SOUTH FORSYTH -- Doing something perfectly got Amanda Lang to the top of the Georgian Club Friday, surrounded by nine other high school seniors who also scored perfectly on the SAT.
Unlike the other nine, she brought someone with her who taught her perfect will not always be the case. Someone who taught her that is OK — and inevitable.
The Lambert High School senior represented Forsyth County at the 2017 Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) regional awards luncheon for marking the highest —possible — score in the district in one sitting of the college entrance exam and for being in the top 10 percent of her class by GPA.
“I sit in awe when I hear of your plans,” said Ann Stucke, president of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), which organizes the STAR program, to the 16 metro Atlanta system winners.
Ten of them got perfect SAT scores and will represent Region 3A at the state level.
Stucke said while the accomplishments these seniors have notched are exemplary and a sign they will “go on to do great things,” they are not the only ones to credit for their own success.
There are “people putting you on their shoulders,” from parents to friends and counselors to teachers.
The recognition of those people whose shoulders boost brilliance in students is a crux of the program, which is in its 59th year of honoring now nearly 26,000 students who subsequently nominate a teacher who has made the biggest impact on their life in high school.
“She taught me to just really be down to earth,” said Lang, who wants to study journalism and material science at Northwestern University, of her 10th grade Spanish 4 teacher, Lisa Robinson. “I’m flustered easily.”
Lang said she joined the Lambert drumline because of Robinson and started her own YouTube channel after Robinson suggested it when she noticed the student liked video.
Robinson said she helped Lang apply and prepare for the Governor’s Honors Program, a prestigious residential summer program for gifted rising juniors and seniors.
They met every Tuesday, making it all the way to the final stage of the application process.
When it came down to two girls, Lang was not chosen.
Instead of devastation, “at the end she just said it wasn’t for me and I’m glad for everything I’ve learned through the process and for the people I got to interact with,” Robinson said.
The teacher said while Lang’s SAT score is remarkable and the award is honorable and will help further her educational opportunities, test scores are not everything and that she is proud of her former student for also realizing that.
Other student-teacher pairs mirrored Robinson’s sentiment — system winners who said they intend to pursue college degrees in fields like biology, applied mathematics and chemical engineering chose for their STAR teachers foreign language and English language teachers.
“She’s an unusually mature young woman,” Robinson said. “Everyone will face difficulty … and she handled it beautifully.”