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Bright Future: ACCS grad gets big bucks for score

Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Adams County Christian School STAR Student Ashton Mason, left, selected English teacher Juliet Wesberry as her STAR teacher. Mason will attend Louisiana State University in the fall to study biology.
Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Adams County Christian School STAR Student Ashton Mason, left, selected English teacher Juliet Wesberry as her STAR teacher. Mason will attend Louisiana State University in the fall to study biology.

NATCHEZ One point on the ACT was worth $5,000 for Ashton Mason.

The recent Adams County Christian School graduate scored a 27 on the college preparatory test in September — falling one point shy of earning scholarship money to attend Louisiana State University.

“With a 27, I didn’t get any scholarship money, but with a 28 I could get $5,000 a year,” Mason said. “So obviously, I took it again.”

Mason dusted off her ACT prep books, enrolled in extra review classes and signed up to take the test again in February.

Her hard work paid off, and she scored a 28 on the test.

“It was frustrating knowing I just needed that one extra point, but it was worth it when I saw my score,” Mason said. “That scholarship money is really going to help out.”

Mason’s high score also earned her the title of STAR student for her school.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program honors one student per high school based on ACT score and academic achievement in the classroom. Mason joins more than 250 students from around the state who have earned the title this year.

The award is sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council.

As STAR student, Mason chose one teacher who had the greatest impact on her educational career as STAR teacher.

Mason’s STAR teacher is ACCS English teacher Juliet Wesberry. Wesberry has been teaching at ACCS for 12 years and has been named STAR teacher three times.

Mason said Wesberry’s teaching style played a significant role in her increased test score.

“She drilled grammar in our heads every day, and that helped a lot for when I took the ACT,” Mason said. “She also does a lot of ACT prep and different exercises in class, which really helped.

“My English score on this last test bumped up my overall score, so I owe a lot to (Wesberry).”

Wesberry said she was honored to have been selected as STAR teacher and will miss having Mason in her class next year.

“Ashton is not only a STAR student, she’s an incredible person as well,” Wesberry said. “I will miss her, especially her enthusiasm for learning.”

Mason will attend LSU in the fall and plans on studying biology.

“I want to cure cancer,” Mason said. “There are several people in this community that I’ve seen affected by cancer, and seeing what them and their families had to go through really pushed me into wanting to study cancer research.”

Mason is the daughter of Matt Mason and Leigh Anne Mason.