ACCS STAR Student, Teacher rise above classroom duties

Published 12:41 pm Thursday, April 8, 2021

NATCHEZ — Emma McSwain has been named Adams County Christian School’s STAR Student for the 2020-2021 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council and M.B. Swayze Foundation, who sponsor Mississippi’s STAR program.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program, or STAR program, was established by the MEC in 1965 to recognize outstanding students and teachers in Mississippi.

As Adams County Christian School’s STAR Student, McSwain will be recognized with a medallion and certificate from the M.B. Swayze Foundation with more than 600 other STAR Students and STAR Teachers in the state.

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McSwain is the daughter of Russ McSwain and Nicole Krueger. She enjoys mathematics and history and is a member of the National Honor Society and National Beta Club. She is also a former member of the Key Club ministry and Mayor’s Youth Council. Upon her graduation in May, McSwain said she plans to study pre-medical science at Mississippi State University with the hopes of going to medical school for dermatology.

STAR Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence using their American College Test scores and grade point average.

To be named STAR Student, McSwain had a composite ACT score of 31 and has a perfect 4.0-grade point average. The highest ACT score possible is 36 and the average score is 21.

The STAR Students designate the STAR Teacher for their school and McSwain chose her history teacher, Kristen Stokes.

“She is the first that I’ve connected with since I (started school at ACCS),” McSwain said of Stokes. “She has helped me with more than just school work. If I have questions about anything outside of that, she’s good at answering them in an unbiased way.”

Stokes teaches junior and senior-level American history, American government, and economics. She has taught for a total of eight years, including five years at the former Trinity Episcopal School and three years at ACCS.

Stokes said she enjoys teaching McSwain, especially when reading and grading her essays.

“She has always been very self-driven and motivated and rises above whatever the occasion calls for,” Stokes said. “Emma has always been able to write her papers in a way that ties everything together and brings in examples. She is modest about herself and has always been goal-task-oriented. She also doesn’t go along with the crowd if she has a different opinion.”