Natchez High School senior Ashara Davis shows star qualities inside and outside of the classroom

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

Ashara Davis is the STAR Student at Natchez High School because of her grades and ACT score, but Davis’ real star qualities shine when she leaves the school.

Davis, 18, finishes her school day at noon and heads straight to work at Britton and Koontz Bank. At five she goes home to play with her two toddlers and relieve her grandmother of babysitting duties. It is usually 11:30 by the time Davis gets the children and herself to bed, and she starts all over again at 6:30 a.m. the next day.

&uot;I’m running on about five or six hours of sleep every night,&uot; Davis said. &uot;Basically I just have a very busy life.&uot;

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And Davis doesn’t see any breaks in the future. The senior plans to start studying pre-law at Alcorn State University this summer and commute to stay close to the children.

&uot;It’s going to be like this for a while,&uot; Davis said. &uot;It takes sheer willpower. I don’t have any energy; coffee and candy bars help.&uot;

Davis said it is her determination that makes her do homework each night, but she was still surprised at her ACT score.

&uot;I was hoping for a 22,&uot; Davis said. &uot;So I was really surprised when I got a 29.&uot;

Davis said she did a lot of studying on her own for the college preparatory test, but did not attend any ACT workshops.

The STAR &045; Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition &045; Student award is chosen strictly on numbers, said Peggy Howard of the M.B. Swayze Educational Foundation, the organization that gives the honor. Students must have at least a 25 on the ACT and a 93 average in school. The award is given to the student with the school’s highest ACT score who has a 93 or above average.

&uot;Administrators tell us it is one of the most coveted honors in high school,&uot; Howard said.

Davis said it was a great honor to represent her school.

&uot;There are a lot of people that are more so overachievers than me,&uot; she said. &uot;I wasn’t expecting it and I haven’t gotten over it yet.&uot;

Davis’ grandmother Willie Bell Davis said Ashara always liked reading.

&uot;She’s always been on the honor roll and I saw that it was in her,&uot; Davis said. &uot;I just didn’t know it was going to go this far. I’m proud of her for staying with it.&uot;

Willie Bell Davis said Ashara was holding up well with all she had to handle.

&uot;She’s in and out,&uot; she said. &uot;She goes to school and works too and then comes home and works with (her children) and does her studies.&uot;

Ashara Davis said she tries to spend as much time as possible with the children who are a year old and four months old.

&uot;If it’s a good day outside I’m outside with the children,&uot; she said. &uot;I have a little break on the weekends, but I still have 50,000 things to do.&uot;

Rosemary Hall, B&K Bank senior vice president and human resources director, said Davis is a very good worker. Her job includes being a file clerk, making copies, manning the switchboard and doing whatever needs to be done.

&uot;She’s on time for work, she does everything that she is asked and she is very cooperative,&uot; Hall said. &uot;She comes to work and she gets her job done.&uot;

Davis will be honored at the 14th annual Education Celebration on April 23 at Mississippi College in Clinton.

Davis chose NHS math teacher Joan Jones as STAR Teacher. Jones has taught Davis for two years in upper level math courses.

&uot;She’s disciplined, she doesn’t make excuses and she just goes and does what needs to be done,&uot; Jones said. &uot;She sets goals for herself and she reaches them.&uot;