Competitive sports will always be a big part of the educational experience. Participation in games builds character, while providing bonding experiences for the players and spectators.
But to get to the heart of what education is all about, it's hard to beat a couple of annual competitions that are all about the head.
First is the county's STAR Student competition. At its core, this annual event awards the student in good standing with the best score on the SAT. Greenbrier High School's Emily Bragg nailed the county honor this year with a perfect 2400 on the SAT.
Interestingly, Greenbrier's first-ever county STAR winner wasn't able to attend the ceremony in Harlem when the award was handed out. Emily was at Georgia Southern University that day participating in another academic competition: the Model United Nations.
A few days earlier, 10-year-old South Columbia Elementary's Rachael Cundey outlasted two eighth-graders to win the county's annual spelling bee competition.
Think this year's Super Bowl was exciting? It had nothing on the white-knuckle, back-and-forth of this year's bee. Rachael, a fourth-grader, finally spelled "rottweiler" correctly to nail the contest.
Both Emily and Rachael now go on to district competitions; the regional bee is March 7, while the next level of STAR is March 12.
Best of luck to both competitors as they represent Columbia County.
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