A Central High School senior continued her family’s legacy Tuesday night. Sarah Baldree was named Bibb County’s 2017 STAR Student, following in the footsteps of two older sisters who were Peach County STAR students.
Joshua McCorkle, the social studies teacher she nominated, won the STAR Teacher award.
Thirteen pairs of teachers and students who were nominated in the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program were recognized during a banquet at Middle Georgia State University. Each nominated STAR Student chose a teacher who has impacted his or her education.
“Mr. McCorkle has stood by my class’ side since sophomore year,” said Baldree, daughter of Barbara and Robert Baldree. “He very obviously just cares about all of the students on a level that’s a lot deeper. He makes an effort to make every class fun, to make every class learn something new. His teaching is not like any other history teacher I’ve had before.”
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Students are eligible for the award if they have the highest SAT scores of their graduating class and grade-point averages in the top 10 percent, or the top 10 students. Baldree scored a 1,550 on the SAT and has a 4.0 GPA.
“She is incredibly smart, so talented, so much potential,” said McCorkle, who has taught Baldree all three years he has been at Central. “Students like her, that’s the reason why we go into teaching. ... I wish her the very best. I’m just blessed. I’m honored to have known her and to have been able to teach her for three years.”
She’s not sure yet where she’s going to college, but she plans to pursue a pre-med degree. She’s involved in a number of school activities, including soccer, Key Club, Beta Club, National Honor Society and quiz bowl.
The Central High pair will advance to the regional STAR event March 21, and the state’s regional winners will compete at the state banquet April 24.
The event was hosted by the Greater Macon Chamber of Conference and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, in collaboration with the Georgia Chamber of Conference and the Georgia Department of Education. Since the STAR program started 59 years ago, almost 26,000 students and teachers have been honored.