Each year, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation (PAGE Foundation) identifies top students at both public and private high schools across Georgia.
The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program, or STAR student and teacher honors, identifies high school seniors who post the highest SAT scores for their schools and rank among the top 10 percent or top 10 students in their class in grade-point average.
This year, Mount Vernon senior Eliza Bruno was chosen as a STAR student. Each STAR student then chooses his or her STAR teacher, and Eliza chose Upper School Learning Architect Amy Choi as her star teacher.
“I was honored to receive this award. To me, Ms. Choi was an obvious choice for the STAR Teacher honor. My time with her in Humanities 9 encouraged me to drop my free period sophomore year and replace it with AP World History, which is, to this day, my favorite class that I have ever taken. Ms. Choi’s love for history made each moment in that class lively, and her personality made it very fun. At the same time, she made me both a better writer and student, and would always acknowledge my improvement even if it was through a sarcastic or witty comment.”
Eliza Bruno, Class of 2020
“I was so surprised and happy when I heard that Eliza thought of me and our Humanities 9 class and our AP World History class from sophomore year. Even during those early years of high school, Eliza always impressed me with how she managed to hit that perfect balance of independent thinking but also an incredible collaborator when called upon for help. I actually still have some of her work from our Humanities class that I use as exemplars for my current students now. Considering the fact that I still think that half the time in class, she was traumatized from all my screeching about how much I love history, it is a big honor that I got to stand next to Eliza and be her biggest cheerleader as she received this great award for all her hard work.”
Once school winners are selected, regional STAR students and teachers are chosen to compete for a state title. Since the programs beginning in 1958, the STAR program has recognized more than 25,000 students.