Epitome of achievement: Jackson named TCCHS STAR student

Bishop Jackson and Erin White STAR

Versatile and motivated are adjectives Thomas County Central High School 2023 STAR Teacher Erin White uses to describe TCCHS 2023 STAR Student Bishop Jackson.

“Bishop is the epitome of a well-rounded and self-driven student,” White said.

Jackson, 18, said earning the STAR student title is exciting. This accolade celebrates the senior of each graduating class with the highest SAT score. 

“I worked hard to increase my SAT score for college admissions, so it means a lot to be recognized for my hard work,” he said.

White, the school’s Advanced Placement coordinator and MERIT coach, was Jackson’s first high school AP teacher. The senior chose White as his STAR teacher because he recalled her willingness to go the extra mile for her students – in or outside the classroom.

“Since the current senior class was the first to take AP U.S. Government as ninth graders, Mrs. White took extra effort to help us be successful,” Jackson said. “One memory of Mrs. White that stands out is during an 11th-grade trip to UGA and Georgia Tech. Not only did she drive the bus to Atlanta and Athens, but she facilitated a tour of both campuses. It really just shows how dedicated Mrs. White is to her students.”

He also appreciates White’s personality and perspective.

“Outside of teaching, Mrs. White is always helpful and kind, whether it be registering for exams, doing community service, or just having a conversation,” Jackson said. 

White expressed surprise and humility at Jackson’s selecting her.

“I am thrilled and honored to be along for the ride,” she said. “Bishop is such a great student! I can't believe he chose me!”

The educator remembers the first time she met Jackson at his ninth-grade open house.

“He was such a charming young man, and after I had him in class for a few weeks, I realized how intelligent and hardworking he is,” White said. “Even when COVID caused the shutdown, we still had to work because they had to take the AP exam in May. But Bishop never had to be watched over – he was usually one of the first kids done, and he was great about using feedback to improve his essays. He did great on the AP exam!”

So far, Jackson’s completed 13 AP courses and taken the exam for all; he earned a score of 4 on six and a 5 – the highest score possible – on seven. He’s also competed in and won the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Regional Science Fair the previous three years. Additionally, he’s finished several college courses through Dual Enrollment. Jackson remains actively involved in extracurricular activities such as Future Business Leaders of America and the TCCHS Audio-Video, Technology, and Film program.

“He has taken the most advanced courses we offer and has been successful in all his academic endeavors,” White said. “He is pretty much good at everything. He seeks out opportunities and advocates for himself, which will be a great experience for college. And he is so likable. I have been on field trips with him, and he is so pleasant and mature.”

Jackson plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, and major in aerospace engineering.

“I hope in the future I can help put more people into low Earth orbit and send humans to Mars and other planets,” he said. “I think that advancements in space technology will improve and secure life on Earth.”

White has zero doubt that Jackson will have a successful future.

“I only had him in class during ninth grade but have kept up with him over the past three years, and he has continued to be impressive,” she said. “He will have an awesome STEM career and will continue working to make the world a better place. He is an example of what having a goal and working hard toward it can help a person accomplish.”

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