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Thomson STAR Student gives sixth-grade teacher the credit

Cullen Wallace's 1870 score on his SAT earned him the honor of being Thomson High School's STAR Student, and his appreciation earned Kathy Neal the honor of being STAR Teacher.

The honors were announced Monday.

"I felt like I did pretty well," Wallace said of the test. "I tried not to waste too much time on one question that was too hard."

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program involves local and regional judging that leads to a state competition.

The Thomson senior is the son of Chris and Rhonda Wallace. He said he has been accepted into Georgia State College and University in Milledgeville but also is hoping to be accepted to Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

"I'm looking forward to majoring in political science and becoming a lawyer," he said, adding that he would like to return to Thomson to practice law.

He is enrolled in four Advanced Placement classes, as well as business classes and Spanish and serves on the yearbook staff. He also runs cross country and plays defense and backup goalie on the school soccer team. He is president of the Key Club and the Future Farmers of America and has been to the state lawn mower riding competition three times.

Explaining his selection of Mrs. Neal, he said she was his teacher in sixth grade, his first year in public schools after being home-schooled.

"The STAR Teacher is the one who has the most influence on your education career," he said.

Mrs. Neal said the selection caught her by surprise.

"I didn't know that I had that much to do with it," she said. "Just the opportunity to teach him was special."

Though she teaches high school chemistry and physics now, Mrs. Neal keeps tabs on the pupils who were in her sixth-grade classes. "My first sixth-grade class graduated the year before last," she said.

High school guidance counselor Pat Farner reminded the winning student and teacher that they will be guests of the Thomson Rotary on an upcoming Thursday and will receive their awards at a school board meeting in March.

Web posted on Thursday, February 03, 2011

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