Academic excellence rewarded

STAR students/teachers named

BCHS: Ethan Coalson and Deirdre Roberson

BCHS: Ethan Coalson and Deirdre Roberson

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program has announced recipients for area schools for the 2023–2024 school year.

Seniors receiving the prestigious honor include Burke County High School’s Ethan Coalson, Edmund Burke Academy’s Hannah Posey, and Faith Christian Academy’s Holt Sapp. The group, along with their parents and their STAR teachers, will be recognized during the annual awards ceremony, hosted by the Waynesboro Exchange Club, on Monday, Feb. 5. During this time, the district STAR student will be announced.

In order to be selected for the STAR student award, recipients must meet certain criteria. These students not only hold the highest SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) at their respective schools, but they must also be academically performing in the top 10 percent of their class.

Two of this year’s recipients, Deirdre Roberson of BCHS and Ginger Rogers of FCA, are first-time STAR teachers. Karen Reeves, a beloved teacher at EBA, has now been selected for the honor 18 times.

EBA: Hannah Posey and Karen Reeves

EBA: Hannah Posey and Karen Reeves

Brock County High School:

STAR student name: Ethan Coalson

Hometown: Waynesboro

Parents: Jerry Coalson and Vonnye Coalson

College plans: I plan to attend the University of Georgia, where I will be a finance major.

Where I see myself in five years: Hopefully, I’m happy wherever I am, but I think I will be in graduate school. I am torn between going to law school or becoming a financial advisor. Wherever I am, I hope I am happy serving God and giving back to my community.

In ten years, I hope to have started my own family and to be in the workforce as either an attorney or financial advisor.

My STAR teacher’s best attribute is her ability to be human in her teaching style. She is great at facilitating classroom discussion. This is a strength that allowed me to engage in the information and learn how it may interest me in the future.

FCA: Holt Sapp and Ginger Rogers

FCA: Holt Sapp and Ginger Rogers

Why her teaching and my learning styles click: I am a super talkative person, so naturally, a discussion is how I learn best.

What my STAR teacher has taught me about life: I walked into her class as an aspiring nuclear engineer and left realizing that I could be a great financial advisor and help contribute to my community on a human level. She got me involved in FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), and with her mentorship, I have grown as a leader as well.

Personal experience that has most influenced my life: This would have to be my experience at a church camp called Prayer and Action, where we go out into the community and actually serve (lawn work for the elderly or disabled, painting houses, and other manual labor). Getting to know the people we got to serve was my favorite part.

Favorite quote: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” St. Catherine of Siena

In my spare time, I really enjoy working out, playing tennis, spending time with friends, rewatching The Office every few months, and I have really gotten into reading in the past two months.

Favorite historical figure: Jesus Christ. Although this may be obvious, out of everyone in history, he is definitely my favorite!


STAR teacher name: Deirdre Roberson

Hometown: Waynesboro

Previous STAR teacher selections: First time

STAR student’s best attribute: Ethan is an enthusiastic leader. He understands what needs to be done and how to get it done. He is also very respectful and responsible. He speaks when he walks into a room to all adults and anyone in attendance. When given an assignment to complete, he ensures it is completed completely. He is also very disciplined. In Pat Summit’s words, “Discipline helps you finish a job, and finishing is what separates excellent work from average work.” Ethan does excellent work in all that he attempts.

Why do your teaching and learning styles click? I teach students to think critically. I’m always telling them to think about doing what’s next instead of waiting to be told to do what’s next. Ethan is a go-getter. He is always a step ahead of me and his peers, always saying, Let’s work on what’s next. He is a mastermind at staying on course and completing a task.

What has your STAR student taught you? You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Ethan has a demanding schedule and is always busy. He is present for all of his academic and extracurricular activities while meeting every deadline set for him. He makes sure his religious activities take precedence when they are scheduled. Ethan has taught me that when you commit, you follow up and do as expected.


STAR student name: Hannah Posey

Hometown: Waynesboro

Parents: Ricky Posey, Jennifer Posey and Don Crawford

College plans: I plan to attend the University of Georgia and major in kinesiology (the study of movement).

Where I see myself in five years: I see myself graduating from UGA and moving on to medical school.

In ten years, I will hopefully be in my first years of residency for orthopedics or orthopedic surgery.

