2022 STAR Students and Teachers

NCSS & Kiwanis Club of Covington Announce 2022 STAR Students and STAR Teachers
Posted on 02/10/2022
STAR Students and STAR TeachersNewton County School System is pleased to announce the 2022 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 – Brianna Francis and Ms. Laura Lambert

Alcovy STAR Student and Teacher


Brianna Francis is a senior at Alcovy High School and the NCCA STEM Institute and she was named Alcovy High School’s Star Student after scoring 1390 out of 1600 on the SAT. Brianna has taken several advanced placement classes during her high school career, including Biology, Macroeconomics, World History, American Government, Physics, Calculus, English Literature, and World Literature. In addition to her studies, Brianna participated in numerous extra-curricular activities, including FBLA, FFA, HOSA, and Student Council. During her spare time, she also enjoys playing the piano.

Brianna has applied to and been accepted to both Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia. Although she hasn’t finalized her selection, she is leaning towards attending UGA where she would possibly major in biotechnology. She has a lofty career goal of becoming a biotechnician to make prosthetic limbs.

Brianna selected her 12th grade science teacher, Mrs. Laura Lambert, of the Newton College & Career Academy, as her STAR Teacher. This is Mrs. Lambert’s second time being named a STAR Teacher. When asked why she selected Mrs. Lambert, Brianna stated, “She’s given me so many opportunities and so many resources to explore my interests. I take her fourth-level biotech class that’s a research and development class where she gives you all the researches in the lab and lets you pursue whatever you want to. She helps you every step of the way and it’s so amazing that she is able to do that for every single one of her students and I know that that takes a lot of effort so it’s something I definitely appreciate her for.”

NEWTON HIGH SCHOOL—Amara Ann Igwilo and Ms. Virginia Moulder

Newton High STAR Student and Teacher


Amara Igwilo is a senior at the Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School. She is also Newton High School’s 2022 STAR Student, after scoring 1270 out of 1600 on the SAT in one sitting. During her high school career, Amara has participated in numerous extracurricular activities including SGA, National Honor Society, and Beta Club. She has also served as a Newton High School football cheerleader and worked as the social media manager for both cheerleading and Lady Rams basketball.

Amara has taken several AP classes, including Human Geography, Psychology, World History, US History, Literature, Language, Calculus, Statistics, Government, Computer Science, Micro and Macroeconomics, Biology, and environmental science.

Amara has been accepted to numerous universities, including the University of Georgia, Auburn University, North Carolina A&T, Mercer, Berry, Baylor, University of Tennessee, Texas A&M, University of South Carolina, and University of Minnesota although she has not made her final decision as yet. Amara’s goal is to major in animal science or marine biology to become a mixed animal veterinarian.

Amara chose her advanced placement environmental science teacher, Ms. Virginia Moulder, as her STAR Teacher. This is Ms. Moulder’s second time being named a STAR Teacher. When asked why she chose Ms. Moulder, Amara stated, “She’s really made a big impact on my life. She has sparked my career interest and I enjoy her class a lot. She makes it fun, and the material is very interesting.”

EASTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL & NCSS STAR Student and Teacher—Rivash Deepnarain and Mr. Joshua Cook

Eastside STAR Student and Teacher

Rivash Deepnarain is a senior at Eastside High School and NCCA STEM Institute. Rivash is not only Eastside High School’s 2022 STAR Student, he is also Newton County School System’s 2022 STAR Student, as he posted the highest SAT score in the district—a stellar 1530 out of 1600. In addition to his studies with NCSS, including Advanced Placement Calculus, US History, World History, and Physics, Rivash has also participated in dual enrollment with both Point University and Georgia Tech. Despite his heavy academic load, Rivash has also made time for extra-curricular activities including TSA, Tennis, and STEM Council. Rivash also volunteers his time at Rockdale Tennis Center.

Rivash has been accepted to attend both Georgia Tech and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He’s waiting to hear back from Stanford and Cal Tech before making his final decision. Rivash’s plan is to major in mechanical engineering to ultimately become a race engineer for the F1 Motorsport Industry.

Rivash chose his calculus teacher, Mr. Joshua Cook, as his STAR Teacher. This is Mr. Cook’s third time being selected a STAR Teacher. When asked why he chose Mr. Cook, Rivash said, “He really pushed me because I took precalculus with him and he encouraged me to take that big step to BC Calculus which had never been done, as this was his first year teaching it. But he really believed in me and motivated me and helped me do well. He really went out of his way to help 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 Brianna, Amara, and Rivash 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 28,500 students and the teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic success.

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