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District STAR student named at GSU ceremony
Jenkins High senior earns honor
STAR duo 314
Han Li, left, of Jenkins High School in Savannah, was named STAR Student for Region Eight. His STAR Teacher, William Avila, was also honored at the ceremony Wednesday at Georgia Southern University. - photo by Luke Martin/staff

STAR student video

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    Jenkins High School senior Han Li was named the District 8 STAR student at a luncheon Wednesday afternoon on the campus of Georgia Southern University.
    Li beat out students from 15 other school districts to advance to the state competition to be held in Atlanta in April.
    "I'm pretty excited," he said, admitting he didn't expect to be selected as one of the 12 statewide finalists. "Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet."
    Li selected William Avila as his STAR teacher, something Avila said was a big honor for him.
    "I understand the honor is all from the student to the teacher," he said. "Han is a wonderful student to teach, but the honor is all for him and not so much for me."
    Avila called Li a "frustrating" student because he always needs to understand the concepts of why something is the way it is.
    "If there's something he doesn't understand, he will let me know about it and we'll have to go back and do it again," he said. "But it's very rewarding. He brings a lot to the classroom because of the kinds of questions he asks."
    Li is still undecided on where he plans to attend college and is leaning towards pursuing a degree in mathematics.
    The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program was founded in 1956 as a way to honor students based on their performance on the SAT and class standing. More than 21,000 students and teacher
    While the SAT scores are the basis for the competition on the local and regional level, at the state level, the students will be interviewed by a panel of judges who will select the winner.
    "These are the brightest of the bright at each high school," said Lee Raudonis, state coordinator for the STAR program. "It was started by the state chamber of commerce because the chamber wanted to honor students for something that was purely academic."
    The STAR program is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation,  Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
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