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STAR students, teachers celebrated

Pike County’s STAR students this year excel in many areas, in addition to having the highest SAT scores in the county. Anna Heape and Lainie Smith were recently honored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators for their outstanding academic accomplishments. STAR students must be seniors in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. They each selecte one teacher as their STAR teacher. Anna Heape may have three times the competition but she’s up for it. She is the 2013 Systemwide STAR Student with an SAT score of 2270. Her older siblings are triplets and were all at the top of their graduating class last year, with Emily and Sarah Heape tying for the highest GPA in the class of 2012. Anna earned a perfect score on both the reading and writing portions of the test and made a 670 on the math portion. She takes many Advanced Placement classes and plans to attend the University of Georgia after graduation to study business administration. She says she has always loved to read and that helped her with the SAT. ’My mom took us to bookstores at least once a week when we were little. Because I read so much I was already familiar with a lot of the SAT vocabulary. I’ve also taken most of Pike County High School’s AP courses, which encourage critical thinking,’ Anna said. ‘You can always learn something from novels, even if you’ve read them before. There are so many worlds and ways of thinking in books.’ Anna selected Laura Douglas as her STAR Teacher. ’She’s amazing at what she does; she challenges students and prepares them for college,’ Anna said. ‘If you’ve had Mrs. Douglas, you know how to write a paper and analyze a book. She made me a better writer and took my love for reading and developed it into an awe for literature.’ Anna enjoys kayaking and has been part of the student council since she was a freshman. She is the president of the BETA Club and helps plan and organize monthly service projects for the group. According to Douglas, Anna is very self-motivated. ’She works hard and she wants to do really well. She knows what her goals are and how to get there and she doesn’t have to have anyone tell her what to do to accomplish them,’ Douglas said. ‘She’s good at every subject. She can draw and she can do math, English, science and everything well.’ Anna has always dreamed of owning her own day care and plans to pursue that dream in college. ’I plan to go to UGA next year, where I’ll study business administration,’ she said. ‘After getting my bachelor’s I hope to eventually open my own day care business.’ Anna Heape is the daughter of Allen and Angela Heape of Meansville and the granddaughter of Emily Price and late JD Price of Meansville and Charles and Patsy Heape of Griffin. —————————————————- For STAR Student and former karate instructor Lainie Smith, deciding to attend CrossPointe Christian Academy in Hollonville was a roundhouse kick. In addition to being Beta Club president and taking many advanced courses, she was also on the varsity cheerleading team and captain of the group her senior year. ’I grew up doing ballet and karate and to combine those into cheerleading felt like a natural progression,’ she said. ‘I love all the teachers here. They’ve all helped me in some way and taught me things even outside the classroom.’ She selected her physics teacher Scott Huckaby as her STAR Teacher. Lainie hopes to attend LaGrange College and major in a science field but hasn’t decided whether to pursue forensic science, pharmacy, medicine or becoming a chemist. ’I’ve always loved science and especially chemistry. It’s my favorite branch of science,’ she said. ‘Mr. Huckaby has been like a second father to me. He taught me about physics but he’s also taught me to be me and to be okay with being me.’ This year she was president of the inaugural year of Beta Club at CrossPointe and has helped the group grow to about 20 members. She teaches tumbling and is very involved in her church youth group at Church of Joy. ’I love to read and I love to listen to music, play music and sing. Music is my way to express myself,’ she said. ‘I used to lead music for my uncle’s church and was part of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir for a couple of years.’ She scored a 1940 on the SAT and said a book from her mother helped. ’My mom got me one of the four pound SAT study books. I went through the book and when I found areas where I needed help, I went to outside sources,’ she said. ‘I tried to get in the mindset of the test and analyze the test itself, not just the questions it was asking.’ She is the daughter of Rick and Amy Smith of Williamson and the granddaughter of Dan and Pat Teague of Griffin, Jan and Gary Love of Jonesboro and Charles and Michelle Smith of Tennessee. ’Lainie is the kind of student CrossPointe is proud to produce. She’s a Godly girl who wants to do well and who wants to lead,’ said Huckaby. ‘She enjoys studying subjects more deeply than just what is required to pass. She does well in all her classes and all of her teachers think highly of her.’ Lainie, like all STAR students, is in the top 10 percent of her class, as measured by GPA.

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