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Ellijay, GA
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STAR Student, Teacher honored

Based on her SAT scores, Emily Nieves, left, was named Gilmer High School’s 2015 STAR Student earlier this week. She selected AP Biology instructor Timmi Shawler, right, as her STAR Teacher. For more information, see page 1B in this issue of the Times-Courier. (Photo by Whitney Crouch)

Gilmer High School’s 2015 STAR Student Emily Nieves, front left, announced Tuesday morning her selection of science educator Timmi Shawler, front right, as the school’s STAR Teacher. Also pictured are Principal Eric McFee and guidance counselor Tammy Bennett. (Photo by Whitney Crouch)
by Whitney Crouch

Emily Nieves has earned the honor of being named Gilmer High School’s 2015 STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) Student, school officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 27.  

To receive the designation, high school seniors must have the highest score for their school on the three part SAT for one test date, as well as be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students in regards to grade point average for their graduating class.

“It’s exciting,”?Nieves stated after the announcement. “I studied hard for the SAT, so I’m glad it paid off.”

Each nominated student is also given the opportunity to select a STAR Teacher who has had a positive impact on his or her academic achievement.

Nieves selected Timmi Shawler, her AP Biology instructor, as her STAR Teacher.

“She’s really challenged me,” Nieves said of the science educator. “She really cares about what she does. I’ve enjoyed her class a lot.”

Speaking to the Times-Courier, Shawler stated she was “humbled and honored” to receive the honor.

“You can’t find a better student than Emily,” Shawler added. “She’s intelligent but also outworks everyone ... every scholarship, every award she gets she deserves.”

Principal Eric McFee commended both the honored student and faculty member for “the academic excellence they exemplify at Gilmer High.”

Sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the STAR program has celebrated the accomplishments of more than 25,000 students and their chosen teachers since its inception 57 years ago.

Gilmer’s 2015 STAR Student and Teacher will be honored at a Feb. 10 event hosted by the Ellijay Lions Club, which serves as the local sponsor of the academic honors program.

Nieves, who is the daughter of Elizabeth and Ray Nieves and hopes to attend the University of Georgia in the fall, will also receive a scholarship from the Lions Club.

In addition to being recognized locally, she will have the opportunity to compete for region STAR honors. Regional winners are then entered into a competition to be named the overall Georgia STAR Student. 
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