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BCHS announces its STARS for 2020
STAR teacher Kim Culverhouse, second from left, with STAR student Levi Doyle, surrounded by Superintendent Paul Brooksher and principal Mary Beth Blankenship. Photo provided.

Bryan County High School recently announced its STAR student, Levi Doyle, and he in turn chose his STAR teacher, Kim Culverhouse.

Here’s a Q&A with both, starting with Doyle:

BCN: Tell readers a little bit about yourself.

LD: I’m from and have lived all my life in Pembroke. I live with my mom, dad, and two twin sisters Laci and Linsey Doyle who also attend Bryan County High School as freshmen.

When I’m not doing schoolwork, I like to play video games, especially ones that I can play with friends such as Warframe, Overwatch, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I have been dual enrolled at Georgia Southern University since the summer before my junior year. This has been a great opportunity for me to get a head start on college work while paying almost nothing in costs. It’s a lot of work, and sometimes I have to spend a Saturday catching up, but it has definitely been worth it.

BCN: How’s it feel to be STAR student?

LD: I’m excited to be Bryan County High School’s STAR student. Having the highest SAT Score in your grade is not an easy feat, and I was not sure that I would be able to get it. There are many intelligent people at Bryan County High School who likely made the decision a very close call (Shoutouts to Haley Hannah, Molly Jernigan, and Madeline Duvall). Bryan County High School had an after-school ceremony just for me and Mrs. Culverhouse, the STAR Teacher that I picked, with cake, punch, and even framed awards. I felt honored to receive the STAR student award and to present the STAR teacher award to Mrs. Culverhouse.

BCN: Why did you pick Mrs Culverhouse as your STAR teacher?

LD: Mrs. Culverhouse is an amazing teacher who is dedicated to her students. While she taught me, she was also taking classes at Georgia Southern University. However, she still found time to meet before and after school, host a literature club, provide SAT practice, and grade 10-page research papers. I also found that her advice given in my AP English class was invaluable when I wrote essays for my dual enrollment classes. I feel that she has best prepared me for college and is an awesome teacher overall.

BCN: What are you doing next, after graduation?

LD: I am planning on attending Georgia Tech in Atlanta after graduation. I should receive my application decision in March. I want to major in computer science and hopefully obtain a Masters in computer science or possibly cybersecurity.

BCN: What’s the plan as far as possible careers, etc?

LD: There is a great need for cybersecurity experts in Georgia, and I think that I am being led in that direction. I feel that working to prevent cyber-attacks and defend information as a cybersecurity architect or engineer would be very fulfilling and well-compensated.

Here’s Kim Culverhouse:

BCN: Tell us about yourself. 

KC: I currently teach AP Language and Composition, American Studies (US History and American Literature combined) and American Literature. I have previously taught AP US History and most other high school English courses. This is my 17th year of teaching and my 4th year at BCHS. Before coming to BCHS, I taught at Bethesda Academy in Savannah, and I have also taught in Indiana, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Las Vegas, and Seattle. I grew up in Indiana and earned a BS in Secondary English Education from Indiana University and a graduate degree in history from Georgia Southern.

BCN: How long have you taught Levi and in what class?

KC: I taught Levi in 2018-2019 AP Language and Composition.

BCN: How does it feel to be selected as a STAR teacher? Is this your first time?

KC: Yes, this is my first time being selected as a STAR teacher, and I am ecstatic. While I appreciate the recognition that what I try to teach my students has a positive effect on their life, an award like this is just a small reminder of the larger impact teachers have on students (although students may not realize it at the time!). The successes of students like Levi become my celebrations.

BCN: What is it about Levi that makes him a good student?

KC: In addition to his thorough and analytical work ethic, Levi has a unique ability to recognize the interaction between a writer and his/her audience. Levi understands that writing achieves a purpose and that the author and the audience engage in collaboration. Neither reading nor writing is one-sided.

BCN: What is it about teaching that attracted you to the profession?

KC: The cliché answer most teachers give is that they love seeing kids “get it” (aka “the light bulb”). This is true for me. Seeing high school students make connections they previously ignored or looking deeper into something they saw as one-dimensional is very gratifying and pushes me to engage them further. I have high expectations, and I love seeing my students rise to the challenges, because I know this will serve them well after high school.

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