VALDOSTA — Tristin Skapetis has been named Lowndes High School’s STAR student. The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is in its 57th year and sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Department of Education. To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent of their class based on grade point average.
STAR begins each year in high schools throughout Georgia when the STAR student is named and chooses a STAR teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and then compete for county titles and then for region honors. Region winners compete for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student.
Tristan selected Clay Smith, his Pre AP World History and AP European History teacher, as the STAR teacher. Both Tristan and Mr. Smith will be honored at an Azalea City Kiwanis meeting in April.
In selecting Mr. Smith from all his teachers, this is what Tristin had to say, “Clay Smith was the most amazing teacher that I have ever had. He made students passionate about his subject and was passionate himself. He taught me how it will be in a college class, taught me how to write a history essay and influenced my decisions for college and beyond. Mr. Smith is also the most caring teacher that I have had, especially when it comes to the students’ well being.”
This is what Clay Smith had to say about Tristin, “Tristin was one of those students that it takes a little time to get to know. He is quiet and reserved but when you do get to know him he becomes one of those students that make teaching a rewarding and even fun experience. He was a joy to teach and remains a part of my life with the Model United Nations program. Obviously he is a bright and outstanding student but it is his intellectual curiosity, his concern for those around him and the world in general as well as his kind and generous nature that really connects you to him. He is interested in virtually any new idea and loves to investigate new things. Most important to me is that he has a well rounded view of the world. He is not without the ability to consider other opinions and articulate his own as well. This open minded view of the world allows him to develop a strong sense of his own beliefs and ideas.
That is the goal of high school history classes, particularly World History. A chance to view the history of the world, in all its variety, and acquire an understanding of the diversity of experiences that do and have existed throughout the world and over time and develop a strong sense of your place in that history and this world. Tristin gets that and it is extremely rewarding as a teacher when that happens.”
Lynne J. Wilson
Director of CTAE and Public Relations
Lowndes County Schools