A senior at Flowery Branch High School has soared to heights that only one other student in the state can claim.
Alind Amedi was announced as the state’s runner-up for STAR Student, a program that honors Georgia’s brightest students.
Amedi was given the award Monday night in Atlanta.
“Honestly, I was really surprised,” said Amedi. “I kind of knew around half of the people already there from college visits and they all seem like incredible people.”
As a part of the honor, Amedi was given the choice of selecting a STAR teacher — someone who has been instrumental in his development over his educational tenure.
For Amedi, that was Jeremy Purdy, his AP human geography teacher and soccer coach.
“I couldn’t have thought of a better person to come along with me on this ride,” said Amedi. “He deserves it so much. His work ethic and his passion for learning are just so incredible.”
Purdy has seen his pupil mature since his freshman year and the award comes at no surprise to him.
“I think it’s a true testament to his character and what he’s been able to accomplish of the past four years,” said Purdy. “I’ve told him all along that I’m there for assistance, but he was able to accomplish this because of him.”
STAR students must have the highest SAT scores in their school and be in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.
Amdei scored a 2340 on his SAT and finished with a 4.7 weighted GPA.
After being named the region STAR student, the 22 state finalists must go through an interview process in front of a panel of judges who not only look at academic success, but consider extracurricular activities, personal philosophy, leadership, attitude, personal objectives and more.
And Amedi didn’t see himself doing as well as he did.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to get anything out of it because all of (the other students) were so much more incredible than I ever was in high school,” said Amedi. “I am very thankful for the judges for seeing whatever they saw in me.”
But in the midst of it all, it would be easy for Amedi to lose sight of his goals. With soccer season going into the playoffs, visiting Ivy League schools, preparing for the STAR student interviews, Purdy says, he’s done a good job of balancing it all.
“Here in the last couple weeks, he’s not letting anything affect him at all and he’s held strong with what he’s wanting to accomplish,” said Purdy. “I’m just proud of what he’s been able to do.”
Although the stresses of finishing strong are prominent, Amedi is looking forward to catching his breath in the summer.
“Senioritis has hit me a little, but I’m looking forward to the summer and being able to do some of the things I haven’t had time to do in high school,” said Amedi.
In the fall, he will attend either Harvard or Yale, although he hasn’t made his final choice.
“It’s still kind of a tossup,” said Amedi. “I’m leaning more towards Yale right now, but I haven’t formalized anything. I still have to talk to my parents about it.”
Until then: soccer, school and thoughts of summer.