2024 STAR Students

Emma Grace Lumpkin Named NCSS 2024 STAR Student
Posted on 02/08/2024
STAR Students and STAR TeachersEmma Grace Lumpkin, a senior at Eastside High School and the NCSS STEM Institute, is Newton County School System’s 2024 STAR Student, after attaining the highest SAT score in the district—a stellar 1510 out of 1600. The Eastside High School STAR Student selected Mr. Ryan Allred, her engineering teacher at the STEM Institute, as her STAR Teacher.

Emma Grace was recognized today by the Kiwanis Club of Covington, official sponsor of the local STAR Student recognition program, at the club’s weekly meeting. To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SA, a national college entrance exam some colleges and universities utilize to measure critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college. In order to qualify for STAR Student recognition, the student must also be in the top ten percent or top ten students of his or her class based on grade point average.

The Kiwanis Club recognized each of the school system’s three high school STAR Students along with their STAR Teachers during a special lunch meeting on February 8, 2024.

Emma Grace Lumpkin, Eastside High School and NCCA STEM Institute (DISTRICT STAR RECIPIENTS)

Eastside STAR Student, Teacher, and Administrators

Emma Grace has taken AP World History, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, and Seminar during her high school career. In addition, she has taken several dual enrollment courses, including English, American Literature, US History, Economics, and Public Speaking. She is President of the NCCA TSA Chapter, competes on the VEX Robotics team, serves as captain of the math team, represents her school on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, competes on the Academic Team, serves as STEM Ambassador and STEM Mentor, and she also is on the NCCA Associate Board of Directors. Despite her heavy schedule, Emma Grace also plays soccer.

Emma Grace will attend Georgia Tech in the fall where she plans to major in Mechanical Engineering with a possible concentration in robotics. She would like to pursue a career in the field of mechanical engineering and would one day like to work for NASA building robotics.

Emma Grace chose NCCA engineering teacher, Mr. Ryan Allred, as her STAR Teacher. This is Mr. Allred’s fifth time being selected as a STAR Teacher. When asked why she chose Mr. Allred, Emma Grace said, “I’ve had Mr. Allred all four years. He is my TSA advisor and I’ve spent so much time with him throughout high school. It’s through what he taught me that helped me see that I’m interested in engineering. His class is always fun and enjoyable. He’s a great teacher.”

Ella Whitehead, Alcovy High School and NCCA STEM Institute

Alcovy STAR Student, Teacher, and administrators

Ella Whitehead is a senior at Alcovy High School and the NCCA STEM Institute and she was named Alcovy High School’s Star Student after scoring 1210 out of 1600 on the SAT. Ella has taken numerous Advanced Placement courses throughout high school, including World History, US History, Biology, Language, Literature, Seminar, Calculus, and Chemistry. She has also been a dual enrollment student and earned credit for collegiate level courses such as economics, sociology, and psychology from Georgia State University. Ella is very active in clubs and other extracurricular activities at both Alcovy High School and the NCCA STEM Institute. She is the president of the Crochet for a Cause Club, has competed in the Reading Bowl, serves on the Youth Action Team and also the Youth Leadership team at church. Ella also volunteers for the Repairers of the Breach.

Ella has earned a full ride scholarship to her dream college, Duke University. In addition to the full scholarship, Duke University will also be funding a GAP Year for Ella, where she will spend nine months participating in a Mission Race through Thailand, Guatemala, Romania, and Cambodia. When she returns to her studies, she plans to major in marine biology with a minor in Oceanography. Her career goal is to become a marine biologist.

Ella selected her NCCA STEM Institute science instructor, Ms. Laura Lambert as her STAR Teacher. This is Ms. Lambert’s third time being named a STAR Teacher. When asked why she selected Ms. Lambert, Ella stated, “I’ve had Ms. Lambert all four years of high school. I really admire her as a teacher and a person. She inspired my love for research and has been a big role model in my academic career.”

Savannah Jones, Newton High School and NCCA STEM Institute

Newton High STAR Student, Teacher, and administrators

Savannah Jones is a senior at Newton High School and the NCCA STEM Institute. She earned the Newton High School STAR Student honor after scoring 1460 out of 1600 on the SAT in one sitting. During her high school career, Savannah has taken numerous Advanced Placement courses, including World History, US History, Calculus, Language, Physics, Macroeconomics, Literature, Seminar, and Statistics. She is also highly active in extracurricular activities, to include TSA, FBLA, Art Club, Youth Action Team, and Yearbook at both Newton High School and the STEM Institute, where she serves as chief editor.

Savannah has applied to several colleges and universities, to include her first choice, MIT, as well as Columbia, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, Cornell, Harvard, Spelman, and the University of Georgia. She is waiting to hear back on all her applications before making a final decision. Although she has not finalized where she will attend college, Savannah does know she would like to major in Civil Engineering with a possible minor in environmental law or graphic design. She would like to pursue a career as a civil engineer and work in residential or transportation systems to create more sustainable infrastructures.

Savannah chose Ms. Trina Burroughs, her journalism teacher at Newton High School, as her STAR Teacher. This is Ms. Burroughs’ second time being named a STAR Teacher. Savannah explained why she selected Ms. Burroughs as her STAR Teacher by stating, “I just like her energy. She is fun and outgoing, and she pushes her students to succeed. As my yearbook teacher, she presented me with the opportunity for my first solid leadership position and she taught me how to be a better leader in the classroom. She is very supportive, and I have really enjoyed my years in her class. Plus, she makes a mean banana pudding!”

"Congratulations to our outstanding STAR Students, Emma Grace Lumpkin, Ella Whitehead, and Savannah Jones, for their remarkable achievements on the SAT,” said Dr. Duke Bradley, III, Superintendent of the Newton County School System. “Their dedication and academic excellence shine bright, setting a high standard for our school system.”

He added, “I want to express my appreciation to their STAR Teachers, Ms. Laura Lambert, Ms. Trina Burroughs, and Mr. Ryan Allred, for their guidance and commitment to student success. Well done to our students and thank you to our teachers and the entire school system for preparing them for this success. Your accomplishments make us proud and showcase the excellence of the Newton County School System."