Dawson County High School senior Megan Wright has been named as the school’s 2022 STAR Student and has selected DCHS teacher Hope Honea as her STAR Teacher.
The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is a program by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) that seeks to recognize and honor students for their achievements in high school. To qualify for STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent or the top 10 students in their class based on grade point average.
Wright was selected for the honor based on her academic achievement and high score on the SAT. On Jan. 13, she was presented with a certificate honoring her accomplishment by members of the Dawsonville Lions Club, the local STAR program sponsor.
After being chosen as the STAR Student, the student then selects the STAR teacher, or the teacher they believe has had the biggest impact on them during their high school experience. Wright selected Hope Honea, who she had for her AP World History class, as her STAR teacher.
Wright said that she feels very honored to have been chosen as the STAR student and to be able to see her hard work in school paying off.
“It is very much an honor to be chosen as the STAR student,” Wright said. “It took a lot of hard work but I appreciate everyone that has helped me get to the place where I am.”
Cherie Ferguson, Wright’s counselor at DCHS, said that there is no one more deserving than Wright for the honor.
“She’s one of the most amazing students that I’ve come in contact with in my career; we are super proud of her,” Ferguson said. “I’m just excited to see where she’s going to end up and what she’s going to do, cause she’s got some goals that I think she’s going to exceed.”
In addition to receiving a high score on the SAT, Wright also received a perfect score on the ACT and a perfect score on the AP World History test that she took at the end of Honea’s class.
Wright is involved in several clubs and groups at Dawson County High School and holds leadership positions in many of them. She is the president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club and the treasurer for the school’s National Honor Society (NHS) and Beta clubs.
Outside of school, Wright participates in many service projects in the community. She works as much as possible at Hightower Association Food and Clothing Bank, has gone on several mission trips and serves with her church, Concord Baptist.
After high school, Wright said that she plans to attend college. She is in the process of deciding where to go, so she said she isn’t completely sure which college she wants to attend yet, but she said that she’s leaning toward studying an environmental field like science or engineering.
Wright said that she chose Honea as her STAR teacher because of the valuable skills she learned in her AP World History class.
“I think honestly her class was one of the hardest ones that I’ve ever had, so when I was in the first week of her class I was very stressed out but then as I progressed in her class I think I mostly just learned the value of hard work and not to give up,” Wright said. “I think that those of us that stuck with it really got a lot out of it — she taught me how to work hard.”
Honea said that she was surprised and honored to learn that Wright had chosen her as her STAR teacher, and that seeing her teaching efforts pay off is a huge reward.
“I just do the best for my students that I can, but it’s always a real honor and heartwarming to know that I made a difference in somebody’s education because that’s what I’m trying to do for everybody,” Honea said. “It’s nice when you see an impact you made because lots of times all we hear is the negative like 'it’s so hard’ or things like that.”
Honea said that she’s incredibly proud of Wright’s achievements, and that even through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic Wright has been an excellent student. She added that seeing Wright learn to love learning through her class is exactly what she strives to do every day as a teacher.
“It’s challenging but it’s one of my favorite subjects, so I’m trying to teach them to work hard but also trying to instill the love for social studies that I have into them,” Honea said. “That’s kind of the masterpiece at the end is seeing them do well on the exam and learn to love it.”
As the Dawson County High School STAR student, Wright will have the opportunity to compete against other students in the region for the title of the region’s STAR student. If she wins the region competition, she will then go on to contend for the honor of being named the state’s STAR student. As Wright’s STAR teacher, Honea will continue on with Wright through each level of competition.