2021 STAR Students

NCSS Announces 2021 STAR Students and STAR Teachers
Posted on 04/21/2021
STAR Students and Star TeachersNewton County School System is pleased to announce the 2021 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 STAR Teachers are:

ALCOVY HIGH SCHOOL—Logan Dobar & Mr. Ryan Allred

Alcovy student with teacher and administrators

Logan Dobar is a senior at Alcovy High School and he is also a Dual Enrollment student at Georgia State Perimeter College. He also attended the NCCA STEM Institute. Logan is Alcovy High School’s 2021 STAR Student after scoring a very impressive 1370 out of 1600 on the SAT. In addition to his dual enrollment classes, Logan participated in the NCCA Electrathon car team, the VEX Robotics Team, and the Technology Student Association throughout high school. Through his membership in those clubs, he competed in numerous events.

According to Logan, he will attend Georgia Southern University in the fall with plans to major in electrical engineering. Logan selected Ryan Allred from NCCA STEM Institute as his STAR Teacher. Logan was a student in Mr. Allred’s engineering class. This is Mr. Allred’s first time being selected as a STAR teacher.

When asked why he selected Mr. Allred, Logan stated, “Mr. Allred went above and beyond in teaching engineering, organizing the chapter of the Technology Student Association, the Vex Robotics team, and more. Additionally, he taught his courses well with large amounts of hands-on learning experience.”

NEWTON HIGH SCHOOL—Russell Danilchuk & Mr. Joshua Cook

Student with teacher and principal


Russell Danilchuk is a senior at Newton High School and the NCCA STEM Institute. He is also Newton High School’s 2021 STAR Student, as he scored 1400 out of 1600 on the SAT. Russell has taken numerous Advanced Placement courses throughout his high school career, including world history, U.S. history, macroeconomics, English language, literature, physics, and calculus. He has also participated in several extra-curricular activities, including the Technology Student Association, FBLS, Robotics, and the Electrathon Car team.

Russell plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall to major in aerospace engineering. He chose his AP Calculus teacher at the Career Academy, Mr. Joshua Cook, from NCCA STEM Institute, as his STAR Teacher. This is the second time Mr. Cook has been selected as a STAR Teacher.

When asked why he chose Mr. Cook, Russell stated, “Mr. Cook always motivated me to do better in math and teaches in a way that I think every teacher should teach. He has always been very supportive of me not only in calculus but in all my other accomplishments as well.”

EASTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL AND NEWTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM—Joyce Li and Eric Adams

student with teacher and principal

Joyce Lee is a senior at Eastside High School and the school’s 2021 STAR Student. With her outstanding score of 1460 on the SAT, Joyce is also Newton County School System’s 2021 STAR Student as she had the highest SAT score in the district.

Joyce has taken numerous Advanced Placement courses throughout high school, including Latin, chemistry, calculus, world history, U.S. history, macroeconomics, microeconomics, computer science principles, literature, and language and composition. Joyce also plays French horn in the Eastside Wind Ensemble and has participated in numerous extra-curricular activities, including the Academic Team, Junior Classical League, Student Council, and the Governor’s Honors Program. She plans to attend Georgia Tech in the fall to major in computer science with a possible minor in Chinese.

Joyce chose her Latin teacher, Mr. Eric Adams, as her STAR Teacher. This is Mr. Adams’ tenth time being selected as a STAR teacher. When asked why she chose Mr. Adams, Joyce said, “I’ve been in Mr. Adams’ class for over one seventh of my high school career. If you include Academic Team practices and JCL (Junior Classical League) meetings, it might be bumped up to one fifth….Even though I wasn’t the biggest Latin nerd, Mr. Adams and his way of teaching turned me into one. His classes were always interesting and the tangents that would inevitably ensue during class were always the highlight of my day. It’s impossible to accurately describe how much Mr. Adams changed my life. Academic team and JCL made up my identity in high school. Both were run by him and I can’t imagine not being in either. The countless tournaments that I went to and the conventions that I attended were only possible because I had met Mr. Adams. Heck, I even applied for GHP (Governor’s Honors Program) just because he asked me one day if I was interested.”

She added, “My proudest accomplishment from high school is an email I got from Mr. Adams on November 20th, 2019. During that time, I was really stressed about school and we had just had a Quiz Bowl tournament the week before that I did exceptionally well in. Mr. Adams sent me an email saying that he recognized, admired, and appreciated all the work that I put in for school and Quiz Bowl. I read it and started crying. Up until that point, I had never really been applauded for my efforts in school, especially by a teacher. Having someone say, ‘I see you. Your efforts are recognized’ meant so much to me, especially from someone that I really respect and hold in high regard. It was better than any prize or admission acceptance because this act of kindness came completely out of nowhere. I printed out that email and got it signed by Mr. Adams the next morning. It’s currently taped to my wall right in front of my desk. I think I’ll bring it to college with me.”

“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 Logan, Russell, and Joyce 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.”

The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored nearly 28,000 students and the teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic success.
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