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STAR students honored

To learn more about the STAR student winners for Gainesville and Hall County pick up a copy of Wednesday's Times.

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The brightest high school seniors from 10 Gainesville and Hall County public and private high schools were honored Tuesday at a Kiwanis Club luncheon for the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program.

The program honors students who rank in the top 10 percent of their class and score highest on the SAT.

STAR students also choose a STAR teacher who has strongly influenced their high school careers.

Gainesville High School student Joshua Chester was named the Gainesville district STAR student winner. He selected Gainesville High history teacher Mary Ellen Murray.

East Hall High School’s Jacob T. Hewell and Flowery Branch High School’s Andrew Popovici tied to represent the Hall County district in the STAR student program. Popovici chose science teacher Sonha Payne as his STAR teacher, and Hewell chose literature teacher Leanne Edwards.

The three students will advance to the District 2 STAR student honors awards banquet March 25 in Jasper.

Each school named STAR students and teachers. Other winners include:


  • Brenau Academy: Katherine Dugan, student; Gladys Piper, teacher
  • Chestatee High: Bridgett Leigh Neukum, student; Melissa Fagan, teacher
  • Johnson High: Mackenzie Doska Hayes, student; Ann Brunk, teacher
  • Lakeview Academy: Christopher Richard Lee, student; Hyuk Kim, teacher
  • North Hall High: Olivia Anne Hartley, student; Tessa Shirley, teacher
  • Riverside Military Academy: SolGyu Song, student; William McBride, teacher
  • West Hall High: Stede W. Granger, student; Nina Ford, teacher