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Little, Williams are STARs

By Sherri Ellington This year’s Lamar County high school STAR Student is no stranger to Herald Gazette readers. Kendall Little has had her byline on the front page when she went on a mission trip to South Dakota then wrote about it. Her name has also been prominent on the sports pages with tennis and volleyball ‘“ and, since she moved to Lamar County with her parents Tim and Julie Little when she was 8, can be regularly seen on the honor roll. Earning her latest honor with an SAT score of 1980, she chose LeslieAnne Williams as her STAR Teacher. Both will be honored at Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce awards banquet. ’She taught me gifted ninth grade literature and composition and last year in AP language,’ said Little. ‘She really helped me with my writing and made me better at it. You can tell she likes what she teaches.’ This is Williams’ first time being chosen as a STAR Teacher. ’When I learned Kendall had chosen me I immediately recalled her sweet giggle,’ said Williams. ‘My greatest reward is seeing Kendall’˜s successes and smiles. Being honored for teaching students such as this precious one is simply the sprinkles on the cupcake.’ Little spends her mornings at the high school wrapping up her senior year and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at Gordon State College, where she has already gotten credits for English, biology, U.S. history and psychology ‘“ all free as part of the schools’ dual enrollment program. ’I like English and history,’ she said. ‘I’m a lot better at them than math and science.’ With interests in traveling and writing, Little plans to study international relations. She has not yet settled on a college but is awaiting replies to several applications. ’Kendall is an absolutely delightful young lady,’ said Williams. ‘Hardworking and conscientious, she consistently produces mastery-level work. She has demonstrated creativity in many forms, from winning several writing contests to becoming a published journalist.’ Little spends her summers on mission trips sponsored by First United Methodist Church. In addition to the Indian reservation in South Dakota, she has also been to Cherokee, N.C., and Tennessee. ’I’ve been going on the mission trips for five years,’ she said. This interest has led her to consider going into the Peace Corps after she completes her bachelor’s degree or working for a nonprofit or the United Nations. ’I want to travel,’ she said. ‘I don’t want a desk job. If I go into the Peace Corps they’ll pay for a graduate degree when I come back. It’s a good segue.’ Little is the granddaughter of Patrick and Mary Jo Messinger of Barnesville and Tom Little of Mooresville, N.C. Williams has been teaching 15 years. This is her eighth in Lamar County. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Mercer University and earned her master’s in teaching at Georgia College and State University. She is working toward an education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction through Valdosta State University. She is the English department chair and Ninth Grade Academy chair and collects and submits information for publishing in the Herald Gazette and the school website and newsletter. ’What I do is so varied,’ she said. ‘Between the English department and the freshmen, I stay very busy.’

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