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Forsyth County STAR students awarded for excellence
According to a spokesperson for the Cumming Kiwanis Club, these three Lambert High School students were named the system winners of the STAR Student award. - photo by Alexander Popp

On Thursday night, a group of educators and community members gathered at the University of North Georgia’s Cumming campus to celebrate the county’s STAR Students, recognizing each for their test scores, passion and achievement. 

"Kiwanis loosely termed, means to work together, and we try to work together for kids as much as we can," said Jim Boff, president of the Cumming Kiwanis Club. "We have star students, we have Key Clubs in the high schools, we offer scholarships every year and the STAR student banquet is a way to get together and recognize the kids that have done really well." 

During the event, the 10 students with the highest SAT test scores in Forsyth County for 2019 were awarded a framed certificate. Each stood to be recognized and to announce the teacher that they had nominated for a STAR Teacher award. 

Event announcer and Cumming Kiwanis Past President Angela Holbrook told the crowd that this year they had a three-way tie for overall system winner, all of whom were from Lambert High School and all of whom received the same score. 

“This has never happened before that we’ve seen,” Holbrook said. 

The 2019 Forsyth County STAR Students include; 

• System Winners —Lambert High School — Zachary Minot, Kevin Li, Hyun Na

• Forsyth Central High School — Chase Harman Baxter

• Horizon Christian Academy — Yeojun Yang

• North Forsyth High School — Drew Michael Nizialek, Sofia Reese Gyger

• Pinecrest Academy — Nicolas Kelhofer

• South Forsyth High School — Raymond Qin

• West Forsyth High School — Varun Kumar

In his words to the crowd, one system winner, Kevin Li, thanked his teachers, family and friends, sharing his plans to for the future. 

"It's great to be here, it’s great to be with a bunch of family and friends," Li said. "Ms. Standeven has been quite the influence on my academic and personal development and it's great being here with her." 

Boff said that the system winners will now go up against other winners in the region and possibly further. 

"Forsyth County Is blessed with great schools and blessed with great students and great support for the children that go to school," he said. "We hope it brings them pride, we hope it brings them recognition and awareness in the community of what they have accomplished."