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Cumming Kiwanis Club recognizes Forsyth County’s 2022 STAR students, teachers at annual banquet
Star Students
Forsyth County's 2022 STAR students and teachers. Photo courtesy of Angela Holbrook.

The Cumming Kiwanis Club recently held its 2022 STAR student banquet to recognize and celebrate students chosen for the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Program and the teachers who helped them most through school.

The annual banquet is meant to congratulate the students, chosen for the statewide program based on test scores and academic achievement. Students then have the opportunity to name one STAR teacher who they feel has been the most instrumental in their academic development.

This year, nine students in Forsyth County were named as 2022 STAR students — one from most of the county’s public high schools, three of whom tied for the top spot in Forsyth County Schools, and one student each from Horizon Christian Academy and Pinecrest Academy.

Several speakers attended the banquet to congratulate the students and their teachers, including FCS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden, former Cumming Kiwanis President Angela Holbrook and current Cumming Kiwanis President Michael Homans.

Guests enjoyed a dinner provided by Sandra Bottoms Catering before Kiwanis Clubs members presented the STAR awards to both the students and teachers from each of the nine schools.

Phoenix Zhang from West Forsyth High School, Ameya Jadhav from Denmark and Albert Cho from Alliance Academy for Innovation all tied as the overall system winners alongside their teachers Lisa Brock, Eric Arnold and Jessica Nelson, respectively.

Holbrook said the system winners will go on to regional competitions in the next month before hopefully moving on to compete at the state level.

Since the STAR program first began in 1958, Holbrook said it has recognized more than 28,500 high school seniors and their teachers. The purpose of the program is to recognize academic achievement in the state’s high schools to help motivate students, honor excellence in teaching and promote teaching as a career, and increase interaction between students and the business community.

To qualify for the program, students must be a senior, take the SAT any year on any national testing date, score the highest on a single test date, and be in the top 10% or top 10 students in their graduating class by their junior year.

Here are Forsyth County’s 2022 STAR students and teachers:

Forsyth Central High

STAR Student: Janki Snehal Shah

STAR Teacher: Marla Hatfield


Lambert High School

STAR Student: Alice Huh

STAR Teacher: Steven Moran


South Forsyth High

STAR Student: Naisha M Roy

STAR Teacher: Kevin Denney


North Forsyth High

STAR Student: Frank B. Rhobotham

STAR Teacher: Melissa Combs


Horizon Christian Academy

STAR Student: Zane Lamonde

STAR Teacher: Dr. Sharon McGehee


Pinecrest Academy

STAR Student: Jina Li

STAR Teacher: Benjamin McCormick


West Forsyth High

STAR Student: Phoenix Zhang

STAR Teacher: Lisa Brock


Denmark High School

STAR Student: Ameya Jadhav

STAR Teacher: Eric Arnold


Alliance Academy

STAR Student: Albert Cho

STAR Teacher: Jessica Nelson