Seven seniors at Oak Grove High School received STAR Student designations for the 2021-2022 school year from the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program. Established by the Mississippi Economic Council in 1965, the purpose of the STAR program is to recognize outstanding students & teachers in Mississippi through its Education Celebration. The Foundation’s theme this year is “Journey to the STARS.”
Jonathan Bail, Jace Connell, Hans Elasri, Sussom Hait, Ayaan Kamal, Noah Williamson and Yujie (Alex) Yang were honored during the annual Education Celebration on April 14, 2022, at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl, MS.
This prestigious event was co-sponsored by: AT&T, Atmos Energy, BancorpSouth, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, Cooperative Energy, Electric Cooperative of Mississippi, Entergy Mississippi, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Mississippi Power Company, Sanderson Farms, Inc., Trustmark National Bank and Yates. Additional local support for the STAR program is provided by MEC members from communities across the state.
Star Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence. Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student, explained Vickie Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations.
“The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors,” she said.
Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.
The 2021-2022 STAR Teachers are Whitney Necessary (Bai), Suzie Welch (Connell), Andrea Clark (Elasri), Jamie Morrison (Hait), Shane Cole (Kamal), Christopher Thrash (Williamson) and Suzanne Allmon (Yang).
Over 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers received recognition from MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation at the Celebration. The top 20 STAR Students –The ALL-STAR Scholars – received scholarships and their STAR Teachers received awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation.
Abigail S. Vargheese, of Clinton, received the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for 2021-2022 school year, winning the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.