STAR Student Steven Coltharp and STAR Teacher Philip Laney

Steven Coltharp, a senior at New Albany High School, has been named STAR Student for the 2022-2023 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program.

Established by the Mississippi Economic Council in 1965, the purpose of the STAR program is to recognize outstanding students & teachers in Mississippi.  Over 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will receive recognition from MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation.

Star Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence.  Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student, explained Vickie Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations.  “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors,” she said.


Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.  Phillip Laney, the chemistry teacher at New Albany High School, was designated as STAR Teacher.