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RHHS student recognized for excellence
STAR achievement
STAR Student Joshua Porter hugs his former English teacher, Regina Tomlin, who Porter chose to be the 2011 STAR Teacher. - photo by Photo provided.

Richmond Hill High School senior Joshua Porter has been named 2011 STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) Student for the Bryan County Schools system.

Porter received the honor based on his outstanding SAT score and ranking academically in the top 10 percent of his class.

“I was actually kind of surprised, but it was an honor,” the 17-year-old said of the systemwide recognition.

The STAR honor is a program of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation and seeks to recognize the achievements of high school seniors and the teachers that have helped them to succeed.

Traditionally, the STAR Student chooses their teacher counterpart. Porter chose his 11th grade English teacher, Regina Tomlin.

“I’ve never been much of an English person –I’m more math and science– so I chose Mrs. Tomlin because she managed to make the subject more interesting to me … and you could tell she loves her job and she loves the students,” he said. “She stood out because of the extra effort she puts in.”

Porter went on to say that Tomlin is always there for her students when they need advice or have a problem in or out of the classroom.

The duo heads to Statesboro on March 16 for the regional STAR luncheon. There, Porter’s academic standing will be matched against other system winners for potential advancement to the state level.

Outside of academia, Porter’s passion is music. He has played the horn since seventh grade, and has lent his skill to school band, church orchestra, the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra and the elite Georgia All-State Band and Orchestra.

“Music is definitely something I love to do,” he said. “It gets my mind off of all of the stress from school and everything else. It’s kind of my escape.”

Porter performed with the All-State Band this past weekend.

His bright academic career promises to shine on– the accomplished young man plans to study biomedical engineering and neuroscience at Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I’ve just always been interested by engineering and math, but also I like to help other people,” said Porter. “Biomedical engineering is kind of in the medical field– you’re developing new medical technologies and surgical techniques to help others. As for neuroscience specifically, I love studying how the brain works.” Porter said that the support of his family, friends, and teachers has been instrumental to his success.

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