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2019 DCHS STAR student, teacher announced
Will Mulberry plans to enter two year mission trip after graduation
A-STAR student pic 1.JPG
From left: Dawson County High School Principal Brody Hughes, STAR student Will Mulberry, STAR teacher Laura Hendrix and Dawsonville Lions Club President Don Cargill. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Earning the highest SAT score in his class was a breeze for Will Mulberry.

“It’s just about being consistent with (studying). Some people, they say they’re going to study and they might do it for one day but the key is to just make sure you’re doing it every day,” Mulberry said. “If you do it every day you could just study little by little and it makes it much easier. It doesn’t build as much of a burden as you’d think.”

The Dawson County High School senior studied for months leading up to the standardized test, successfully earning an overall score of 1370.

Mulberry was recently recognized for his impressive score by the Georgia Educators’ Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, which is sponsored by the Dawsonville Lions Club.

“Mr. Mulberry is the best of the best at Dawson County High School. Very polite, dedicated, driven, any of those acronyms you want to put on it,” said DCHS Principal Brody Hughes. “Obviously it takes somebody of that caliber to be STAR student so just an all-around fantastic young man. We look forward to the good things we know he’s going to do with his life.”

As STAR student, Mulberry was tasked with selecting the STAR teacher, an educator that he feels has been the most instrumental in his academic career.

It was an easy choice to make: chemistry and physics teacher Laura Hendrix.

“He loved that science and that energizes any teacher, I do know that,” Hendrix said.

Mulberry has always had an affinity for math-based sciences and a mind for engineering. In Hendrix’s classes, he was always looking for new challenges.

“When we see a student who loves the subject, you step it up a bit. I would look for some challenging problems for him,” Hendrix said. “He did college based chemistry and college based physics and he was good at it.”

Mulberry said Hendrix’s science classes helped him discover what he wants to do after graduating in the spring: aerospace engineering.

“She really just helped to amplify my interests and help me to decide what I want to be when I grow up,” Mulberry said. “In physics we actually had a day where we met with aerospace engineers and got to see what they did on a regular basis. She just did a really good job at showing me what I want to do when I grow up.”

Mulberry plans to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and enlist in the Air Force ROTC at the university while studying aerospace engineering.

“Joining the Air Force ROTC in college would be cool because I feel like I may get the chance to work on military aircraft,” Mulberry said.

But the senior won’t be going off to college right off the bat. Instead, he plans to embark on a two-year mission trip once he receives his diploma.

Mulberry said he is from a very religiously centered family and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is customary for members of the church to participate in the lengthy mission trip after high school.

“My dad and my brother both straight out of high school, they served a two year mission trip for the church where they practically devoted their lives for those two years to the service of others and helping improve the wellbeing of others,” Mulberry said.

Though Mulberry doesn’t know where he would be sent on his mission trip, he hopes it will be somewhere out of the country that will provide him with a good experience.

“I think I need to devote myself to other people for a span of time just to get insight on what life is like for people that may be less fortunate than me,” Mulberry said. “I think it will be a really good growing experience that will prepare me for the rest of my life.”

Until graduation comes in May, Mulberry is content to dedicate his time to his studies and sports. Mulberry not only has a 4.0 GPA, he is also a triple athlete having participated in cross country, swimming and track his entire high school career.

Juggling an impressive GPA while participating in sports the entire year would be a challenge for most students, but Mulberry handles the hectic schedule with ease.

“Obviously school comes first over everything so I just, I’m very good at managing my time,” Mulberry said. “I make sure that I have time to eat every day, have time to do my sports, have time to do my homework and of course I go to bed fairly early every night to make sure I get enough sleep to do it all again the next day.”

“He has the natural ingenuity, curiosity, just naturally smart and so laidback about it,” Hendrix said. “It just comes naturally to him.”