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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

STAR Teacher and STAR Student Selected

Kaitlyn N. Junkin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Junkin, has been named as  Grenada High School’s STAR (Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition) Student for the 2012-2013 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council’s M.B. Swazye Educational Foundation, sponsor of the STAR program. 

Junkin has received many academic and non-academic awards during her tenure at GHS.  These awards include:

  • Highest Average in Geometry, Honors Biology, Geography, Stem, Family Dynamics, Accounting, Algebra II, Chemistry II, Accelerated English II, Honors World History, Pre Calculus, Trigonometry, Physics, AP English III, APUSH, and Spanish II. 
  • Club offices held:  Key Club Secretary/President, Mu Alpha Theta President, Spanish Club President, Excel Club Vice-President, and Crown Club Treasurer.
  • Club memberships held:  National Honor Society, Academic Team, 4H Leadership, Anchor Club, Rotary Youth Leadership Conference, Who’s Who Among All American Scholars, US Achievement Academy & Language /Arts, Who’s  Who Most Intellectual, and National Society of High School Scholars
  • Other awards:   GHS Band Pit Captain, Outstanding Pit Percussionist, Hardest Worker (band)

Junkin will be honored during the annual Education Celebration on Aprill 11 at the Jackson Convention Center in downtown Jackson.  This prestigious event is co-sponsored by Entergy Mississippi, AT&T, Mississippi Power Company, Bancorp South, Trustmark National Bank, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, and Walmart.

Additionally, on January 10, 2013, Mississippi State University President Dr. Mark E. Keenum announced a new MSU Scholarship program with the STAR program.  MSU will offer a scholarship worth $6000 to every STAR student in Mississippi. 

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, Vice President, Foundation Programs.  “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.  Junkin named Donna T. Gordon as STAR Teacher for the 2012-2013 school year.  Gordon attended Holmes Community College, the University of Mississippi, and Delta State University.  She holds a B.S.E in English.  Gordon has received the STAR Teacher designation three times previously.  She has a total of 16 years’ experience in the classroom. 

Over 500 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will receive recognition from MEC’s Swayze Foundation at the Celebration.  The top 20 STAR Students – the ALL_STAR Scholars – and their STAR Teachers will be presented scholarship awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation.    The highlight of the Education Celebration will be the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Student for the 2012 – 2013 school year, winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation scholarship.

Additional local support for the STAR program is provided by MEC members from across the state.  Congratulations to Kaitlyn Junkin and Donna Gordon on their receipt of the STAR Student and Teacher awards.