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.


STEM Teacher Fellows To Be Recognized On Tuesday

PEF and the Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub will recognize 27 educators from Southeast Tennessee who have completed a Fellowship in STEM teaching and best practices on Tuesday, May 26 from 3-4 p.m. at STEM School Chattanooga, located on the Chattanooga State campus.   Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Kilbride will speak about the importance of STEM education ... (click for more)

Bea Lyons Honored At “Tea For Bea”

When Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kimberly McCormick, established the Faculty Fellows Program during 2014, several well-known and respected educators were named as inaugural fellows. The Social and Behavioral Science Division honored Bea Lyons as its fellow. A special “Tea for Bea” was recently held to serve as a springboard for the first endowed fellowship ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)