OUR VIEW: STAR luncheon perfect highlight of student-teacher relationship

There are many talented students and teachers here in Gwinnett County, but at each school only one of each is designated as a STAR. The annual STAR (Student Teacher Appreciation Recognition) banquet was held this week, and what makes the event stand out is the honoring of the relationship between student and teacher.

Each STAR student is in the top 10 percent of his or her class and has the highest SAT score of all seniors at the school. Those honorees then get to select a teacher that has made a major impact on them as the school’s STAR teacher. The teachers selected this year taught everything from French to AP calculus to advanced symphonic band, highlighting the range and interests of the honored students.

The luncheon and awards ceremony, sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, is the perfect illustration of teachers inspiring students and vice versa. All Gwinnett County public schools are recognized along with Buford city schools and the county’s private schools, bring Gwinnett’s most talented students together.

“This is truly one of the highlights of our year at the Chamber,” said Dan Kaufman, president and CEO of the Chamber. “The energy, enthusiasm, the talent and dedication, but most of all, not only for your own development, but the service you’re going to provide for your community and country for the years and decades ahead.”

Apporva Gangavelli of North Gwinnett High School, Deion King of Buford High, Willie Jin of the Gwinnett School of Math, Science, & Technology, and Michael Yu of Parkview High took top honors at the event. King plans to attend Princeton University, Jin will attend Harvard and Gangavelli and Yu are undecided. Yu scored a perfect 2,400 on the SAT, highlighting a deserving group that had teachers who were equalling deserving of recogntion.

This group of STAR students, like those before them, will go on to great things in college and beyond. But Friday’s luncheon was a reminder that no one goes it alone. Recognizing not only the students, but also those who inspire and support them, makes this a very special event.

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