**STAR Student**

By Rileykate Mullis 

In a school year when so many challenges faced students of all ages and stages, Erin Parker committed to continued academic success, reached for the stars, and ultimately became one.

Due to her countless hours of study and her drive to succeed, Parker, a senior at Dodge County High School scored a 1450 on her SAT and was named the 2020-2021 STAR Student. 

To be recognized as a STAR student, high school seniors must obtain the highest score on a single test date on the two-part SAT and be in the top ten percent of their respective senior class based on grade point average.

Upon hearing the news that she’d been named STAR Student, Parker said, “It is certainly an honor to be named STAR Student. I am very proud to have accomplished something of this nature.”

Parker largely credits her academic success to all of the teachers who worked to see their students succeed, her personal implementation of effective study methods, and the support from her family.

To acknowledge and honor teachers who have encouraged students throughout their journey, each STAR Student chooses a STAR Teacher.

Parker has chosen her ninth grade English teacher, Amy Mullis, as this year’s STAR Teacher. 

“I chose Mrs. Mullis as STAR Teacher because she taught me what I needed for the English portion of the SAT,” Parker continued reflectively. “You can clearly see that she has a passion for teaching after just one class with her.”

Mullis said she is certainly proud of but was not surprised to learn that Parker had earned this coveted honor. 

Erin came into my ninth grade class four years ago equipped with an incomparable hunger for learning, with knowledge and understanding beyond her years, and with a quiet and humble passion to learn and do more,” said Mullis. “I am so impressed by the young woman Erin is and so humbled to be chosen as her STAR Teacher.”

When she’s not studying or working, Parker enjoys reading, writing, and running. She worships at Antioch Baptist Church #1.

At DCHS, she is a member of Beta Club and has been a part of the Cross Country team since middle school. 

In addition to STAR Student, Parker has been honored many times during her high school career. She is the third honor graduate of DCHS for the Class of 2021 and has received a President’s Merit Scholarship from Mercer University, and was also the MVP of the girls’ cross country team.

Parker has balanced all of these extracurriculars and achievements and maintained all A’s in her high school and dual enrollment classes. 

Parker is the daughter of Fred and Leigh Parker and  has four siblings: Marlyn, Lauren, Morgan, and Xavier. 

After graduation, plans are to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mercer University in the fall.

DCHS Principal Pam Melvin congratulated Parker on this achievement.

It is such an honor to recognize Erin Parker as the STAR Student for Dodge County High School,” Melvin said. “She is a very intelligent student who has set high academic goals for herself.

Melvin continued, complimentary of Mullis, “It goes without saying that it is no surprise that Ms. Mullis has been recognized as the STAR Teacher at DCHS.

“She has always been a proponent for student success. She is a caring and encouraging educator for all of her students. We are so fortunate to have her at DCHS,” she added.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is co-sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.