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Henry, Williams are STARs

By Kay S. Pedrotti In a world where the uncaring attitude of many young people is a frequent subject for discussion, there are compassionate students like Margaret Elise Henry. This year’s STAR Student is the youngest of Rolfe and Janine Henry’s six children. A brother, David, and a sister, Juliette, have also been STARs. The faculty member chosen by Margaret as STAR teacher is LeslieAnne Williams, who is chair of both the ninth-grade academy and the gifted program. Williams also was chosen by Juliette, and earlier by Kendall Little. ’Lamar County High has been a great place to go to school,’ Margaret said. ‘The teachers, counselors and administrators have all been encouraging to me. Mrs. Williams has become a close friend that I could talk to about anything. She helped me through times when I was not sure of my own abilities.’ Williams said that when she sees Margaret, ‘I don’t see just a smart student ‘“ I see the love of Jesus Christ in her, and how that radiates to everyone she knows. That loving heart, putting God first, comes right out of her.’ Because of her work with autistic persons, senior citizens, organizations for ending human trafficking and other ‘hurting people,’ Williams said, ‘Margaret is intrinsically motivated and passionately dedicated to making a difference in our world.’ Margaret said Williams is particularly skilled at ‘teaching to every student, regardless of their level, and leading them to believe in themselves, so they do their best work.’ Williams said, ‘Margaret just reaches out to love everyone. It’s the other way around ‘“ I’m trying to be more like her.’ The 17-year-old STAR, now dual-enrolled at Gordon State College, will graduate soon after she turns 18 in 2018. She also noted that Williams has been a great guide toward helping her develop the self-confidence that allows her to love and believe in herself. ‘That makes you more able to help other people,’ she added. She and her family attend Dayspring Presbyterian Church in Forsyth, where Margaret has done mission trips and played instruments in the praise band. The STAR also loves the outdoors ‘“ climbing trees, playing soccer, learning about plants and herbal medicine, running with the cross-country team, and taking care of animals. She has two cows, Rosie and Cleo, in her care, as well as a dog named Oakley. Her plans are to go into the medical field, including a bachelor’s degree in nursing and education leading to naturopathic midwifery. ’Juliette has always been my best friend,’ Margaret said. ‘I remember the times when she and I were in school at the same time, we would go into Mrs. Williams’ room and sing for her ‘“ church hymns or ‘˜You are my sunshine’ or ‘˜I’m a little teapot.’ It seems silly but I think it was good for all of us.’ ’Their singing would lift me up every time,’ Mrs. Williams said. ‘Margaret still sings to me and with me. She is a very special person and truly deserves this honor.’

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