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.


Lee Hosts Annual Ollie J. Lee Symposium

The Lee University Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences held its sixth annual Ollie J. Lee Symposium. Anthropology, psychology, and sociology students presented their original research at the event, held to honor Dr. Ollie J. Lee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology.  “The symposium is a spectacular venue through which many dedicated students present their culmination ... (click for more)

Lee University Partners With Tennessee Wesleyan For International Day Festivities

Students from Lee University joined with students from Tennessee Wesleyan University (TWU) this spring for the third annual International Day celebration in Athens, Tennessee.   Dr. Augustin Bocco, TWU’s director of Multicultural Affairs and Lee alum, headed up the event and invited Lee professor Dr. James Wilkins to participate.   Bocco, a native of Togo, Africa, ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Pledges $6 Million For New Recreation Center At Avondale

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that he plans to include $6 million in his upcoming budget for a new Recreation Center at Avondale. He said at a press conference at the current center on Dodson Avenue, "We want to make an investment in Avondale." Mayor Berke said the current center by Wilcox Boulevard was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 2002. The new center, which ... (click for more)

Developer Plans Single-Family Homes, Townhomes, Apartments, Retail On 7.5 Acres At South Broad Street

A developer is planning single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and retail on a 7.5-acre South Broad Street site. The development by South Broad LLC and DEW LLC is located within several blocks between South Broad Street, W. 26th Street, Long Street and W. 27th Street. It would include a 3-story U-shaped apartment building with ground floor retail at the north end of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)