By Brittany Whitley
The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program, sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, chooses only one student per participating high school every year to be honored for their academic achievement reflected in their GPA, SAT scores, and class ranking. Morgan County High School Senior David Rachkovskiy, holding a weighted Grade Point Average of 4.5 and striking a high of 1500 on the SAT, takes the 2019 STAR Student title for the county.
“I feel good about it,” Rachkovskiy shared. “I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t really expect to get it…I took the SAT twice; the first time I took it, I didn’t prepare for it at all.”
Rachkovskiy improved his score by 100 points the second go-around, resulting in the score that earned him his STAR title.
“I planned on preparing like weeks in advance, but I didn’t actually practice until the night before,” Rachkovskiy admitted. “So, I did a practice test and I just focused on math – the part that I did worse on the first around and improved that just the night before, a last-minute prep to remember all that math.”
Rachkovskiy attributed most of his academic success to paying close attention in class during the introductions and review of taught materials as well as taking advantage of the practice that homework gives, admitting that his “study habits could be better, but they’re not bad.”
University of Georgia has already accepted Rachkovskiy for the fall, and although he is heavily considering the benefits of remaining in-state, the academic star is still anticipating the response of five other colleges spanning the United States: University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Los Angeles, Pomona College, Columbia University, and Rice University.
“I want to study Cognitive Science, it’s a really interdisciplinary field because I can never choose just one field to study,” Rachkovskiy said. “Something that I will definitely take a lot of classes in is music. I really have a love for music and right now, I’m taking a music tech class and I’ve realized that I could actually do this for a living. UGA is a big possibility right now because I’m thinking about being cost-effective, staying home – it’d be easy.”
With education in cognitive science, Rachkovskiy is able to choose from several career paths – medical school, neuroscience research, artificial intelligence development, marketing, and etc.
“So, I can have time to figure out what I want to do with it…it’s a really new field. A lot of schools only have it as a minor but UGA has it as a major.”
Currently, Rachkovskiy spends time playing soccer, a sport he’s played since he was four, teaching himself guitar, making his own clothes, participating in FBLA and the National Honors Society as well as playing the piano.
Rachkovskiy chose Ms. Trish Thurmond, his sixth and eighth grade teacher in Social Circle, as his STAR Teacher. She has and will continue to be honored with him throughout the community.
“She really made a big impact on my learning back then,” Rachkovskiy said. “She’s one of the most favorite teachers I’ve ever had.”