STAR students, teachers named in Coweta


The Coweta County School System has named its STAR student and teachers, with Newnan High School senior Sarah Chapman named as the 2015 Coweta County STAR student.

Chapman was named as the 2015 Coweta County STAR Student at the Newnan Rotary Club’s annual STAR program held at the Newnan Country Club. Chapman shares the honor with Newnan High School AP Calculus teacher Jo Ellen Gordon, whom she chose as her STAR Teacher, said school system spokesman Dean Jackson.

Jackson said STAR students from East Coweta High School, the Heritage School, Newnan High School, Northgate High School and Trinity Christian School were all honored at the event along with their chosen STAR Teachers, parents and school representatives.

The Newnan Rotary Club serves as the local sponsor for the statewide STAR program, which recognizes top-achieving high school students each year.

This year’s STAR Students and Teachers from Coweta County’s five participating schools were:

 East Coweta High School STAR Student Sonny Byun and STAR Teacher Kirsten Geter (AP English/Composition teacher, East Coweta High)

 The Heritage School STAR Student Seraphina Lee and STAR Teacher Gina Watkiss (AP Chemistry teacher, Science Department Chair, Heritage)

 Newnan High School STAR Student Sarah Chapman and STAR Teacher Jo Ellen Gordon (AP Calculus teacher, Math Department Chair, Newnan High)

 Northgate High School STAR Student Connie Hauser and STAR Teacher Lynn Vance (AP English Language teacher, Northgate High)

 Trinity Christian School STAR Student Caleb Hess and STAR Teacher Jennifer Rinkenberger (AP Calculus teacher, Trinity Christian)

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Program (STAR) Program recognizes top academic students in Georgia high schools each year at the school, county, regional and state levels.

To be named STAR, senior class students must have the highest score in their school in one sitting on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) taken through the November test date of their senior year. They must also be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.

STAR students are asked to honor the educator who most influenced their academic achievement by naming them as their STAR Teacher. All five STAR teachers introduced the Rotary members to their students at Friday’s program, citing their scholarship, high character, and their extracurricular and civic accomplishments.

Newnan High School STAR Teacher Gordon first met Coweta County’s 2015 STAR Student as a sophomore, when she joined the Newnan High School Key Club that Gordon sponsors, and later taught her Advanced Placement Calculus BC.

As a student, Gordon described Chapman as well-balanced, focused, highly analytical and “flawless… she does not make mistakes.”

Jackson said Chapman is also a member of the National Honor Society, a National Merit finalist and this year’s Newnan High School Valedictorian.

“She is also a very nice person” who goes to extra lengths to help fellow students in her classes, said Gordon. Chapman plans to attend the University of Alabama this fall and double-major in Speech Therapy and Spanish.

The county STAR Student honoree is also chosen based on SAT ranking. As Coweta’s 2015 STAR student, Chapman will represent Coweta County as a nominee for regional STAR Student on March 27.

The STAR Program is sponsored state-wide by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Education. The Newnan Rotary Club hosted the local STAR program locally for the ninth year. The Newnan Rotary luncheon was also attended by the STAR Students’ families, school principals or heads of school, and counselors from each of the represented high schools, as well as Coweta County Board of Education members and Superintendent Steve Barker.