Evans High School literature teacher Debbie Daniel has been in the classroom for 35 years and in each of the five times that she's been named STAR teacher, she has been humbled by the experience.
"I 'retired' four years ago, but never actually left the classroom, as I now teach on a part-time basis" said Daniel, who was named STAR teacher this year by Evans High School senior Rebecca Welch, the school's STAR student.
"I have had the honor of being selected STAR teacher five times; however, each time a STAR student chooses me is a surprising and humbling experience," Daniel said
Daniel said this year's honor comes from a student who is witty, intelligent and talented.
"Honest, loyal, compassionate, understanding -- these are words that her friends use to describe her, and those are the traits that I see in her, as well," Daniel said. "I first taught Rebecca in the 10th grade and this year, she is a student in my AP literature class. I can count on Rebecca to understand difficult concepts and her writing, which I always look forward to reading, is mature and insightful."
Rebecca, the daughter of Charles and Julie Welch, of Martinez, said she was surprised to be named her school's STAR student.
"I was just kind of like, 'Oh, my,' " said Rebecca, a member of the school's French club.
Rebecca said she has visited a number of colleges and has decided to attend Georgia Southern University -- her parents' alma mater -- on several "small" academic scholarships and the HOPE Scholarship.
"I visited a couple of colleges and that's the one that felt the most comfortable," she said, adding that she hasn't yet decided on a major. She knows, however, that she won't choose her parents' professions.
"I'm definitely not following either one of them," she said.
Her mom works in labor and delivery, and her dad is a math teacher and basketball coach at Aiken Technical College.
"I fully expect Rebecca to continue her academic success in college, and I can see Rebecca becoming an excellent writer or teacher someday -- or maybe even both. Rebecca is a pleasure to teach and to know," Daniel said.
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