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Juliette Henry joins long family line of STAR students

By Kay S. Pedrotti It’s just a thing that family members of Pamela and the late Dr. George Henry do — becoming STAR students — but Juliette Henry is exceptional, according to many who know her. This year’s STAR doesn’t believe that the honor came to her because of all of her educational accomplishments but because of her devotion to God, family and helping children. While the academic competition is tough and she came through it all with excellent results, she knows that a STAR has stars in her own life, she told the assembly at the chamber of commerce’s annual awards banquet last week. Stars are the radiant light of inspiration, representing her family members who have loved and taught her through the years and will continue to light her life long after she leaves home for college, Juliette said. Stars are used for navigation — she appreciates all who have guided her through her years in school. She added that stars are placed in the heavens to demonstrate the glory of God and to remind humans to give God glory in all they do. Her STAR teacher, LeslieAnne Williams, spoke as lovingly of Juliette’s influence in her life as Juliette did for Williams’ impact on her life. ’Every morning she comes into my classroom to sing to me,’ Williams said. Sometimes it’s ‘˜Jesus My Savior.’ Sometimes it’s ‘˜Amazing Grace.’ Sometimes it’s ‘˜You Are My Sunshine,’ or maybe my favorite, ‘˜I’m a Little Teapot,’ complete with all the motions. It starts my day of teaching, and paperwork and many heavy tasks, with the thought of what’s really important­loving those students.’ Williams then looked at Juliette and said she appreciates the senior most for her faith and values: ‘I look at you and I see the face of Jesus looking back.’ Williams, head of the Lamar County high English department, has taught Henry in AP English classes and has been a very important friend and advisor to Juliette. This year Juliette is dualenrolled at Gordon State College. The popular teacher is a 17-year veteran with degrees from Mercer University, Georgia College and Valdosta State. It is the second time she has been chosen as a STAR teacher. A partial list of Juliette Henry’s achievements includes a perfect score on the AP language exam, All-State Sight Reading Chorus, nominated for Governor’s Honors program in communicative arts, varsity cross-country and track honors, Taylor Davis Memorial Superior Student Athlete Award, interning at Lamar County Elementary with special needs students and third-graders, and one she likes very much: a program through the Anchor of Hope Foundation called ‘Parents Night Out’ at her church, Dayspring Presbyterian in Forsyth. During this program she helps provide academic, recreational and social interaction with autistic and other special needs children so their parents can have a ‘night out’ each month. She is the sixth member of the Henry family and the fourth of the family of Rolfe and Janine Henry to become a STAR student. Her sister Natalie and brothers Phillip and David were STARs, along with their cousins Nathaniel and Abi Rowe. Juliette’s plans are to attend Covenant College at Lookout Mountain; she says that her attendance this year at Gordon has made college ‘a little less scary to think about.’ She would like to study elementary education or occupational therapy for special needs students with the purpose of being involved with children needing special help in learning. She has not yet decided whether to ‘go into missions’ when she completes her education and hones her teaching skills. Whatever she decides to do, children will be involved, she said. Helping at the elementary school ‘is just so much fun and so rewarding – I have enjoyed it so much.’ Looking forward to college includes a measure of separation from her family, which she adores and appreciates. ’I really love my family and appreciate all they have done for me. They’ll be with me always. Maybe it’ll be nice, though, to start out somewhere as ‘˜just Juliette.”

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