EC STAR student candidate for state title

by Celia Shortt


East Coweta High School senior Yehong Zhu, center, and White Oak Elementary School REACH Teacher Paula Corley, right, were named as the region STAR Student and STAR Teacher by Dr. Emily Felton, president of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), left, in Griffin. 

East Coweta High School senior Yehzong Zhu, Coweta’s STAR Student, has been named the region STAR Student and is now a contender for Georgia’s 2014 State STAR student award.

On hand at the 3B STAR Student and Teacher banquet in Griffin where Zhu received the region STAR student award were her parents, younger brother, and STAR Teacher Paula Corley, the REACH teacher at White Oak Elementary School.

Corley was also recognized at the banquet as the STAR Teacher for the region.

Zhu is one of the top students at ECHS and achieved the highest possible score on her first sitting for the SAT college entrance test.

Zhu had Corley as a teacher midway through her fifth grade year of school, and Corley said “she never skipped a beat.” She would exceed at every task she was given and showed “exceptional intellectual curiosity and creativity.”

Zhu said she had felt immediately at home in Corley’s REACH class. She said Corley treated her and her fellow students “like young adults, with our own hopes and talents,” as well as providing her with a strong foundation for future academic success.

Corley said Zhu was one of only 494 students nationwide, out of the 1.66 million, who earned the highest possible score on the SAT in their first sitting. Her achievement placed her among the top 3 percent of the top 1 percent of student test takers in the nation.

Zhu was named the region STAR Student from among the high-achieving STAR Students in a 10-county region, including Coweta County as well as Butts, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Pike Rockdale, Spalding and Henry counties.

At the banquet, Zhu thanked her parents for their support, as well as Corley and the other teachers she had in Coweta County. She also recognized ECHS counselor Wendy Williams and ECHS Principal Evan Horton.

She said Horton is “the principal of the best high school in Georgia.”

“I can’t say enough of how proud we are of Yehong, her academic achievements and her many other achievements,” said Horton. “She is a great representative of our school and will be a great candidate at the state level.”

In February, Zhu was named Coweta County STAR Student from among the high school-level STAR Students from Coweta’s three public high schools and two private schools.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Program (STAR) is held each year to recognize top high school students across the state, and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.

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