Scholars Academy students, Jacob Rieber and Sharon Autry, can add one more honor that they have in common as they have tied for the Thomasville City Schools Class of 2016 Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) award after scoring the exact same highest score in one sitting on the SAT.
To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on any single test date of the three-part 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.
The Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation STAR program not only honors outstanding high school seniors, but the teachers who have been most instrumental in their success. Rieber chose AP Physics, AP Environmental Science, and physical science teacher Jonathan Ariail. Autry chose AP U.S. History, AP World History, and AP Psychology teacher Erin White.
“I am extremely proud of Jacob, it is fantastic to see what outstanding students are capable of by hard work and dedication,” said Ariail.
“It makes me very proud to be selected as the STAR teacher because then I know for a fact I have done my job in making a difference in one's life,” said White.
Autry and Rieber’s resumés mirror each other through a shared love for fine arts, creativity, and academic competition.
The two have competed on an Odyssey of the Mind team since the eighth grade. Currently, their team is heading to state competition after winning 1st place and the prestigious Ranatra Fusca award at regional competition. They and their teammates hope to return to World Finals for the 4th time this year. They have progressively placed higher during each appearance at World Finals: 25th, 14th, and most recently placing 6th.
They have both held principal roles and designed sets for Thomasville City Schools Drama Program One Act Play and spring musical productions all four years of high school. One Act Play casts were named 1-AA Region Champs for 3 of their 4 years in high school, and their senior year cast went on to win the GHSA State Championship. Individual acting awards for Rieber include: Region All-Star Cast (twice), State All-Star Cast (twice), and State Best Actor. Autry was named Best Actress in a One Act Play.
They both served on the Scholars Academy Mock Trial team with Autry named “Outstanding Attorney” and Rieber named “Outstanding Witness” on numerous occasions. Both competed in GHSA Literary with Autry winning 1st in Region 1-AA and 2nd at State Literary in Essay and Rieber winning 1st in Region 1-AA and 2nd at State Literary in Dramatic Interpretation.
Autry and Rieber earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award in 10th grade and progressed to the level of AP Scholar with Distinction Award in 11th grade by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams.
“I studied a bunch for the SAT. I never had a tutor, but I just went through the blue book and took a ton of practice tests,” said Rieber.
Rieber received academic awards annually: Grade 9 - Received highest overall average, highest average in Biology, Economics, AP Government and Politics, and Math; Grade 10 - highest overall average; highest average in Chemistry, AP World History, Latin, and Math; and Grade 11 - highest overall average; highest average in Math, American Literature, AP Biology, and AP United States History, perfect score on the Georgia High School Writing Test, Presbyterian College Fellows for Superior Scholastic Achievement.Georgia Certificate of Merit for superior scholastic endeavors through outstanding achievement in high school.
Rieber is the President of National Honors Society, achieved Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout rank, received Summa Cum Laude gold medal on the National Latin Exam, and won 1st place at the Thomasville City and Region Science and Engineering Fairs.
“I also found collegeconfidential.org really helpful to me also; it’s a great study tool,” said Rieber.
Autry received academic awards annually: Grade 9 - highest average in Latin, Economics, AP Government and Politics, and English; Grade 10 - highest average in AP Language and Composition, perfect score on the Graduation Writing Test; and Grade 11 - highest average in American Literature.
“Sharon is so talented in so many areas that it is difficult for her to decide what she wants to devote her studies to after high school, but I am so excited to see what she ends up doing,” said White.
Autry was named as a finalist and attended the prestigious Governor’s Honors Program as a Communicative Arts major, is a member of National Honors Society, received Summa Cum Laude gold medal on the National Latin Exam, and won 1st place at the Thomasville City and Region Science and Engineering Fairs and 2nd place overall at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
“Learn how to study for the test and actually study, you want to make sure that you prepare really well between each SAT, ACT, or other school tests to succeed,” said Autry.
“I am so proud of all of the seniors this year. This class is very competitive and the great thing about them is that they are all very supportive of each other,” said White.