Editors Note: This week, The Columbia County News-Times is profiling people who have been honored this year by the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition program.
Anant and Adam share Lakeside High School's STAR student title this year. Anant chose teacher Marsie Anderson as his STAR teacher, and Adam chose teacher Jane Elliott.
The 17-year-old son of Mahendra and Rama Mandawat of Martinez, Anant said he chose Anderson for her "professionalism, her inspiration, her drive and her dedication. She really cares about what happens with her students," he said.
Anderson, who with Elliott is the school's first female teacher to be named a STAR teacher, said the honor is one that still has her in a state of shock.
"I kept asking Anant, 'Are you sure?' I have been six feet off the ground ever since he asked," said Anderson, who teaches advanced placement U.S. History, a class Anant took as a sophomore.
"Anant always did more than what was required. He came back to me seeking clarification about issues, events, people," Anderson said. "He has an engaging personality, a good sense of humor and excellent oral and written expression. Mostly, he is a nice young man who I have had the honor to teach and who taught me much in return."
Anant serves as vice president of Lakeside's Beta Club, vice president of Students Against Destructive Decisions and secretary of the Honor Council. He also is a tutor at Augusta Urban Ministries and likes to spend time at the YMCA.
"I was really happy - it was something special," he said of being named a STAR student.
Anant hopes to be awarded a Foundation Fellowship, for which he already has an interview, at the University of Georgia. He plans to study medicine.
"I want to do something international," he said. "I want to do something where I can travel a lot."
Fellow classmate Adam also said he is excited about being named a STAR student. He said when it came to choosing a STAR teacher, the decision was not a difficult one.
"She's been teaching me for three years in French," he said about Elliott. "It's a subject that could be made extremely boring and a pain, but she's constantly presenting it to us in an interesting and entertaining way.
"She develops a relationship with her students that goes beyond the classroom. She's stood by me when other people wouldn't."
Elliott said she's thrilled that Adam was named a STAR student, a promise he made to her several years ago.
"Adam promised me two years ago he was going to win this for me," she said, describing Adam as one of the best students she has ever taught. "And he did.
"He's a pleasure to have in class."
Adam, the 18-year-old son of Mary Riser of Martinez and Bob Colligan of Augusta, is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, French Club and debate team at Lakeside. He serves as president of the French Honor Society and helped co-found the Young Democrats earlier this school year.
Adam already has been accepted to Cambridge University on a conditional acceptance, meaning he must maintain certain grades in his advanced placement classes to be granted accepted. He plans to major in social and political sciences.
LAKESIDE HIGH SCHOOL
Student: Adam Colligan
Teacher: Jane Elliott
Student: Anant Mandawat
Teacher: Marsie Anderson
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