Optimist Club of Jasper

Optimist Club of Jasper

Saturday, February 18, 2017

STAR Student - 2017

STAR Teacher Will Nix with STAR Student Johnny Friedman
Jonathan Friedman named PHS 2017 STAR Student


Jonathan Friedman has been named the 2017 STAR Student of Pickens High School.  The announcement is made by the Optimist Club of Jasper, local sponsor for the Pickens STAR Program.  Friedman is the son of Aury and Patti Friedman of Talking Rock.  He has selected
Mr. Wil Nix as his STAR Teacher.

The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, is administered and promoted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE).  Since its inception in 1958 the STAR program has honored nearly 26,000 students and the teachers selected as the most influential to their academic achievement. 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 ten percent or top ten students of their class based on grade point average.

Mr. Friedman plans to attend Northwestern University in Chicago after graduation from PHS in May.  He plans to study Engineering. Jonathan states that he selected Mr. Nix as his STAR Teacher “Because he has been the teacher who helped me the most, both through my time at PHS and once I moved to the Advanced Academy.  He has been there for me through that whole time and I feel that I owe much of my position to him.” 

Jonathan is currently dual enrolled and is attending The Advanced Academy of Georgia in Carrollton.  He has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since 2004 and obtained Eagle Scout in 2015.  He has participated in several academic competitions including serving as the Math Team Leader at the Berry College Competition from 2010 -2012.  He was a member of the Academic Team from 2013 – 2015. 

Mr. Friedman has a First-Degree Black Belt in Martial Arts.  He was a Governor’s Honor Program Nominee in 2015 and a National Merit Commended Scholar.  At PHS he is a member of the PHS Beta Club and was a member of the Travel Club from 2013 to 2015.  He is currently on the Advanced Academy Senior Committee and the Advanced Academy Yearbook Committee.
  

Mr. Nix has taught for 11 years and is currently the Chair of the English Department at PHS.  He also serves as the Travel Club Sponsor, Academic Club Sponsor, Governor’s Honors Coordinator, and the SAT Teaching Coordinator for PHS.  Mr. Nix is married to
Laura Nix. 

When asked to describe his STAR Student, Mr. Nix said, “Jonathan is a unique blend of talent, competitiveness, and compassion.  He strives for excellence, but not at the cost of others.  I witnessed this when I met him working in the school store.  He came in every day and put on his apron and got to work.  He had no reward to strive for at the time, but was committed to serving others and assisting Ms. Jessica Adams.  He worked hard every day and always with a smile.”

Mr. Nix went on to say about Jonathan, “He is not afraid to sacrifice to achieve.  He challenged himself and moved to West Georgia.  He avoided the easy path.  I admire that in him.”

Each year the Optimist Club ask the STAR Students and Teachers to complete a questionnaire.  Responses from all STARS will be in a later edition of the Pickens County Progress

The Optimist Club of Jasper will host the annual STAR Banquet on Thursday evening, March 9, 2017.  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 $24.00 per person.  The Woodbridge Inn, who has catered the Optimist STAR program since the first banquet, will again cater this year’s banquet.

Ms. Carrie McCurdy, the PHS STAR Student in 2000, will be the guest speaker for this year’s banquet.


For over 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 2017 Star Finalists are:

Student                      Teacher

Kyle Combs                     Angela Quarles
Laura Henke                   Lisa Hardman
Michael Jorgensen          Rodney Martin
Jackson Melton               Valerie Boehm
Danielle O’Dell                Lynn Cantrell
Sierra Stanfield               Seana Thompson
Roman Tapia                   Robbie Cheatham
Kelsey Wise                    Gail Culbreth
Mary Zuidema                 Cheryl Carter

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