Four area students honored as STARs in state

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Four students and teachers from Natchez-area high schools have been named for the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) award.

STAR students are Janice Davis of Natchez High School, Kristen Ater of Cathedral High School, Lindsey Etheridge of Adams County Christian School and Caroline Hungerford of Trinity Episcopal Day School.

To be selected as a STAR student, the student must be a senior and have the highest American College Test (ACT) score out of the senior class, or, if a tie occurs, the student with the highest grade point average is chosen.

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The STAR students will be honored during the 13th annual Education Celebration on April 25 at the Mississippi College in Clinton.

The highlight of the celebration will be the naming of the Mississippi STAR Student for 2003, winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation scholarship.

STAR teachers, who are nominated by the STAR students at their school, will receive recognition from MEC’s Swayze Foundation at the celebration.

Davis nominated her English teacher, Patricia West, because &uot;I have so much respect for her and she was like a mentor and friend.&uot;

&uot;She’s not only taught straight from the book but she’s related it to everyday situations,&uot; Davis said.

This is West’s second time to be nominated as STAR teacher.

&uot;I was elated,&uot; West, who is retiring after this year, said.

&uot;Janice is really a good student,&uot; West said. &uot;She’s a track star, excellent writer and leader.&uot;

Davis has an athletic scholarship in track and field to Stanford University, where she plans to study biology and medicine.

Davis said she chose Stanford because &uot;the culture diversity is there and that’s what I’m used to.&uot;

Davis, who has a resume filled with honor societies and academic and athletic achievements said she was very &uot;happy and pleased&uot; being named STAR student.

Etheridge nominated her mother and past teacher, Cindy Etheridge, as STAR teacher.

Lindsey Etheridge was taught science and family living by Cindy Etheridge in fifth and seventh grade and nominated her because she said, &uot;she’s my mom.&uot;

&uot;This is the first time receiving this and I was so honored,&uot; Cindy Etheridge said about being named STAR teacher.

Besides just being Lindsey’s mom, Cindy Etheridge also sponsored her daughter’s cheerleading squad for three years and most recently is sponsoring the BETA and Honor Society, which Lindsey is also a member of.

Lindsey Etheridge plans to attend the University of Mississippi and study international studies, political science and history.

&uot;I want to learn about different cultures and travel,&uot; Etheridge said.

Kenneth Beesley, head football coach and math teacher at Cathedral High School, was nominated by Ater, who he taught three of her four high school years.

This is Beesley’s 33rd year in the teaching profession and his sixth year being nominated as STAR teacher.

Beesley has also been recognized as the Tandy Math and Science teacher.

&uot;To know that you’ve made an impression on your students means a lot,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;I’m a teacher first a coach second.&uot;

Beesley said Ater is &uot;an excellent student and delight to teach.&uot;

&uot;She’s a hard-worker, has a very pleasing personality and is very respectful of teachers and students,&uot; Beesley said.

The compliments were returned by Ater, who said Beesley &uot;is a great teacher and I’ve really learned a lot from him.&uot;

&uot;I felt honored and I was glad that I had worked so hard and it paid off,&uot; Ater said about being honored STAR student.

Ater is involved in numerous honor societies and activities and has won awards in American History and the 100 Average Computer Applications Award to name a few.

Ater plans to attend the University of Mississippi and study pharmacy.

&uot;I’m getting some scholarships and they have a great pharmacy program,&uot; Ater said.

Hungerford also believes that her hard work has paid off.

Hungerford has attended Trinity for her whole academic life thus far and said the STAR student award is a great award.

Hungerford nominated her English teacher, Gwen Young as STAR teacher.

&uot;I’ve learned a whole lot from her and she makes learning enjoyable,&uot; Hungerford said.

Young was bursting at the seams as she spoke of the admiration she has for Hungerford and how pleased she was to received the honor of STAR teacher.

&uot;To think that someone like that saw me in this light,&uot; Young said about Hungerford.

&uot;She embodies every aspect of teaching and she helps you remember why you’re doing this.&uot;

Hungerford plans to attend Louisiana State University and

is undecided in what she plans to major in.

Out of the 500 STAR high school students, 20 will be selected from the state at large and be named All-STAR Scholars. The top three All-STARs will receive scholarships of different amounts and the remaining 17 will each receive $500.

Teachers of the top three All-STAR Scholars will each receive a $500 award and the remaining 17 will receive a $250 award.