Virgo Named STAR Student, Chenard STAR Teacher

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - by Lindsey Derrick

Senior Richard Virgo has been named this year’s Dalton High School’s STAR student, and he has chosen psychology teacher Dr. Karen Chenard as the STAR teacher. “I’m always building stuff,” said the 16-year-old.

The STAR student is based on top SAT scores, and the recipient must also be in the top 5-10% of their school.

Mr. Virgo, who scored a 2230 on his SAT, heard he was named STAR student back in December.
“I didn’t think I’d get it,” the 18-year-old said. “I thought there would be someone else who must’ve done better.

It’s pretty neat.”

Mr. Virgo then had to choose a teacher who had done a lot for him during his high school career. He chose Dr. Chenard.  Mr. Virgo took Chenard’s Advanced Government class as a freshman, and then took her psychology courses as a junior and senior.

Dr. Chenard said Virgo quickly stood out in his freshman class.  “He knew all about political issues,” she said. “He was well informed.” 

Dr. Chenard also pushed Mr. Virgo to take AP Government his sophomore year.   “I saw he could do it as a freshman even though he’s on the quiet side,” she said. 

Dr. Chenard says she sees a lot of herself in Virgo.  “He’s quiet, but reflective,” she said.

“She is my favorite teacher,” Mr. Virgo said of Dr. Chenard. “She taught me about psychology, and she has influenced my college career choice.”

Dr. Chenard said this was her first time being STAR teacher, and she’s very honored Mr. Virgo thought of her.  “I’m very flattered,” she said. “I didn’t think I was on the radar for it. But I probably understand him and the way he thinks more than any other teacher. It’s a real joy to teach him. I love doing what I do. I chose the right profession.”

Mr. Virgo and Dr. Chenard were recognized locally at a lunch sponsored by the Rotary Club, and then at a district luncheon at the Rome country club.   “It was pretty cool,” Mr. Virgo said of the luncheon in Rome. “I was comparing myself to them. I thought I was smart, but these people were light-years.”

“I hope he makes a difference in the world,” said Dr. Chenard of Mr. Virgo. “I hope in college he has the confidence to act on his abilities. I hope he makes something of himself.”

Mr. Virgo will attend Georgia Tech in the fall and plans to peruse an area in bioengineering.


Jin In Tells GPS Students They Are A Force For Change

GPS girls were encouraged to see themselves as a powerful force for change on Tuesday during a Lunchtime Learning presentation by Jin In, the founder of 4GGL, a non-profit that partners with community organizations and schools worldwide to train and mentor girls in the poorest countries of the world.  With a vision of “a world where every girl is valued and supported to ... (click for more)

Bryan Community Choirs To Hold Auditions

Bryan's community choirs will be holding auditions Aug. 25 and 28. Area students in grades 4-12 are invited to audition for the Bryan College Community Children’s Choir (grades 4-8) or Youth Choir (grades 9-12) for the coming 2014-2015 academic year. Children’s Choir auditions will take place Monday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. in the chorale room of Rudd Auditorium.  Youth Choir ... (click for more)

5 Hamilton County Schools Designated As Priority Schools, 3 As Focus Schools

Five Hamilton County Schools have been designated as Priority Schools and three as Focus Schools. Priority Schools are the five percent of schools across the state with the lowest overall performance. Those from Hamilton County are Brainerd High School, Dalewood Middle School, Orchard Knob Elementary School, Orchard Knob Middle School and Woodmore Elementary School. Focus ... (click for more)

Man Robbed, Stabbed At Hixson Pike Bus Stop

A man was robbed and stabbed at a bus stop on Hixson Pike on Tuesday night. At approximately 9:30 p.m., officers were called concerning a robbery at 3800 Hixson Pike. Phani Tangirala, 22, was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for treatment of a stab wound to the abdomen. Medical personnel stated that Mr. Tangirala appeared to have a non-life threatening wound to ... (click for more)

The Truth About Justice

The rallying cry in Ferguson Missouri has been "justice for Michael Brown." The question is what is justice? Justice is that the facts of the case are investigated thoroughly and regardless of the outcome of that investigation the family and friends of Michael Brown along with the citizens of Ferguson and this country need to accept the outcome no matter what it reveals.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves), has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)