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Baker named RHHS and county STAR student; Nardella tabbed STAR teacher
Baker (center) with Heritage Bank representative Kimberly Boyce, STAR teacher Michelle Nrdella, Baker's parents, Drs. Barbara and Christopher Baker, Sisco and STAR contact/counselor Thomas Swinford. - photo by Photo provided.

Matthew Foster Baker, a high school senior, has been named 2008 STAR Student for Richmond Hill High School and System Star Student for Bryan County.

The announcement was made today by Frank Sisco, STAR Program Representative of the Richmond Hill Lions Club in Richmond Hill, local sponsor of the Richmond Hill STAR program. Baker, the son of Doctors Christopher and Barbara Baker of Richmond Hill, selected Mrs. Michele Nardella, AP Biology for the 10th grade at Richmond Hill High School, as his STAR teacher.

Baker is an outstanding student whose academic achievements have been recognized by several local and national organizations.

He is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Math Club, World Culture Club, Science Olympiad, and past member of Tri-M-Music Honor Society. Matthew was a National Merit Finalist, and received honors and awards in various programs including the Governor's Honors Program, Biology, Duke University's Talent Identification Program, Georgia Certificate of Merit, Odyssey of the Mind, Reusselaer Medalist Outstanding Academic Achievement in Science and Math, Harvard Prize Book Award, Junior Rotarian, and Principal Honor Roll.

He contributed many hours to community service with the Savannah Winds - Community Wind Symphony, Atlanta Medical Outreach Project, Church Musician, writing articles for church and Savannah Morning News, working with Doctors Without Borders, tutoring, and summer mission trip to Mississippi cleaning up after Katrina. Matthew has also increased his academic success by taking various independent courses as well as college-level courses.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, in its 50th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored more than 21,000 students and the teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic achievement. Students are selected on the basis of their SAT scores and class standing/scholastic averages.

STAR begins each year in participating high schools throughout Georgia when the STAR student is named and chooses a STAR teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from more than 200 statewide civic organizations and businesses that sponsor local programs. Students then compete for school system titles, and those winners compete for region honors.

"We are very proud of Matthew Baker and Mrs. Michele Nardella and the academic excellence they exemplify at Richmond Hill High," Sisco said.

Baker will receive a $500 scholarship from the Richmond Hill Lions Club. He was also awarded a Scholarship of $500 to open an account at Heritage Bank by Kimberly Boyce, representative of Heritage Bank.


- story provided





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