Two Paulding senior students will share a top academic award this year.

Sarah Canastra of North Paulding High School and Alfonso Garcia of East Paulding High School finished in a tie for the Paulding County School District’s Student Teacher Achievement Recognition student award.

The Paulding Chamber of Commerce sponsored the STAR award for the 56th year in Paulding County, Superintendent Brian Otott said.

The program – sponsored statewide by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators -- recognizes Georgia's top-scoring high school seniors and the teachers the students believe have been most instrumental in their academic development.

It honors the high school senior who has the highest SAT score who is also in the top 10 percent of the senior class of the school or district based on grade point average.

Garcia named social studies teacher Justin Summey as his STAR Teacher, while Canastra named American government and civics teacher Rick Holsomback as her STAR Teacher.

A reception honored each school’s STAR Student before Tuesday’s announcement of the winners during a Paulding County School Board meeting.

Other school-level STAR winners and their STAR teachers included:

Hiram High School: STAR Student Lydia Kenney, STAR Teacher Michelle Roberts.

Paulding County High School: STAR students (tie) John Anderson, Marcus Morris and Walter Samuel Burger; STAR teachers Soraiya Ali (Anderson), Tricia Pedersen (Morris), and Marc Pedersen (Burger).

South Paulding High School: STAR Student Melinda Downey, STAR Teacher Tema Hoskins.

Canastra and Garcia are eligible to move on to a district STAR competition, with the winner moving to a statewide competition. Devon Boatright of Douglas County High School was the Georgia STAR Student in 2018.


(1) comment


We get a picture of a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle but not of the two top SAT scorers from Paulding County?

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