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors students with the highest marks as well as teachers chosen by each elite student.

Emcee Craig Hudson said the event brought "educators and businesses together for a mutually beneficial cause."

When it was all said and done, three students were chosen as the sectional finalists for STAR student: Parkview High School's Julian Menzel and Brookwood High School's Eric Yao, who both scored a 2380 on their SATs.

Grant Hall of Buford High School was named as the section finalist for Buford City Schools. Hall scored a 2140 on the SAT.

Each STAR student picked their favorite teacher. Hall chose eight-time STAR teacher Tim Harris for the honor.

Hall said he chose Harris because "he's really the best teacher I've had in high school ... he inspires me to grow as a student."

The student plans to play football for Duke University as a safety.

Menzel and Yao said they have yet to select a college choice, but they're actively searching for the right fit.

Yao chose Dana Kling as his STAR teacher, because "he is very passionate about his love of language and literature. He tries to make the best out of every situation, and he gives great opportunities to his students to expand their knowledge."

Menzel chose Caroline Miklosovic as his STAR teacher because "she has helped me greatly ... she has a really unique appreciation for the humanity of each student she teaches. In her classroom, we're not just students to her. We are human beings, we're people."

Sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation, the STAR program honors "Georgia's outstanding high school seniors."

According to its website the STAR program has recognized more than 23,500 high school seniors over the past 55 years.

For more information, visit www.pagefoundation.org.