JONESBORO Nine Clayton County student rock stars will venture down different paths in life, but today they will share something in common.
The students will be recognized by the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce and Clayton County Rotary Club as the county’s 2013 “STAR Students.” The students, along with their “STAR Teachers,” will be feted during a luncheon at Clayton State University’s Continuing Education Building, on the college’s main campus in Morrow.
“STAR” stands for Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition. It is a state-wide program organized by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators in partnership with local chambers of commerce. The program, now in its 55th year, is designed to recognize high-performing students.
The award-winning students are high school seniors who scored the highest among their classmates on the SAT test. They are also required to be among either the top 10 students in their graduating class, or at least the top 10 percent of students.
Charles R. Drew, Forest Park, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Morrow, Mount Zion, Mundy’s Mill, North Clayton and Riverdale high schools are each represented by a STAR Student, according to Clayton County Chamber of Commerce President Yulonda Beauford.
This is the first year in which Drew High is eligible to have a STAR Student.
Each school’s STAR Student chooses a teacher who has made a lasting impact on his or her life. The educators are then recognized as STAR Teachers.
The pupil with the highest SAT score will be the county’s overall STAR Student, but his or her identity is kept a closely guarded secret until the end of the recognition luncheon.
County-wide STAR Students go on to compete for regional honors, and region winners progress to compete for state-wide honors. Clayton County is in Region 3B with Henry, Butts, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Lamar, Pike, Rockdale and Spalding counties.
This year's STAR Students and STAR Teachers are:
Charles R. Drew High School
STAR teacher: Vijay Oomen
School involvement: Marching band, swim team, tutors students in several academic areas and dual-enrollment student at Clayton State University
College to attend: Spelman College for undergraduate studies and aiming to get accepted to either Cornell University or Johns Hopkins University for medical school
Intended college major: Chemistry and philosophy double major
Career goal: To become a radiation oncologist
Forest Park High School
STAR teacher: Israel Rowe
School involvement: Junior Council, Chess Club, Math Club, French Club and dual enrollment student at Clayton State University
College to attend: Either Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Vassar College and Oberlin College
Intended college major: Physics
Career goal: To become a scientific researcher “with the desire to validate string theory”
Jonesboro High School
STAR teacher: Kent Pate
School involvement: Jonesboro Technology Student Association member at, dual-enrollment student at Clayton State University, member of Clayton State’s Vietnamese Student Association and photographer for the university’s newspaper The Bent Tree
College to attend: Georgia Institute of Technology
Intended college major: Mechanical engineering
Career Goal: Pursue a job in the “intelligent robotics and environmentally friendly design” field
Lovejoy High School
STAR teacher: Sharon McMeans-Lukiri
School involvement: Students Against Destructive Decisions secretary and Beta Club
College to attend: Either Sarah Lawrence College or the University of Georgia
Intended college major: Either French, archeology or creative writing
Career Goal: To become a journalist
Morrow High School
STAR teacher: Ginia McMillan
School involvement: Beta Club, National Honor Society, dual-enrollment student at Clayton State University
College to attend: Either Agnes Scott College or Georgia Institute of Technology
Intended college major: Either English literature or business administration
Career Goal: Possibly a marketing manager
Mt. Zion High School
STAR teacher: Shekema Silveri
School involvement: Math team, Clayton County Performing Arts Center technical crew, chamber orchestra and pit orchestra
College to attend: Either Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Boston University, Columbia University or Mercer University
Intended major in college: English
Career goal: Become a “prolific writer”
Mundy’s Mill High School
STAR teacher: J. David Dearin
School involvement: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) president, Beta Club secretary, Omega Mentoring Program, National Honor Society and DECA member.
College to attend: Georgia Institute of Technology
Intended college major: Business administration/management
Career Goal: Become a corporate lawyer
North Clayton High School
STAR teacher: Vicente Castaneda
School involvement: Cheerleader, tennis player, Green Team, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Ambassadors International, Students against Destructive Decisions and Mentoring Program.
College to attend: Either Baylor University, Clemson University or the University of Georgia
Intended college major: Economics (with a minor in English)
Career Goal: To become a corporate lawyer and a Fortune 500 speech writer
Riverdale High School
STAR teacher: Sean Antonetti
School involvement: Soccer team, Cross Country team, Technology Student Association secretary, Students Against Destructive Decisions vice-president, National Honor Society vice-president, Yearbook section co-editor.
College to attend: Emory University’s dual-enrollment program with the Georgia Institute of Technology for undergraduate studies and aiming to attend Cornell University for graduate studies
Intended college major: Computer Engineering and Business Management double major
Career Goal: Design “life-changing technology” for either Apple or Motorola