Optimist Club of Jasper

Optimist Club of Jasper

Monday, February 1, 2016

PHS 2004 STAR Student Cory Watson to be the Guest Speaker at the 2016 STAR Banquet




Cory Watson, the 2004 Pickens High School STAR Student, will be the guest speaker for this year’s STAR Banquet.  Watson is the son of Ben and Kelli Dillard of Jasper. He currently works as the lead web developer for Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta, Georgia. In fiscal year 2015, with the support of 2 million volunteers and donations in excess of $250 million, Habitat served nearly 1.8 million people through home construction, incremental construction, rehabilitation, repairs, or increased access to improved shelter through products and services. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has helped more than 6.8 million people obtain a safer place to sleep at night along with the strength, stability, and independence to build better lives. After graduation from PHS, Cory attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 2009 with dual Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management degrees. Following this, he spent a year interning with the Wesley Foundation at UGA, where he mentored students and worked to plan interdenominational events to promote unity and shared vision on campus. In 2010he began his career as a business manager and designer for Riverstone Graphics, a design and printing firm in Holly Springs. After working there for a year, he moved to Atlanta to take a job as a web and technology specialist at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He worked at Georgia State for four years, during which he planned and implemented two full rebuildsof the school’s website. While working at Georgia State, he earned an additional Master of Arts degree in economics and taught two undergraduate courses as an adjunct faculty member. Cory accepted his current position at Habitat for Humanity in 2013. He serves as the lead developer and user experience specialist for the habitat.org website, a property that attracts over 5 million unique visitors a year.He is also the sole owner of SeeWatson LLC, through which he contracts to build websites for a variety of clients. Cory lives in DecaturGeorgia and enjoys returning to Jasper to visit his family and look at the stars (Atlanta only has one or two). He is an avid musician, tennis player, rock climber, cook, and aspiring blacksmith

 The Optimist Club of Jasper will host the annual STAR Banquet on Thursday eveningFebruary 25, 2016.  The banquet will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Chattahoochee TechnicalCollege100 Campus DriveJasperGeorgia.  Anyone interested in attending the banquet should email the Optimist Club at pickensstar@etcmail.com  Reservations are required and tickets are $24.00 per person.  The Woodbridge Inn will cater this years’ banquet.

For over 25 years the Optimists haverecognized 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 2016 STAR Banquet will also honor the STAR Student from Mountain Education Charter High School.  Shea Hammontree is the 2016 STAR Student at MECHS and she chose Mrs. Susan Anderson as her STAR Teacher.  Hannah Kilpatrick is the STAR Student for Pickens High School and she chose Mrs. Christine Westbrook as her STAR Teacher.

 These 2016 STAR Finalists from PHS are:

Student​             Teacher

Anne Brown-Goolsby       Leah VanDoran Cohen
Sadie Cornett​        Ted Estes
Christopher DensmoreRhonda Lane
Chris DiPuma​        Pam Parker
Logan Fountain​    Gail Culbreth
Kayla Low​   Michael Oubre
Austin Massey​    Kelly McArthur
Ginny Morris​      Christi Hobgood

Andres Torres​      Tonya Russo

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