With a SAT score just 50 points short of perfect, Lakeside High senior Katie Bollag tied with classmate Mihir Patel to become Columbia County’s co-STAR Student last week.
Bollag, 18, scored a 790 on critical reading, 780 on writing and 780 in math to attain 2350 on the SAT. The STAR Student annually is given to the student scoring the highest on the college assessment.
For STAR Teacher, Bollag picked her Math Team coach Lilly Good, a woman she and others call “Mama G.”
“She really was the first person I went to after getting my SAT score,” said Bollag, referring to a statement she made Thursday during the STAR Student reception in Harlem. “She’s the one I always go to when something big happens in my life or I need advice.”
The close relationship developed when Bollag took Good’s advanced Math II class in 10th grade.
“She cares,” Bollag said of Good’s teaching style. “She wants you to do well in classes and works with you to help you do well.”
Bollag was describing a teaching philosophy Good said she embraced when she became a teacher 15 years ago.
“I always try not to teach the subject. I teach the student,” Good said. “Everybody learns differently. You can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching.”
Also a teacher of AP calculus, Good said Bollag stands out in the classroom.
“I teach an advanced class full of outstanding students,” Good said. “And in a room full of outstanding students, Katie was outstanding.”
A desire to learn more than just what is written in textbooks will serve Bollage well, Good said, as she endeavors to become a veterinary research scientist.
“I love animals,” Bollag said. “I ride horses, and just love being around them. I even did my senior project on dog agility training and volunteered at the spay/neuter clinic for the Columbia County Humane Society.”
To further her education, Bollag already has fielded acceptance letters from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Penn State.
She also hopes to win acceptance to Princeton and Yale universities.