This year’s STAR Student and STAR Teacher have been named at Morgan County High School. Cameron McCanless, a senior at MCHS, was chosen as the STAR Student, and in turn, he chose the teacher who had the greatest impact on him as this year’s STAR Teacher, P.T. Hooten, a math teacher at MCHS.
According to the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Program, to obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.
“I have been working hard for this. It’s been a hard road here,” said McCanless, who took the SATs three times to make his best score.
McCanless was recently accepted into Georgia Technical College where he plans to study chemical engineering.
“I always knew I wanted to be some kind of engineer or scientist, but I didn’t discover my love of chemistry until I got to high school,” said McCanless.
McCanless chose long-time teacher P.T. Hooten as this year’s STAR Teacher because of the meaningful impact she has had on McCanless during his years at MCHS.
Hooten, a math teacher, taught McCanless pre-calculus his sophomore year and two advanced courses during his junior year.
“She always made the lesson exciting, and even when the concepts were difficult, she made them easier to understand,” said McCanless. “She is a great teacher and a great person.”
Even though Hooten doesn’t teach McCanless this year, he still visits her to get academic help and even personal advice. “She is always there for me and that means a lot,” said McCanless.
Hooten, who was named Teacher of the Year in 2016, was touched that McCanless chose her at this year’s STAR Teacher.
“I am excited,” said Hooten. “Cameron is just awesome. It is a real honor that he chose me for this.” Hooten began her teaching career in 1986 and has been teaching at MCHS for the last 16 years.
MCHS Principal Miki Edwards was proud of both McCanless and Hooten.
“Cameron is a great example of hard work. He is a very dedicated student and works very hard. He is a great example to his peers and we very proud of him,” said Edwards. “He made a great choice in choosing P.T.. She is an excellent teacher and students really respond well to her high expectations.”
Both McCanless and Hooten with attend a STAR Program banquet later this year to celebrate being named Morgan County’s STAR Student and STAR Teacher. The Morgan County Kiwanis Club is a sponsor of the program for Morgan County.