Sam Mixon, a senior at Woodstock High School, received a score of 2,320 out of 2,400 possible points on the SAT, one of two widely accepted college entrance exams. He and other STAR students were honored last week for their achievements.
Woodstock High School Principal Dr. Paul Weir said it was an honor to have Mixon at the school.
“It always feels great to see your kids succeed in such a great way,” Weir said. “Sam’s an exceptional young man all the way around, so for him, it’s a very fitting honor. It really supports everything he’s been about during his time at Woodstock.”
For earning the highest SAT score in the Cherokee County School District, Mixon was honored by the Canton and Woodstock Lion’s Clubs as the districtwide STAR student at a banquet.
While achieving the top score may have been a surprise, Mixon said he expected to do well on the SAT.
“I did feel like I was comfortable taking the test,” he said.
Six students from Cherokee County schools were honored as STAR students for achieving the highest SAT score in their respective schools, and each student was charged with selecting their STAR teacher.
Mixon chose his AP government teacher, Rhonda Cowart, and said she inspired his sense of civic responsibility.
“I picked Ms. Cowart because I really liked her class, and her class inspired in me a higher sense of civic duty,” Mixon said of his STAR teacher selection. “That’s what I think government and history classes are all about.”
Cowart has taught for more than a decade and is in her ninth year teaching at Woodstock High School. Weir said Cowart is a great teacher to have.
“Rhonda is a great teacher,” he said. “Her courses are full every year, which means kids are intrigued and engaged and hear good things from each other — and that’s the best way to fill up your classes, when the kids hear good things from each other.”
Cowart said she didn’t expect to be chosen as Mixon’s STAR teacher and there are many fantastic teachers at the school.
“It’s such an honor to have a student of that caliber to select me, and the fact that we have such great teachers here at Woodstock,” she said. “For him to select me … was just an incredible honor.”
Along with teaching college-prep government, Cowart teaches AP U.S. history and AP government, and she said Mixon has taken both AP classes with her.
“He could be a great statesman someday,” Cowart said of Mixon, who said he might consider getting into politics.
Cowart said she became passionate about U.S. history and government after having Evelyn Carmichael as a teacher during her own high school career.
“She was the first AP teacher in the county. Outside my mother, she was the heaviest influence on my life,” she said.
Since they were selected as the districtwide STAR student and teacher, Mixon and Cowart are now eligible to compete in the regional level of the STAR program, which is coordinated by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.
Other high school winners in Cherokee County are: for Cherokee, STAR Student Tori Caudill and STAR Teacher Justin Jones; for Creekview, STAR Student Riley Jenkins and STAR Teacher Michael Sinco; for Etowah, STAR Student Emma Vivlamore and STAR Teacher Mary Shell; for River Ridge, STAR Student Christina Hollander and STAR Teacher Daniel Gray; and for Sequoyah, STAR Student Eric Byrd and STAR Teacher Angela Chambers.