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HCHS and WRHS Tie for System STAR Student | Families

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HCHS and WRHS Tie for System STAR Student
HCHS and WRHS Tie for System STAR Student

Miriam Baker, Warner Robins High School senior, and Vania Lee, Houston County High School senior, tied for the 2011 System Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) students for Houston County. 

STAR students select a teacher most instrumental in their academic success. 

Miriam selected Barbara Hilliard, AP Literature teacher, as her STAR teacher, and Vania selected Margaret Molyson, AP Chemistry teacher.    

The winners were announced during a program hosted by the Perry Area and Robins Regional Chambers of Commerce at the Houston County Board of Education central office.

  Each STAR student and teacher received a $500 savings bond, and the system winners took home an additional $500 bond, for a total of $1,000 each. 

Altogether the Chambers presented $7,000 in savings bonds as awards. 

The system STAR students and teachers also received a half-hour flight at the Houston County Airport. 

Vania and Miriam will next compete at the region level.  The Region VII STAR banquet will be March 22, 2011, at Macon State College in at the Student Life Center.  The student named region winner will then advance to the state STAR banquet.  Biographies on the STARs follow.

Vania Roo-Ra Lee is the daughter of Jung Hoon Lee and Chan Sook Lee and the older sister of Rumi Lee.  She is the Valedictorian of her graduating class at Houston County High. 

Vania is also the President of the school Beta Club, Vice-President of National Honor Society and Tri-M Honors Society, and a peer tutor and mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

She has played the piano since the age of five and has been the state winner as well as the state representative to the national competition on multiple occasions.  She attended the Governor’s Honors Program in 2009 as a piano major and science minor as well as the Washington Youth Leadership Tour in 2010. 

A Houston Medical Center volunteer during the summer, she also volunteers through the Houston Volunteer Corps. Vania is a Presidential Scholars candidate, AP Scholar with distinction, and Joseph Maerz Music Award winner.

She plans to study Chemistry and Piano Performance, go to medical school, and become a cardiothoracic surgeon.  

Although she now calls Georgia home, Margaret Molyson grew up in New Orleans where she attended college and graduated from LSU in New Orleans in 1973 with a BS in Secondary Science Education. 

She also earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the same university and her Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from Columbus State. 

Mrs. Molyson taught in Louisiana for 14 years before coming to Houston County in 1992.  She has taught a wide variety of students in her thirty years in teaching and has been teaching in the gifted program at HCHS since 1993.

  She has made numerous presentations at local, regional and national conferences and was named the Region 6 Star Teacher in 2008. She currently teaches chemistry and A.P. Biology.

  Mrs. Molyson is also the Science Department Chair and has represented the county on several state committees for the Georgia High School Graduation Test, the End of Course Tests and the state Science Education Advisory Committee. 

She is married to Col. Joseph Molyson (retired) who is the astronomy teacher at HCHS. They have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Katherine.

Miriam Baker is an avid reader and writer.  She has participated in and won National Novel Writing Month for six years and has advanced to the second round (so far) of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. 

When not writing, she serves as president of her school's Academic Team, a competitive style she has been familiar with since her appearance on Jeopardy!'s Back-to-School Week in 2003. 

Her other interests include mathematics, computers and foreign languages, and she plans to attend Georgia Tech with a major in Computational Media and a minor in Japanese.

Barbara Hilliard has taught English for 29 years in five different school systems in Georgia with most of her experience at Warner Robins High. 

She currently teaches Honors American tenth grade literature, Advanced Placement English literature and SAT Verbal Prep.  Mrs. Hilliard continues to enjoy literary discussions with all of her classes, fights the good fight for the use of the apostrophe and looks forward to chaperoning the eleventh grade Honors/AP trip to Boston, Salem and Concord every spring. 

Each year she must summon more self-control when students on the trip ask “How old were you when you met Henry David Thoreau in person?” 

She is married to a veterinarian, and they are the parents of three young adults.

Other 2011 STAR students and their teachers from the Houston County School System are:
•    Northside High:  John Anthony Aspinall and teacher Patricia Ogletree; and
•    Perry High:  Avery Roman Jones and teacher Emily Heath.

To obtain the STAR nomination, students must have the highest score in one sitting on the SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year.  Students must also be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.  Both Vania and Miriam scored a 2,380 on the SAT out of a possible perfect score of 2,400.

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