Emily London was named the STAR student in Bibb County on Monday while Cole Smith took the STAR student honor in Peach County.
In Macon, Covenant Academy’s London chose David Martin, who taught theology and the Bible and coached her in cross country, to be her STAR teacher.
“I am very humbled and just surprised and grateful,” said London, who chose Martin “for being an example and glorifying Christ.”
She said Martin would always answer her questions, even when it was inconvenient.
Martin said he wasn’t surprised London was named STAR student.
“She’s done really well,” he said.
London, who earned a 2,310 of a possible 2,400 points on the SAT, said she plans to attend Samford University in Alabama.
At the STAR student banquet hosted by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, 13 students from Bibb County’s public and private schools, as well as their most influential teachers, were recognized.
To receive a STAR nomination, a graduating high school senior must be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of his or her class based on grade point average and have top SAT scores.
Also Monday night, at the Austin Theater in Fort Valley, the Peach Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized Smith, a Peach County High School senior who made a combined score of 1,710 on the SAT.
Smith said his parents, Brian and Michelle Smith, motivated him in his academics.
“Honestly, it just reinforces what I’ve been trying to do over the past years,” he said of the honor.
Smith plans to attend Kennesaw State University and major in mechanical engineering. That potential career path fits in with how he was described by his STAR teacher, Bethany Copeland.
Copeland taught Smith in the 10th grade and said he was a “kinesthetic learner” -- someone who learns through physical activities -- even during history class.
“He’s very, very bright,” she said. “I think probably the thing I remember most ... is he’s a very tactile person.”
Smith said Copeland provided him a great deal of assistance, and not only with learning history. Among other things, she helped him learn to be more organized.
“She has been a great teacher to me,” he said. “Not just a teacher, but a counselor as well.”
For Copeland, being chosen as STAR teacher was “affirming,” a sign that at least one student had taken her words to heart.
“It’s nice to hear them say, ‘OK, you were right,’ ” she said.
To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382. To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.