Every now and then, a student will come along and help an entire class, including its teacher, learn more.
Savannah Schneider, a senior at West Hall High School, was honored by the Gainesville Kiwanis Club as the county STAR student Tuesday afternoon.
Schneider is currently waiting to see which colleges she has the option to attend in the fall. She intends to become a pharmacist after she completes her education.
“I wanted to do something medical and I’m not into the whole blood and guts thing ... and I like chemistry too,” Schneider said.
As a STAR student, Schneider had the honor of naming the teacher who was the most influential in her education. She chose her international baccalaureate history teacher, Andrew McCain.
Schneider said she chose McCain because he’s a “good blend.” She said he manages to be serious, encouraging and funny while teaching.
“It’s a really fun environment,” Schneider said. “Which is weird because I’m not really a history person. But I enjoy the class.”
Schneider said McCain has a way of pointing out some of her mistakes in a way that pushes her to be better.
McCain laughed and told Schneider that there is always something to improve on. He said having Schneider in the class actually pushes him to be a better teacher.
“When you teach a student of her caliber, it makes you bring your ‘A’ game,” McCain said. “It improves your performance. It actually improves the quality of education for everyone.”
McCain said he’s had to have higher standards since teaching Schneider because he didn’t want to let her down.
He explained that a lot of students just do their assigned work, but Schneider actually researches the material.
“A lot of teachers here might have been outstanding students themselves, but not like this,” McCain said. “It’s very humbling to be able to have her as a student. For her to name me for this honor is crazy. It was all her. I might have helped but she did it all on her own.”