Stephen Cai loves the self-expression possible through music.
"I feel that music is the best way that I can express my innermost feelings," said Cai, this year's STAR Student at Greenbrier High School. "Music is the class I look forward to during the day and at the end of the day. Music is what gives me the most satisfaction."
It's no wonder that Cai, one of the Wolfpack's drum majors and first chair clarinet player, would choose his band instructor as his STAR teacher.
"I was honored and humbled at Stephen Cai's nomination," said Michael Katterjohn, the director of bands at Greenbrier High. "Out of all the AP class teachers he could have chosen, it was a very special honor.
"When I pray to the Lord, I ask Him to allow me to have a lasting, positive effect on my students, both musically and spiritually. I am humbled to have had an effect in Stephen's life."
Before being awarded with the school's Student Teacher Achievement Recognition honor, Cai said he was satisfied with being among the top 10 in his class in regards to academics.
Now, he's enjoying all of the recognition that comes with such an honor as having the highest SAT score in his school.
"When I took the SAT, I didn't know much about the STAR Student program," said Cai, 18, the son of Charles Cai and Jane Liu, of Evans. "I was just focused on getting a good score for college."
Cai attended the Governor's Honors Program last summer as a math major. He is president of the school's math team and recently won the varsity title at a meet in Statesboro.
He has received a full scholarship to the Georgia Institute of Technology through the Presidential Scholar Program.
"I'll most likely go there and major in either biomedical or industrial engineering," Cai said, although he has yet to make a final decision on where he will attend college.
Aside from being musically talented, Cai enjoys playing on the school's varsity golf team and is a member of the International Golf Academy at Jones Creek.
"I'm fairly new to the game of golf," said Cai. "I have played the game for about three years and I fell in love with it."
During the upcoming spring break, Cai hopes to once again be on the grounds of the Augusta National, watching some of the greatest names in the game do their best to win the coveted green jacket.
Cai had the opportunity to see his first Masters Tournament in person several years ago and recalls the experience as nothing short of amazing.
"It was my first time at a professional golf tournament," said Cai. "It was just amazing."
"Amazing" is one of the words that Katterjohn uses to describe his student.
"He is a leader by example, doing menial tasks, conducting the band, as well as playing his clarinet with great finesse and precision," Katterjohn said. "His love for music and band is evident in his leadership."
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