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Students, teachers honored as STARs
Club continues annual tradition
STARs WEB
Youngeon Ann Kim, left, and Anna Lindsey Purcell tied for the top STAR student with a 2310 score on the SAT. - photo by Jennifer Sami

At a glance

STAR Students:

• Mitchell Thomas Crum, Horizon Christian

• Noah Stevenson Drake, North Forsyth

• Paul Richard Enger, West Forsyth

• Anna Cece Howard, Pinecrest

• Youngeon “Ann” Kim, Lambert

• Anna Lindsey Purcell, Forsyth Central

• Taylor Meigan Tai, South Forsyth

STAR Teachers:

• Kristen Falk, Pinecrest

• Chung Seop Lee, Horizon Christian

• Kelli Schuyler, Forsyth Central High

• Mark Anthony “Tony” Sims, Lambert High

• Amanda Swafford, North Forsyth

• Janet Pavilcek, West Forsyth

• Woody Van Treek, South Forsyth

Seven high school students were honored for their SAT scores Thursday night during the Cumming Kiwanis Club’s annual STAR, or Student Teacher Achievement Recognition, banquet.

The students, one from each of the five public high schools in Forsyth County and two of its private schools, talked briefly about their future ambitions and announced their STAR teacher who helped guide them.

“We are truly in awe at the achievements of these young people,” said Phil Eve, past Division 19 Kiwanis lieutenant governor. “And behind every star student you have a star teacher and star parents.”

Each student received an award for the achievement, but only the highest scorer can advance to the regional level.

This year, however, there was a tie.

Anna Lindsey Purcell and Youngeon “Ann” Kim each scored a 2310 out of 2400 on the SAT and will represent Forsyth County.

“I feel very honored because everyone here has done a great job,” said Purcell of Forsyth Central High. “It’s really great that they do this and I feel very lucky … that we have a community that will recognize us and take the time to do that.”

Kim, who attends Lambert High, said she was also excited to be recognized by the community. Both girls plan to pursue careers in medicine.

While Purcell is on track to become a veterinarian, Kim is torn.

“I have two drastic plans,” she said. “One of them is medical oncology and the other is kind of in the area of dermatology/plastic surgery, because I want to be able to go to India and do service there and volunteer to help with the cleft lips.”

Some of their fellow STAR students have aspirations in engineering or biology, while others are still figuring out their plans.

Forsyth County Commission Chairman Jim Boff spoke to the students about the changes since he was in school and the future the STAR students must work toward.

“Each of you has worked hard and applied the talents that you have with remarkable results,” he said. “But never forget that no one goes at it alone. Your parents and teachers, along with many others, have helped you succeed.

“You yourself have to find the desire to aim your life toward success and the things you want. But that should include helping others as others have helped you.”

The STAR students each introduced a STAR teacher, someone who has influenced their academic careers.

For North Forsyth High representative Noah Stevenson Drake, that teacher was Amanda Swafford. And he hasn’t been alone. Swafford, a math teacher, is a five-time STAR teacher honoree.

Wes Dorsey, Kiwanis Club president, said he was honored to be a part of the event.

“Because these kids, we’re going to read about them in the future,” he said. “They’re going to do great things and I’m just so happy I’ve got a tiny, tiny part in that.”