Trinity STAR student uses creativity when challenged

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — Joseph Harris says he knows the best way to handle challenges is to meet them with a sound work ethic.

Harris was named this year’s STAR student for Trinity Episcopal Day School.

Email newsletter signup

Sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council, the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition award recognizes scholastic achievement among Mississippi’s high school students.

Students eligible for the STAR award must have an ACT score of at least 25 and a grade average of 93 or above in selected subjects through their high school career.

Winning students then select a single teacher who they believe was among their best teachers.

Harris selected high school and elementary art teacher Susannah Heatherly as his STAR teacher.

Heatherly said not only did Harris show imagination in art, he demonstrated imagination in his other classes as well.

“He’s very creative,” Heatherly said. “One of the things I saw about (him) in the ninth grade is that (he’s) good at problem solving. He likes to be challenged.”

Harris scored a 29 on the ACT and said his GPA is approximately at a 4.04.

The recent graduate said his art teacher motivated him to become a more responsible person.

“She doesn’t get the credit she deserves,” Harris said. “She comes in every day with a more fully loaded plate than any of us can ever understand. She’s never mean and doesn’t get involved in drama. I aspire to share these qualities.”

Heatherly said Harris already shares a lot of those qualities.

“I’ve taught Joseph since he came to Trinity in ninth grade, and even though the classes we’ve had are art classes, I’ve been able to see his work from other classes,” Heatherly said. “He deserves the award.”

Other inspirations Harris included were his three older brothers Davis, Peter and Ned and his parents Todd and Betty Jo Harris.

“It goes without saying that they’ve inspired me,” Harris said.

Harris will soon register for the Honors College at the University of Mississippi and the Haley Barbour Center of Manufacturing Excellence, a selective school that provides unique opportunities to students interested in manufacturing.

“I’m very ready to be in Oxford,” Harris said. “I’m ready to branch out and do my own thing.”

“I’m excited for him,” Heatherly said. “It’s time for him to move on and find some more challenges.”