In the Swearingen family, it's not uncommon to be a star: a STAR student, that is.
"I was excited," said Haley Swearingen, this year's STAR student at Evans High School. "My sister was her school's STAR student, so it's kind of neat that two people in our family have gotten this honor."
Older sister Erin Swearingen graduated from Augusta Christian Schools in 2003, having earned the coveted STAR student honor at her school her senior year. With Haley recently taking the STAR student honor, Colin Swearingen is next in line.
"It definitely comes from my parents," said Haley, who holds numerous leadership roles at her school, including president of the National Honor Society, treasurer of the Beta Club and secretary of the Spanish honor society.
"They are always encouraging us to do well in whatever we do."
Haley, the daughter of Terry and Lauren Swearingen, of Evans, credits her teachers for giving her added encouragement and said they are always "pushing her to do well." One teacher who gave Haley extra support last year when she was homebound after surgery was Vicki Tarleton, a teacher in the school's math department.
"Mrs. Tarleton was my homebound teacher and I just got to know her really well," said Haley, who had not been taught by Tarleton before. "I decided to sign up for her computer science class this year because I liked her so much."
Tarleton said she was honored to be chosen as the STAR teacher "by a student who sets such a great example for her classmates, both inside and outside the classroom."
Additionally, Tarleton said Haley, who was named salutatorian of the 2006 graduating class at EHS, said her STAR student easily impresses her.
"It's easy to be impressed with Haley's academic abilities," she said. "She truly fulfills the definition of a well-rounded student. She is driven and competitive in the classroom, but her maturity and character are the qualities that grab you immediately. Her peers, as well as the faculty at EHS, hold her in the highest regard. She is the epitome of a true leader with ethics and integrity."
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