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STAR Students & Teachers

Sloan Berry on Mrs. Winstead:

“Before being in Algebra II, I hated math class. It filled me with dread and I hated to ask or answer questions, but Mrs. Winstead’s class changed me forever.  I walked into class, looking forward to laughing with Joy, Geethika, and Mrs. Winstead while we talked through both math problems and our lives. Mrs. Winstead encouraged me daily and helped me become confident not only in my math but in myself as well, and still does to this day. I know that her door is always open, for math help, advice, ASL club, book recommendations, and for encouragement on difficult days. I wouldn’t be a Star Student without the fundamental math she taught me, but most importantly I wouldn’t be here if not for the persevering, open-mindset, and love of learning Mrs. Winstead fostered in me.”

Mrs. Winstead on Sloan Berry: 

“I am beyond honored that Sloan chose me as her STAR teacher. Sloan is incredibly wonderful and gifted, and teaching her was a huge blessing. Sloan has a special kindness, and I have always loved spending time with her. She made such a positive impact on my life and my teaching career, and she is a constant reminder of why I teach. I am proud of how much she has accomplished over the years, and I know she will change lives wherever life takes her. I pray her journey leads to countless adventures and is as special as she is.”

Joshua Bowman on Dr. Gilbreath:

“Dr. Gilbreath's actions always speak louder than her words. Whether halfway through complex Play-Doh lessons or cooling the stressed robotics team, she brightens each day with her humor and inspires a genuine love for problem-solving in all her students.

Dr. G's iridescent personality makes conversing over any subject effortless, and she has a special ability to inspire lifelong learning; I'll never forget the lessons she's already taught me: stay curious, make mistakes, and never forget +C (I still forget that last one sometimes).”

Dr. Gilbreath on Joshua Bowman: 

“Joshua is serious without being boring, brilliant without being boastful, and truly one of the best students I’ve ever taught. It’s nice to know that despite my bad jokes and organized chaos, Josh still thinks I’m a pretty good teacher.”

Gabriel Frederick on Mr. McDonald:

“I chose Mr. McDonald to be my STAR Teacher because band has been a major factor in my character development through high school. The band program has helped teach me about how to work together with other people to perform music and marching shows. My role in the band has helped me to not only work on my own skills, but also to help push others to improve as well. Mr. McDonald has propelled this improvement by constantly challenging me with harder music to help me develop my skills. If it weren't for the band program that Mr. McDonald helped put together, I would not be as advanced in music and team performing as I am today.”

Mr. McDonald on Gabriel Frederick:

“Gabriel’s hard work, dedication, and loyalty has been a pleasure to witness over the past seven years. His desire to take on challenges and refusal to fail is inspiring. He has the potential to do great things in his future, and I’m grateful to have been a small part of his journey.”

Carson May on Mrs. Nicholson:

“To me, STAR STUDENT has always been more about the STAR teacher aspect. Of course, a couple years ago I would never have imagined myself being named a STAR student, and I think that it is indicative of personal growth I had never even deemed possible, but I never would have made this growth without the help of my teachers. Admittedly, I can’t say that my STAR teacher choice, Mrs. Nicholson, was, as the requirements suggest, “the person who made the greatest contribution to [my] scholastic achievement,” but I felt the need to honor her anyhow. I’ve always been more interested in the dynamic of students and teachers honoring one another that had been present in previous yearbooks, and, though the prompt has changed, that is still what I consider most meaningful of being a STAR student. Of course I’m proud of myself - I don’t mean to make myself sound more humble than I am, because I really am incredibly vain and this achievement is no small part of that - but being able to give back to someone who, in just a little over a semester has already done so much for me, is incredibly rewarding, and something I am very grateful for.”

Mrs. Nicholson on Carson May:

“Carson makes teaching fun!  He's genuinely interested in what we're talking about, and he's insightful and witty.  I love how he's been accepting more and more new challenges this year, finding ways to use his musical and academic talents,  and I love his willingness to be a leader when the need arises.  I can't wait to see where all of this takes him as a college student and beyond!”

Will Rich on Mrs. Perry:

"Mrs. Perry was my ninth grade engineering teacher and is my current engineering teacher this year. I chose her as my Star Teacher because she was the teacher that fostered my love for the engineering process. If I never had her as a teacher, I might have decided to not pursue a career in the field of engineering. She has taught me very valuable skills that I use constantly and will continue to use later in my life. Mrs. Perry is a wonderful teacher and I am thankful for everything that she has taught and done for me."

Mrs. Perry on Will Rich:

“When Will asked me to be his STAR Teacher, I was thrilled! Will's kindness and passion for learning inspires me daily, and I am grateful to have played a role in his time at Northwest Rankin. It has brought me joy to watch Will grow as a problem solver in the Engineering Academy, and I look forward to seeing where his future takes him! It is an incredible honor, and tremendously rewarding to realize that what I am doing in the classroom influenced my student's learning!”

Andy Tran on Mrs. McMillian:

“I chose Mrs. McMillian because she imbued in me invaluable knowledge and skills that will prepare me for my future education and career. Although the content itself may not apply to my day-to-day life, the attitude I obtained towards studying and learning continues to this day.”

Mrs. McMillian on Andy Tran:

“What a joy and pleasure it has been to have Andy as my student. He is an awesome, good natured young man. Andy embodies all the attributes of a model student. While Andy’s intellectual strengths are most impressive, I will always remember his one of a kind humor and quick wit that could always put a smile on my face. I am so proud of Andy and look forward to seeing him accomplish great things. Andy, thank you for the honor of selecting me as your Star Teacher.”

Addyson Wheat on Mr. Douglas:

“Star Student would mean nothing to me without having such great teachers to lead me, which is why I picked Mr. Douglas to be my Star Teacher. Mr. Douglas has been a great teacher for me the three years that I've had his class. He is very knowledgeable about what he's teaching, and is able to relate and communicate well with his students. More importantly, he's passionate about what he is teaching, and finds a way to make every day interesting. Mr. Douglas treats all his students with respect. He has taught me how to think critically and challenge the thoughts that I am introduced to. Mr. Douglas has helped me succeed, and hopefully he can continue to help students succeed in every capacity.”

Mr. Douglas on Addyson Wheat:

“Addy is an exceptional individual. She is one of the most driven students I have ever taught and is deserving of every accolade she has received and deserves more. But rather than prattle further about her academic success, I would just say look at the data – it speaks for itself.  Addy’s smile and joy she displays while pursuing her academic success also needs to be highlighted. I am certain that every day she was in my class for two years I saw her have a laugh about something, all the while being a diligent student. Her joy and quiet confidence should receive applause equal to her academic achievement, and she will be missed greatly at NWR and by myself.”