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McDuffie's Star Student

A little friendly competition never hurt anybody. That was the theme of this year's campaign for STAR student at Thomson High School.


Jeremy Timmerman makes a point during Valarie Flamini-Caldwell's class.
Kristopher Wells
Dearing resident Jeremy Timmerman barely beat out friend and fellow band member Benjamin Porter with the highest SAT score in the senior class at THS this year. Jeremy recorded a score of 1490, edging out Benjamin's 1480.

"I can't recall having the scores be that close," said THS Guidance Counselor Sheron Finnerty. "They both knew that the highest score determined STAR student, and I think that was something that they thought would be fun competition."

Jeremy took the SAT a total of three times in high school to get his score. He also took it once in seventh grade for the Duke talent search, earning a score of 1160.

After receiving the honor of being named STAR student, Jeremy had to choose a teacher that made an impact on his life and school career to be the STAR teacher. He chose his eighth grade algebra teacher Steve Smith, who has been an educator for 28 years.

The pair of STARs was recognized at the Thomson Rotary Club meeting last Thursday. Both were given the opportunity to address the club.


STAR Teacher Steve Smith reads to youngsters during Thomson Middle's Dr. Seuss celebration earlier this month.
Jason B. Smith
"Jeremy is the type of student that stands out," Mr. Smith told Rotary members, mentioning several times when he allowed Jeremy to conduct class while he was dealing with other students.

Mr. Smith said two things that specifically stand out about Jeremy are his closeness to his family and the fact that Jeremy "speaks and lives his faith in God."

"My faith is a part of everything I do," Jeremy said.

Jeremy's father, Michael Timmerman, is the pastor of Dearing Baptist Church, and his mother Karen works at Dearing Elementary. His sister Courtney is in eighth grade at Thomson Middle.

"I have to base my activities on my family," Jeremy said. "My life is really packed with activities, but I still make sure I have time for my family."

Picking Mr. Smith as his STAR teacher was an easy decision for Jeremy. He said Mr. Smith's style of teaching taught him much more than just math.

"He makes his class enjoyable ... and he teaches you different ways. He lets you pick your own way." Jeremy said. "Because his class was more interactive it helped relationships with people."

Some of the activities that Jeremy has been involved with during his high school career are band, where he plays trumpet and baritone; literary; Beta Club; Fellowship of Christian Students; soccer and chorus during his senior year; one year of JV basketball and two years starring in the annual musical.


STAR Teacher Steve Smith addresses the Thomson Rotary Club as STAR Student Jeremy Timmerman (far right) looks on.
Jason B. Smith
Jeremy's SAT score, his 97.2 average -- which is fifth in the senior class of 251 -- and all of his activities helped him get into his college of choice, Mercer. He said the small school with strong academics will help him achieve his goal of becoming a high school history teacher.

Several of Jeremy's own high school teachers have said they will be sad to see him go. But they are excited about the future he has ahead of him.

"I can see him succeeding because he's going to handle pressure fairly well because he's got that sense of humor," Mrs. Finnerty said. "He's just such a good all-around person, but he's not one of these stuffy kind of academic people. He's just a good ol' guy. Just to be around him, you would never imagine that he's as bright as he is, because he seems like he's such a cut up and a goof."

Web posted on Thursday, March 11, 2004

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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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