SOUTH FORSYTH -- In a room of perfect, Akhil Kota was a star.
Although he was not named a regional STAR student on Friday, he represented South Forsyth High School as the Forsyth County system winner of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program.
The program honors students with the highest college-entrance SAT score in each school, who in turn nominate a STAR teacher who has inspired or helped them along the way.
Kota brought his math teacher, Carol Sikes.
As each student – there were 24 system winners in the region 3A – stood up to talk about where they are going to school and why they chose the teacher they did, many of them explained they hadn’t quite decided.
“I have Emory and Wash U, but I’m still waiting to hear and decide,” Kota said. “But I’ll probably be a doctor, like I’m sure many of you will be, too,” he said to laughter from the entire room.
Of Sikes, he said, “Of course, she taught me life lessons and stuff, but she also gave me really really really hard tests.”
Taking the SAT or AP, or advanced placement, exams were no sweat after those tests, he said.
“Hearing him say my tests are hard is shocking,” Sikes said. “He’s probably the best mathematical mind I’ve ever had.
She said his humility and willingness to help other students is what makes him stand out. And his “level of mathematical beauty.”
The 15 students who earned perfect scores on the SAT were named regional STAR students, announced attorney Randy Meincke, the regional chair. There were only 16 perfect scores in the entire state.
“It’s the most important thing that we can celebrate every year,” said Allene Magill, executive director of PAGE, or Professional Association of Georgia Educators, which is in its 57th year of sponsoring the STAR program, “their goals and their accomplishments. They will be the leaders of tomorrow.”