2023 STAR Students

NCSS & Kiwanis Club of Covington Announce 2023 STAR Students and STAR Teachers
Posted on 02/02/2023
STAR Students and STAR Teachers with Superintendent of SchoolsNewton County School System and the Kiwanis Club of Covington are pleased to announce the 2023 STAR Students and STAR Teachers. In order to obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT. The SAT is a national college entrance exam some colleges and universities utilize to measure critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well students analyze and solve problems. It is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800, with the current version of the exam worth a total of 1600 points. In order to qualify for STAR Student, the student must also be in the top ten percent or top ten students of their class based on grade point average.

Newton County School System’s three high school STAR Students and their STAR Teachers are:

ALCOVY HIGH SCHOOL—Savannah Stanton and Ms. Michele Nichols
Alcovy STAR Group

Savannah is a senior at Alcovy High School, and she was named Alcovy High School’s Star Student after scoring 1230 out of 1600 on the SAT. Savannah has taken AP Computer Science Principals and World History at Alcovy High School. She has also completed 42 credit hours and is currently working on seven more hours at Georgia State Perimeter College. In her spare time, she tutors different math subjects such as Algebra I, Algebra II, and Calculus.

Savannah has applied to Florida State University, The University of Chicago, and the University of Georgia. Her goal is to major in mathematics with a minor in chemistry. Savannah would like to attain a master’s degree with an emphasis in Actuarial Science and work her way up to a high position at an Actuarial Firm.

Savannah selected her eleventh-grade American Literature teacher, Mrs. Michele Nichols, as her STAR Teacher. This is Mrs. Nichols’ second time being named a STAR Teacher. When asked why she selected Mrs. Nichols, Savannah stated, “I selected Mrs. Nichols because she was the first teacher I ever had at Alcovy, along with my most memorable. Her class was always a pleasant learning environment, along with a safe space where I feel like I could talk to her about anything.”

NEWTON HIGH SCHOOL—Dhakiya Knights and Ms. Laura Lambert
Newton STAR Group
Dhakiya is a senior at Newton High School and the NCCA STEM Institute. She is also Newton High School’s 2023 STAR Student, after scoring 1450 out of 1600 on the SAT in one sitting. During her high school career, Dhakiya has participated in numerous extracurricular activities including HOSA, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Tennis and the STEM Council. She is also on the Associate Board of Directors at the Newton College & Career Academy.

Dhakiya has taken several AP classes, including Psychology, World History, US History, Language & Composition, Calculus, Biology, Literature, Macroeconomics, Seminar, and Statistics.

Dhakiya has applied to numerous universities, including Yale, Columbia, New York University, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Mercer, Georgia College & State University, Georgia State University, Wesleyan, Baylor, Augusta, Emory, Cornell, and Harvard. Her plan is to major in either neuroscience or psychology depending on which school she ultimately attends. She would also like to minor in communications. Dhakiya’s career goal is to become a physician and biomedical researcher.

Dhakiya chose her Advanced Placement biology teacher, Ms. Laura Lambert, as her STAR Teacher. This is Ms. Lambert’s second time being named a STAR Teacher. When asked why she chose Ms. Lambert, Dhakiya stated, “I have had Ms. Lambert all four years and through it all she has been one of my top supporters. She is always there pushing; she’s a driving force yet down to earth and humble. She’s a teacher I can sit down and have a conversation with and be seen.”

EASTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL—Joseph Cloer and Mr. Ryan Allred
Eastside STAR Group

Joseph is a senior at Eastside High School and NCCA STEM Institute. Joseph is not only Eastside High School’s 2023 STAR Student, he is also Newton County School System’s 2023 STAR Student, as he posted the highest SAT score in the district—a stellar 1470 out of 1600. Joseph has taken several Advanced Placement courses during his high school career, including World History, US History, Language & Composition, Physics, Seminar, Literature, Statistics, Computer Science, and Macroeconomics. He is also very involved in extra-curricular activities, including Cross Country, TSA, and Theater. He has served as the captain of both the math team and the academic team and is a member of both the Oxford Acting Company and the Oxford Youth Singers.

Joseph has already been accepted to Kennesaw State University; however, his ultimate goal is to attend Georgia Tech, where he would like to pursue a major in computer science with a minor in math. Joseph’s career goal is to become a programmer or computer designer.

Joseph chose engineering teacher, Mr. Ryan Allred, as his STAR Teacher. This is Mr. Allred’s fourth time being selected a STAR Teacher. When asked why he chose Mr. Allred, Joseph said, “Mr. Allred has been there for me and helped me figure out what I want to do in the future. He’s the one who guided me on the path to computer science.”

“These STAR students are indicative of the high-quality, high-caliber students we have in Newton County,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County School System. “We commend Savannah, Dhakiya, and Joseph for staying the course and demonstrating what one can accomplish through hard work and discipline. In addition, we thank the parents, teachers, and leaders who have supported these students through the years.”