Augusta Christian Schools’ STAR Student, Garrett Sisson, and STAR Teacher, Joseph Lutz, don’t have much in common.
However, both adore stories and the power storytellers have to open minds and inspire greatness.
“I think stories teach us how to live well and how to die well. ... The stories that we teach are all-encompassing,” said Lutz, a nine-year English teacher at Augusta Christian. “There is a story that teaches any kind of situation we deal with in life.”
Sisson, who scored a 2100 on the SAT to earn the STAR Student title, long has been involved in the fine arts. He started playing in the school band as a fifth-grader, and acts for the school’s Drama Club.
“An actor can give you a different insight you didn’t have before so you can hear a new story,” Sisson said. “As an actor, I enjoy being that storyteller and providing that new experience.”
But a life on the stage isn’t Sisson’s ultimate goal. He wants to be the creator, not the interpreter of someone else’s literary work.
In the fall, Sisson hopes to attend Northwestern University near Chicago or Hamilton College in New York to study creative writing.
“I like working with words,” he said. “That creativity is my passion.”
Lutz’s passion is a career helping others.
“I remember thinking ... I could never work in a cubicle,” Lutz, 31, said of a conversation he had with his mother at age 16. “I’d have to work with people, to help them.”
Though he initially considered a career in medicine, Lutz said he is “not so good with meaty, bloody flesh on a human.”
A love of literature later led him to pursue a career as a teacher.
It’s a job Lutz performs well, Sisson said.
“He treated us with respect, like adults,” Sisson said of his experience in Lutz’s 10th-grade English class.
For his part, Lutz said he enjoyed Sisson’s open-minded approach to education.
“He was willing to see a story or philosophical point from someone else’s point of view and then reconsider his evaluation,” Lutz said. “Garret wouldn’t necessarily change his overall view, but still would consider other options.”