Scholars Academy students are known to shoot for the stars academically. Asa Harbin has been awarded and will be honored as the Class of 2017 STAR Student with the highest College Board Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score in the Thomasville City School System.
To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on any single test date of the SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average. Nominees’ SAT scores must be equal to or higher than the latest available national average on the critical reading, math, and writing sections.
Kiwanis, a major sponsor for STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) at the local level in Thomasville, recognizes the school’s highest achieving high school seniors and influential teachers in their academic efforts. Annually, a STAR student is recognized and gets the chance to choose a teacher that has had the most instrumental role in their academic development.
Harbin faced the tough responsibility of choosing a specific STAR teacher that has impacted and played a significant role in his academic achievement. Noteworthy, he actually chose as his STAR teacher Dr. Dale Graham, who is his AP Calculus BC teacher and serves as the Director of Scholars Academy.
¨Dr. Graham has always been incredibly encouraging in everything I’ve pursued. There is a lot that I wouldn’t have been able to do without her support,” commented Harbin on choosing his STAR teacher.
Dr. Graham got the chance to comment on Harbin’s unique academic abilities and how he represents his self-sufficient classmates.
“Asa is a fabulous independent learner,” praised Dr. Graham on Harbin’s ability to work independently as well as learning more than the required material for a high school student.
The Scholars Academy is popular for its free, self-driven environment in the classroom and customized approach to course scheduling. Several courses allow students, including underclassmen, to learn independently at a comfortable rate. Courses taught in a “flipped classroom” style paired with other traditional lecture-delivery classes give students varied teaching style experiences. Significantly, the free classroom environment enhances students’ test scores and ability to succeed on the college level.
¨I have had the freedom to choose my own academic path here at the Scholars Academy. It is a very supportive environment for people who want to achieve academically and do it on their own terms,” stated Harbin on the self-driven environment of the Scholars Academy.
In fact, Harbin has been a member of Odyssey of the Mind, a workshop class on campus that allows students to program, build, and brainstorm to create and solve problems in order to develop technical skills. Last year, Harbin’s OM team headed to state competition after winning 1st place and the prestigious Ranatra Fusca award at regional competition. His OM team went on to win in their third appearance at World Finals. Harbin added his opinion on his role on the OM team.
“It helped release my mind from typical straitlaced academia,” said Harbin.
Harbin told Dr. Graham that he had a list of teachers that impacted him during his time at Scholars Academy. He feels that credit is due to many of his teachers.
“It was an utmost honor to be among the group of teachers and faculty that Asa has listed. I speak for the entire staff when I say that we really appreciate it when we see any student succeed,” commended Dr. Graham.