Caroline New, right, was named the STAR winner from Bainbridge High School. New selected Dr. Joan Beers, her English teacher at BHS, as STAR Teacher of the Year.
 

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New, McQuaid honored as STAR students

Published 9:27am Friday, February 8, 2013

Two Decatur County high-school students were publicly recognized for their academic prowess Thursday morning, as they were named the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) award winners for 2012-13.

Caroline New was named the STAR winner from Bainbridge High School, and Bryceson McQuaid was the STAR winner for Grace Christian Academy. Both students received their awards Thursday morning, at the Bainbridge College Kirbo Center, during the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly membership breakfast.

New was also announced as the system-wide winner, and will advance to regional competition.

Each student also was allowed to name a STAR teacher of the year. New selected Dr. Joan Beers, her English teacher at BHS. McQuaid chose Melissa Bryant, his English teacher at GCA.

Bryceson McQuaid, right, was the STAR winner for Grace Christian Academy. McQuaid chose Melissa Bryant, his English teacher at GCA, as the school's STAR Teacher of the Year. (click to enlarge)

The STAR program is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education. The local chamber has sponsored the STAR program in Decatur County for each of the program’s 55 years.

To be named a STAR student, a high-school senior must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT, and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their graduating class, based on grade-point average.

McQuaid, the son of Andy and Monica McQuaid, is a member of the National Honor Society and is jointly enrolled in the “Accel Program,” through Bainbridge College and GCA. The Accel Program allows college-bound students to earn some of their college credits while still in high school.

McQuaid is also an all-region soccer player for the GCA Cougars, and is the starting center for the varsity basketball team. He is also a graduate of the chamber’s Youth Leadership program and is serving as a member of this year’s Leadership Steering Committee.

New, the daughter of Chris and Randi New, is a member of the BHS Anchor Club, National Honor Society, dance line and swim team. She has received The University of Georgia’s Certificate of Merit and was a participant in Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP). Like McQuaid, she is a graduate of the chamber’s Youth Leadership program and enrolled in the BC Accel Program.

New said she was surprised and humbled to be named the STAR student at BHS.

“I was definitely surprised,” she said. “There are a lot of deserving students at Bainbridge High School and I feel honored to have been selected.”

New chose Beers as her teacher of the year, because she felt Beers was not only a great teacher, but a great role model.

Beers said New is an excellent student who works hard in the classroom and tries to expand her academic horizons.

“Caroline is the kind of student who challenges me as a teacher as well,” said Beers, who has been named the STAR teacher of the year two previous times. “She is the type who is always asking questions, and always tries to expand her learning even beyond the material in the classroom.

“She’s an excellent writer with a great vocabulary, and I’m very proud of her.”

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