Lee Co. School System celebrates STAR student, teacher

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Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 6:40 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Lee County Schools is honoring their STAR Student and Teacher.

This year’s winners have helped each other during both their academic and professional careers. WALB News 10′s Nathalie Moreau got to speak to them both.

“I’m in 6 classes this year, so it’s definitely a really tough schedule. And then I’m also in chorus and theater and I’m at a show in theater Albany right now called James and the Giant Peach,” said Lee County senior and STAR student of the year, Kelly Kennedy.

Kennedy became this year’s STAR Student after scoring an impressive 1520 out of 1600 on her SAT.

“One of the main things I’d say to use to study for the SAT was definitely taking a lot of practice tests, I took the SAT a good few many times just to make sure that I got the exact score that I wanted for college,” said Kennedy.

Kelly Kennedy – STAR Student of the Year
Kelly Kennedy – STAR Student of the Year(WALB)

Each year, the STAR Student gets to choose a teacher that has inspired them for STAR Teacher of the Year.

“I picked Ms. Cash because she is actually just one of the best teachers, I’ve ever had,” said Kennedy. “She, like I just said, inspired me to want to become an engineer. I did a math counts competition with her when I was in 8th grade, and she really encouraged me to do that and I ended up winning our region competition that year.”

Amy Cash, 9th grade math teacher at Lee County Schools and STAR Teacher of the Year, said she was more than happy to learn she was picked.

“I was overjoyed when Kelly Walked in a couple of weeks ago, they surprised me during class. My principal just knocked on the door and opened the door and said we have an announcement to make Ms. Cash and I turned around and saw a bouquet of flowers and saw Kelly,” said Cash.

Cash was first introduced to Kennedy during her first year of teaching.

“It was my first class of middle schoolers, and she just was a standout just a great student all around and I took over the math counts program that year and she was in my math counts team so we got to know each other a little bit more. She went to several competitions with my team,” said Cash.

And Kennedy has continued to use the skills she learned in school to apply to some of the top schools in the country.

“Hopefully in college, I’ll be going to Vanderbilt. I haven’t gotten my decision yet,” said Kennedy. “I’ve already been accepted to UGA and Auburn. I’m really excited about that. I would like to go to be a biomedical engineer.”

Both Kennedy and Cash want to leave these pieces of advice.

“Don’t get lost in the day-to-day here and the stressors of, yes, you hit a test tomorrow or you got to really cram because you got a lot to do at home for homework and stuff like that. I would say, you know, just enjoy growing because you’ll look back and go, ‘man look at all of things that I, you know gained in that one year or those four years in high school and just appreciate it just don’t lose sight of that.,” said Cash.

“I’d say, you know, there’s so much stress out on you when you’re younger. You know you need to be this and do this but really just find your passion and what you enjoy and really get your help from the teachers that you have they are so supportive,” said Kennedy.

Lee County Schools is also in the process of upgrading their classrooms with new technology.

Cash has been using new boards that were purchased using money from the CARES ACT.

The grant gave a list of items that schools could use to upgrade their classrooms. These boards also help students learn through different online programs linked to their chrome books.

“Click on the screen and I can see how everybody answered that question. You can see all the answers and see what they are getting and what they are not getting. And then, that’s sort of a jump start for more conversations,” said Cash.

Amy Cash – STAR Teacher of the Year
Amy Cash – STAR Teacher of the Year(WALB)

Schools across Lee County will be receiving these boards and faculty and staff will receive adequate training to learn how to use them.

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