From the left DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely; STAR Teacher/Student Westover, Ms. Sisy Zachariah, Dillon Joseph Notz; STAR Teacher/Student Sherwood, Ms. Beth Shepard, Emily Thompson; STAR Teacher/Student Dougherty, Helen Koneri, Chauntoria McCray; STAR Student/Teacher Albany High, Carolyn Taylor, Tianua Smith; Star Student/Teacher, Deerfield, Amy Rao, Janet Guillebeau at the 54th Annual STAR Student/Teacher luncheon Friday. (Special Photo)
ALBANY — Deerfield-Windsor’s Amy Rao became the third straight DWS student to be named Dougherty County’s 54th STAR Student Friday during a luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn. Roa’s teacher, Janet Guillebeau, was named the STAR Teacher of the Year for Dougherty County.
“This is a special day we set aside every year to honor the students and teachers who have established high expectations for themselves and have worked diligently during the past school years to achieve their goals,” Chamber President and CEO Chris Hardy said.
“I would also like to congratulate the parents and family members of these successful students, many of whom are with us today. We all know that behind every successful student is a successful family. The love, guidance and dedication you all have given to these youngsters to help them develop have made all the difference.
“We in the business community look to all of you as the future leaders of our community. We trust that Albany and Southwest Georgia will continue to have strong leadership in the years to come.”
Rao, a 16-year-old senior, said she was humbled by the honor.
“This is a huge honor for me because there was a lot of competition,” Rao said. “There are a lot of intelligent students here in Dougherty County. I was surprised to win over my friend (Dillion Notz of Westover) because I really thought he was going to win it.”
In addition to Rao and Notz, Tianua Smith (teacher Carolyn Taylor) of Albany High; Chauntoria McCray (teacher Helen Koneri) of Dougherty High and Emily Thompson (teacher Beth Shepard) of Sherwood Christian School, were also considered for the honor. Notz’ teacher is Sisy Zachariah.
“I am proud of all these students who worked so very hard to be here today. I am proud of their efforts,” Guillebeau said. “Amy is a very gifted individual, all of her teachers know how exceptional she is. She is very mature and worked very hard for this honor.”
At this time Rao has been admitted to Georgia and will major in Biology. However, those plans could change as she is still waiting to hear from Vanderbilt, Harvard and Washington and Lee universities.
Amy is the daughter of Debra Moon and Dr. Ramana Rao.