Optimist Club of Jasper

Optimist Club of Jasper

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 S.T.A.R. Student, Finalists and Teachers!

Andrew Haygood named PHS 2015 STAR Student


Andrew Haygood has been named the 2015 STAR Student of Pickens High School.  The announcement is made by the Optimist Club of Jasper, local sponsor for the Pickens STAR Program.  Haygood is the son of Jennifer Haygood of Jasper.  He has selected Mr. Michael Oubre as his STAR Teacher.

The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, now in its 57th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education.  Since its inception, the STAR Program has honored more than 25,000 students and the teachers they have selected as having the most influence on their academic success.  To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three part SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.

Mr. Haygood plans to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN after graduation.  Andrew states that he selected Mr. Oubre as his STAR Teacher for several reasons saying that “He has played a vital role in my life since the summer before my freshman year, at my first band camp.  From day one, I knew that he was the kind of leader I wanted to be.  He was strong, firm, determined, and caring. I vastly improved as a musician under the direction of Mr. Oubre, but that is not what is most important to me. The life skills he taught me are the most important. Mr. Oubre is the reason that: I will always be everywhere I go long before I have to be there, because as he always says, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is laps”, I will always rise above what is expected of me and go the extra mile, and I will always be the change I want to see in the world. Mr. Oubre taught me the true meaning of excellence, and I will never be able to repay him for that. Yay Band!”
Andrew is a member of the Pride of Pickens Band (captain), PHS Academic Team (captain), Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Team (president), 4-H (president), Beta Club (secretary), Student Government Association (12th Grade Rep.), FBLA, FCA, Youth Leadership Pickens.  He attends First Baptist Woodstock/Jasper on Sundays, and is part of the Mountainview Alliance Church Youth Group.

His hobbies include reading, hanging out with friends, and going to concerts.  Here are some interesting things about Mr. Haygood: last year he spent 90 days training a previously untouched wild mustang to prepare for a competition, and he placed fourth overall. He became a Master 4-H'er this summer through a speaking competition where he placed first in the state. Haygood was voted by his peers to be this year's Mr. PHS. He was also one of only 109 students from Georgia to be selected to attend the Washington Youth Tour last summer sponsored by Amicalola EMC.
Michael Oubre is in his fourth year as the band director at Pickens High School and he has taught for fifteen years. Previously, Mr. Oubre was the band director at Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, GA from 2007-2011. Mr. Oubre came to Winder-Barrow in 2000 as the assistant band director. A native of Sumter, SC, Mr. Oubre graduated from Furman University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree. While at Furman, Mr. Oubre served as trumpet section leader for the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and the Paladin Regiment and also served as the Drum Major. He then went to The University of Georgia to complete a Master of Music Education degree in 2000 with an emphasis in conducting. While he was at UGA, Mr. Oubre was a graduate assistant with the Redcoat Band and University Bands program. In 2007, Mr. Oubre completed the requirements for a Specialist Degree in Instruction and Curriculum from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.

Mr. Oubre has been active in the Georgia Music Educators Association District 13 and has served as the District Band Chair twice and as Co-Organizer of the Large Group Performance Evaluation for seven years. Mr. Oubre served as the State Chair for the National Band Association, Georgia Chapter for five years and has recently begun that service again.  He recently finished serving as the District 9 GMEA Band Chair (2012-2014).  He served as the District Honor Band (11-12) Organizer and Host and has also served as the host for the Solo and Ensemble event. He has served as the District Secretary/Treasurer.  He is an active judge in Georgia for marching and concert band events. Mr. Oubre taught trumpet at ENCORE! Music Camp, leadership at Joycliffe Summer Camps, and served as the clinician of the Symphonic Band at the Furman University Band Camp in the Summer of 2009 and as the clinician for the Floyd County Honor Bands in 2012.


Mr. Oubre says this about Andrew: “Andrew is a phenomenal young man.  I work with many talented, motivated and intelligent students, but it has truly been a pleasure to work with someone like Andrew who encompasses all of those traits and more.  Andrew has been able to do all that he has done academically and still maintain a very active presence in many school groups like the band, the Academic Team and through the 4-H Club.  He has served as Band Captain and Section Leader in our program and has done an outstanding job of it in so many ways.  Andrew relates well to everyone around him and truly wants everyone to be successful, involved and active with what we do.  I love his personality- he doesn’t take himself too seriously and he is a great blend of scholastic aptitude and personality.  He is very well-respected among his peers and teachers alike.”   

The Optimist Club of Jasper will host the annual STAR Banquet on Thursday evening, March 5, 2015.  The banquet will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Chattahoochee Technical College, 100 Campus Drive, Jasper, Georgia.  Anyone interested in attending the banquet should email the Optimist Club at pickensstar@etcmail.com  Reservations are required and tickets are $22.00 per person.  The Woodbridge Inn, who has catered the Optimist STAR program since the first banquet, will again cater this years’ banquet.

Ms. Cathy Cox, President of Young Harris College and former Georgia Secretary of State, will be the guest speaker for this year’s banquet.

For 25 years the Optimists have recognized the PHS STAR Student and Teacher along with nine STAR Finalists with the largest and most unique local STAR Banquet in this statewide program.  In the local program, the Optimists not only recognize the STAR Student and Teacher, but an additional nine STAR Student and Teacher Finalists. 

The 2015 Star Finalists are:

Student                       Teacher

Jesse Brooks                     Christi Hobgood
Johnson Collins                 Joe Wright
Ryan Evans                       Lynn Cantrell
Savannah Friedman          Gail Culbreth
Abygayle Gibson               Lisa Payne
Kari Henke                       Robbie Cheatham
Olivia Parker                     Nikki Towery
Brad Rutledge                   Sue Gibbons
Kyle Watters                     Bobby Timms

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