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2 local students named region STAR winners

POSTED: March 21, 2013 12:31 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Lakeview Academy student Austin Montgomery and football coach Matthew Gruhn, pictured here in February, are the co-winners of the Region 2 STAR student and teacher awards.

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William Morris of Gainesville High School and Austin Montgomery of Lakeview Academy were named region STAR students Tuesday night at a banquet in Jasper.

The Gainesville Kiwanis Club honored the two high school seniors in February as co-winners of the STAR award for the Gainesville City School System category, which included Gainesville High along with Lakeview Academy and Riverside Military Academy, which are private schools. The two will now represent Region 2, which includes 10 school districts, at the state STAR student competition April 29 in Atlanta, where a state winner and runner-up will be named.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program honors high school seniors and the teachers they choose as having been most instrumental in their lives.

Morris chose Pam Michelsen, an English teacher, for the honor. Montgomery chose Matthew Gruhn, history teacher and coach.

To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the top SAT score in their school and be in the top 10 percent of their class.

Morris will be attending Harvard University in the fall and said he will be studying law with a concentration on civil service. He said he would like to work for the federal government someday in the State Department.

His advice for students at Gainesville is to “utilize what Gainesville High School has to offer and try to make the most out of those (opportunities).”

“Never stop trying, even when things are not going your way,” he said.

Montgomery will spend the next two years in the mission field for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said he is not quite sure what he will do after working as a missionary, but he is considering going to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brigham Young University, Stanford University or the University of Utah to study biomechanical engineering.

His advice for those behind him is to “try to find something you love or have a passion for and just start working hard for it.”


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