Lindsey Liu has finally seen the payoff of so much testing in school.
"It feels great," said the county's STAR student after it was announced last week that she had scored higher on the SAT than any other senior in Columbia County. "Probably because I'm thinking, 'All this testing stuff is finally good for something.'"
At the ceremony for this year's Student Teacher Achievement Recognition, held Feb. 8 at the Harlem Women's Club, Lindsey, a senior at Lakeside High School, said she wanted to scream out in excitement.
"But I don't think 'Woo hoo' would've gone over well," said the 17-year-old daughter of Drs. Fengqi Liu and Mei Zheng, of Martinez.
Each STAR student must choose a STAR teacher. Lindsey chose Charles Heywood, a literature teacher at Lakeside High.
"What being named STAR teacher again means is that perhaps I am living up to the promise I made myself when I started teaching in Columbia County 26 years ago," Heywood said, adding that some of his teachers inspired him.
Lakeside has produced the county STAR student 15 of the 19 years it has been in existence.
"Thanks to Mr. Heywood, I can honestly say I love literature," Lindsey said. When she isn't busy memorizing facts and formulas and dissecting poetry, Lindsey is fully immersed in her music. She said she enjoys electronica and bluegrass the most. She also is a member of the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestra, where she's been a violinist for four years. This year, she serves as concertmaster of the orchestra and recently began taking harp lessons.
"I started taking harp lessons for my senior project, which is just an excuse because I've always wanted to play harp," she said. "I'm interested in becoming certified as a harp therapist."
Additionally, Lindsey has created a program for Lakeside students who play instruments to interact with residents at Brandon Wilde.
"One of my serious interests is increasing retirement community residents' quality of life through music," she said.
Born in China, Lindsey has moved throughout the United States as her parents sought better educational and job opportunities. She has lived in the Augusta area since she was in the seventh grade.
Following graduation in May, Lindsey plans to take some time to unwind. Afterwards, she will enroll in college, although she isn't sure where yet, and plans to major in biochemistry. Lindsey was named a finalist for the Georgia Institute of Technology's presidential scholarship.
"Lindsey, hopefully, will take her excitement with the 'life of the mind' with her when she graduates from Lakeside and continue to be thrilled by it for a lifetime," Heywood said. "And I will have had the thrill of passing on to at least one more student the gift my teachers gave me so long ago."
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