DCS announces Vals, Sals, STAR Students and Teachers

DeSoto County Schools Thursday recognized STAR students, STAR teachers, valedictorians, and salutatorians from each high school at its Thursday, April 21 board meeting.  These students are selected based on academic achievement. 

The valedictorian has the highest weighted grade point average in the senior class; the salutatorian has the next highest weighted grade point average in the graduating class.

The STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) Student and Teacher program was established by the Mississippi Economic Council in 1965. 

“American College Test (ACT) scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine each high school’s STAR student,” said Vickie Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations. 

Every STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement. 

DeSoto Central High School:

  • Valedictorian – Abigail Landon
  • Salutatorian – Jeffery Chen
  • STAR Student – Spencer Hardin
  • STAR Teacher – Mary Kylie Ruff

Hernando High School:

  • Valedictorian – Sydney Guntharp
  • Salutatorian – Julia Polk
  • STAR Students – Kathleen Hilliard and John Fulcher
  • STAR Teachers – Shawn Swift and Tonya Floate

Horn Lake High School:

  • Valedictorian – Janel Marquez
  • Salutatorian – Illiana Barshinger
  • STAR Student – David Juarez Flores
  • STAR Teacher – Missy Walker  

Lake Cormorant High School:

  • Valedictorian – Robert Austin Price
  • Salutatorian – Kalynn Grace Smith
  • STAR Student – Hannah Marie Burks
  • STAR Teacher – Jason Adams

Lewisburg High School:

  • Valedictorian – Riley Littleton
  • Salutatorian – Joshua Greganti
  • STAR Students – Joshua Greganti, Riley Littleton, Isabella Love, and David Truett
  • STAR Teachers – Patricia Tabor, Kim Pickering, Maggie Dennis, and Lacey Fitts

Olive Branch High School:

  • Valedictorian – Gavin Taylor
  • Salutatorian – Jake Ford
  • STAR Student – Gavin Taylor
  • STAR Teacher – Russell Prince

Southaven High School:

  • Valedictorian – Nicholas Douglas
  • Salutatorian – Brandon Suh
  • STAR Student – Nicholas Douglas
  • STAR Teacher – Julie Pasterchick

Center Hill High School:

  • Valedictorian – Maya Nicole Jones
  • Salutatorian – Caroline Elise Lewis
  • STAR Student – Naila Josselyn Garcia Tarin
  • STAR Teacher – Alisha Green

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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