My STAR teacher’s best attribute is that she is such a passionate person about her students’ education and futures, her own studies, and anything she aspires to do.

Why her teaching and my learning styles click: She is a very detail-oriented person, and so am I, so when she teaches, I can retain all the information she teaches and understand what she is asking for when she assigns work. When it comes down to a task, we see eye-to-eye, and we both understand what is expected of me.

What my STAR teacher has taught me about life: She has taught me that through devotion, hard work, and going beyond what is asked of me, I can be the best version of myself and excel in the task as well.

Personal experience that has most influenced my life: The personal experience that most influenced my life was going on a mission trip to West Virginia. Seeing these impoverished conditions that so many people, especially children, had to live in was heartbreaking. However, going there and being able to help the community through physical labor, showing love, and introducing kids to Christ was so rewarding despite the long days and late nights.

Favorite quote: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn

In my spare time, I enjoy a nice drive or listening to music. It gives me a chance to enjoy myself and relax my mind after a busy day.

Favorite historical figure: Catherine de Medici


STAR teacher name: Karen Reeves

Hometown: Atlanta

Previous STAR teacher selections: 17

STAR student’s best attribute: Hannah has many fine qualities, but her practice of setting goals and then creating a systematic plan for achieving them is impressive, particularly because she does this in every aspect of her life. She sets high expectations for herself, but unlike many who simply hope success will come, Hannah makes it happen.

Why do your teaching and learning styles click? The process of learning is important to both of us. Breaking complex concepts into more understandable components, I feel, comes naturally to us both. In addition, we are both task-oriented, which speaks to at least part of Hannah’s success in my class.

What has your STAR student taught you? Organization. I’ve always considered myself organized, but I am an amateur compared to Hannah. Whether it is a complicated system for managing AP materials or juggling 200+ note cards for the term paper, Hannah has mastered a skill that will surely serve her well as she enters the medical field.


STAR student name: John Holton (Holt) Sapp

Hometown: Midville

Parents: Peyton and Pamela Sapp

College plans: I plan to attend the University of Georgia and study agricultural engineering and animal science.

Where I see myself in five years: I hope to finish my degree and finding a quality career. I hope to find myself employed in the agriculture-related community, being that agriculture means so much to me. I would like to manage a business, or preferably have one of my own. I plan to move back to Burke County and do my best to help the area continue to prosper.

In ten years, I hope to be well-established in my line of work. I also hope to be able to give back to organizations in the community that help other youth.

My STAR teacher’s best attribute is that Ms. Rogers has always been an extremely loving and caring person. She constantly checks up on students to make sure they are doing well. Ms. Rogers will not hesitate to stop and pray for you or help you in any way she can. She is extraordinarily positive every single day, and she persistently looks for ways to be uplifting.

Why her teaching and my learning styles click: Ms. Rogers is not the type of teacher to go strictly by the book. She branches out and looks for ways to better explain the material she teaches in order for her students to understand the information. She also gives superb, real-life examples to go alongside her lessons.

What my STAR teacher has taught me about life: Ms. Rogers is always there for her students and continuously gives wonderful life advice. Ms. Rogers has been more than just a teacher to me; she has also been like a friend and parent to me. She has taught me that if I simply put my mind to it, I can overcome anything that is thrown my way.

The personal experience that has most influenced my life is: One experience that greatly influenced my life was being active in 4-H. I have been truly blessed to have been able to get involved in so many different activities that have taught me so much. I have done everything from showing livestock to competing in District Project Achievement. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn so many valuable lessons through 4-H. It truly opened my eyes to the fact that I wanted to come back and work in the world of agriculture.

Favorite quote: I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

In my spare time, when I am not at school or taking my dual enrollment classes, I am usually at work. I work at Di-Lane Plantation Wildlife Management Area for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Division. I also show livestock; therefore, I have to take care of my show animals and work with them. I also do many other things in 4-H, such as judging teams and volunteering to help younger kids. I also work on our family farm, doing maintenance and upkeep. When I am not doing the above-listed things, I am usually hunting or fishing.


STAR teacher name: Ginger W. Rogers

Hometown: Waynesboro

Previous STAR teacher selections: First time

What is the best thing about being a teacher? Seeing a student progress and achieve his or her dreams

STAR student’s best attribute: diligence

What has your STAR student taught you? That hard work pays off. He is an example of a well-rounded young man with an awesome future ahead of him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.