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Waters, Filipovich are shining STARs

By Sherri Ellington Jesse Waters, who scored 1920 on his SAT, is this year’s STAR Student at the high school. He selected math teacher and department chair Jewel Filipovich as his STAR Teacher. It is her second time earning the honor. ’Of all the teachers here at the high school, Mrs. Flip is the one to inspire me to take it to a higher level than just going to math, taking the class and leaving,’ said Waters. Waters is the son of Stacy Waters, a paralegal at Smith,Welch,Webb and White; and Stephen W. Waters, a mechanic at Pep Boys in Jonesboro. The family has lived in Lamar County since 2007, when he was in sixth grade. His favorite subjects are math and history. ’I like to bowl, play online games and hang out with my friends,’ said Waters, a co-captain of the varsity academic team who formerly captained the junior varsity team. ‘I’m also enrolled in the Excel program and am studying at Gordon State College.’ Filipovich has taught Waters math for two years and has been at the high school since 2004. ’Jesse has been a joy to teach,’ said Filipovich. ‘It’s certainly been a pleasure. He’s an interactive, self-directed learner and fully encompasses the idea of using technology to enrich the learning experience. I’m fortunate to have a classroom set of laptops which helps all learners have access to multiple resources. It allows you to move on when ready. Jesse is a wonderful example that not every student is on the same place on the learning curve.’ Filipovich says it is important to maximize time to balance academics and life outside school, which is just as important to make a student a well-rounded person; Waters is a great example of that. ’This school system does its very best to give a student a rigorous education and broaden their horizons to see more of a world view perspective,’ she said. Waters has no problem with that perspective. He games online with people from all over the world, learning Spanish ‘“ not just by the textbook, he says ‘“ and German in the process. ’I learn about other cultures just by typing to other people through my online games,’ he said. With an acceptance to the Georgia Technical Institute in the bag, he plans to earn a doctorate in computational media. ‘From there I’m going to enter the work force,’ he said. ‘I have a few ideas. Even now I look at the freshman classes and the basics they’re learning are what I took this year and last. It scares me to think what they’ll be learning when they’re seniors.’ A little closer to home, he spends every Tuesday in Eagle’s Landing with his grandparents, volunteering at the Helping In His Name Ministries food bank. ’I’ve learned some people are going to need help and they need people with the willpower to help,’ he said. ‘There are enough people to help, they just need to take the time. We need more volunteers.’

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