Emily Bragg did little prep work to earn a perfect 2400 on the SAT and become the first Greenbrier High School student to win Columbia County's STAR Student award.
The 18-year-old said her natural talents and hobbies prepared her for the rigorous exam meant to measure a student's aptitude for college course work.
"Math has always been my strong subject and I read a lot," she said. "I was able to recognize a lot of the vocabulary words within the context of my reading."
Though pleased with winning the honor, especially considering the boost it might provide her in obtaining scholarships to Georgia Tech, a prior commitment prevented Bragg from attending the STAR Student ceremony held Thursday at the Harlem Woman's Club.
Bragg was at Georgia Southern University that day to take part in a Model United Nations competition.
"I wish I'd been able to attend, because it is a really great honor, but being there for my team at Model U.N. was necessary," she said. "We have so many new people this year that needed help. I don't think I could have left them and not been mad at myself."
Bragg's sense of responsibility makes her a great student and deserving of STAR Student status, said Greenbrier High teacher Tracy Roden, who Bragg selected as STAR Teacher.
As a new teacher to Greenbrier, Roden taught Bragg in a freshmen world history class. Roden said she learned quickly how exceptional Bragg was and quickly enlisted her to the Model U.N. team, which Roden sponsors.
"Emily has always been there for me," Roden said during a speech at the Thursday ceremony. "I'm extremely honored by this."
Occasionally, educators get burned out by the demands of their jobs and often seek out someone to inspire and remind them why they chose that career path, Roden said.
"Emily has done that for me more than once," she said.
Bragg echoed Roden's sentiment during a Monday telephone interview.
"Both as a teacher and a person, she's so amazing," Bragg said of Roden. "She's an excellent teacher, but she's also someone I can talk to when I need to. I really respect her."
Bragg now will represent Columbia County for the Area 7 STAR Student award.
The district ceremony will be held March 12 at First Baptist Church in Thomson.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.