A shy, quiet young man was brought out of his shell four years ago and now holds the STAR Student honor at Harlem High School.
Anthony Dyches, well known for his academic successes, said that he entered high school as a reserved individual. He decided to try his hand at acting, hesitantly auditioning for the school's spring musical.
It was through his only line in the school production of He's Crazy for You that Anthony began to shed that shy demeanor and express who he was -- someone who wanted to be known for more than just his academic prowess.
By naming Roy Lewis as his STAR Teacher, Anthony said he sent the message that the theater teacher had a tremendous effect on his high school years and future career decision.
"He helped bring me out of my shell and for people to see me for more than just academics," said Anthony, who has since performed in several school productions and plans to major in theater education or theater performance at either Columbus State University or Shorter College. "Every other teacher has made an academic impact, but he's made a personal impact."
Lewis was surprised and excited to be named a STAR Teacher.
"I wasn't sure it was supposed to be me. I have never been so honored in my teaching career as being selected as STAR Teacher.
"It's overwhelming to think that this honor is bestowed on so few from so many," he added. "It made me realize the impact that we as teachers have on individuals and sometimes we aren't aware of it."
When describing his STAR Student, Lewis likens Anthony to being a leader who knows how to follow.
"He embodies the teachings of Nelson Mandela and Jesus of being a leader by being a follower, but who can be a leader among his peers," Lewis said. "Anthony is quite a remarkable young man. He's very quiet and unassuming in his demeanor, but when you see him on stage, he is amazing."
Anthony, the son of Phillip and Wanda Dyches of Grovetown, said despite his numerous performances in the past four years at Harlem High School, he still gets nervous before going on stage.
"There are some people that have that problem before testing, but for me it's right before I go on stage," he said. "After the first scene or so, though, I feel less shaky."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.