2012-02-15 / Front Page

their futures look bright

STARS named at Burke County, EBA
By Anne Marie Kyzer annemariek@thetruecitizen.com

BCHS STAR student Cannon McClain chose Karen Reeves as his STAR teacher. BCHS STAR student Cannon McClain chose Karen Reeves as his STAR teacher. Two of the county’s brightest seniors have been tapped for top test scores and will be honored through the STAR program, which is sponsored locally by the Waynesboro Jaycees.

Cannon McClain received the STAR student honor at Burke County High School, and Jennifer McDaniel earned the award at Edmund Burke Academy.

The Student- Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors students who record the highest SAT score at their high schools and are among the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. They select a STAR teacher who greatly impacted their education.

Cannon chose Karen Reeves, and Jennifer tapped Carol Johnson.

Cannon, a lifelong resident of Waynesboro, plans to attend Georgia College and State University and major in choral music education. Ultimately, he intends to pursue his doctorate to teach at the college level.

EBA STAR student Jennifer McDaniel chose Carol Johnson as her STAR teacher. EBA STAR student Jennifer McDaniel chose Carol Johnson as her STAR teacher. Throughout his high school years, he has been heavily involved in the fine arts program at BCHS, helping the boys quartet to a state championship last year. He assumed the lead role in a number of the drama department’s productions for the community and was the region champion in acting.

He said the high standard of the fine arts program and instructors there helped steer him toward his chosen career.

Still, Cannon said few have challenged him in his education like Reeves, who taught him world history, advanced placement U.S. history, AP European history and comparative religions.

“Academically, she has pushed me to do the best I could possibly do in school,” Cannon says of Reeves, who has won the honor seven times. “Students sometimes ask when they will use what they are being taught. But because she challenged me so much, I knew I would use her class to simply make myself better.”

Reeves said it was a pleasure to teach him because he has such an eagerness to learn, which in turn, encouraged her. His talents, she said, also set him apart.

“Cannon can do anything. He literally excels at everything he attempts. He has the voice of an angel, the mind of a scholar and is one of the most giving students I’ve ever taught,” she says. “But what impresses me most is his willingness to set priorities and his clarity of purpose in life.”

Cannon is the son of Howard and Stephanie McClain.


Jennifer plans to attend the University of Georgia and double major in forestry and fisheries & wildlife. She hopes to work in natural resources.

Aside from sports and school clubs, she has invested many years in the Burke County 4-H where she has excelled in leadership events and competed on a number of teams, including the forestry team.

While she considers science her strong suit, she enjoyed Johnson’s energy in the classroom and said her “excellent instruction” was a huge benefit during the three years Jennifer had her for English.

“Her teaching style requires the student to be personally responsible for the material and work individually if necessary,” Jennifer says. “I know this has prepared me well for college where I’ll be required to study and learn most material myself.”

Johnson, the Literary Society sponsor, also directed Jennifer and her fellow cast members in the One Act play competition. Jennifer called her “tireless support and assistance” an inspiration.

Johnson, a first time recipient of the prestigious STAR teacher honor, called Jennifer a teacher’s dream.

“The quality that makes her most special is her enthusiasm,” Johnson says. “She approaches every assignment, every literary competition, every One Act play performance, every basketball game and every other opportunity with joy. I have loved her and enjoyed teaching her because of her ‘can do, will do’ attitude.”

Jennifer is the daughter of Richard and Jane McDaniel of Vidette.


The Waynesboro Jaycees will honor the STAR students and their teachers at a special banquet next Thursday. They will also announce the countywide STAR student who will go on to represent Burke at the district level.

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