Hannah Harris has been named STAR Student for the 2018-2019 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 through its Education Celebration.
The New Albany High School senior was honored during the annual Education Celebration on April 11, 2019, at the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson. This prestigious event was co-sponsored by: AT&T, Atmos Energy, BancorpSouth, Barksdale Management, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, Cooperative Energy, Electric Cooperative of Mississippi, Entergy Mississippi, Ergon, Inc., Ingalls Shipbuilding, Mississippi Power Company, Nissan North America, Inc., Sanderson Farms, Inc., Trustmark National Bank, Walmart, and Yates. Additional local support for the STAR program is provided by MEC members from communities across the state.
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.
Harris is the Valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at New Albany High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, National Technical Honor Society, Anchor Club, and a varsity cheerleader. Harris attends First United Methodist Church and has earned the Gold Award in Girl Scouting. She is the daughter of Matt Harris and the late J.J. Harris.
“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.
Harris chose Sandra Pannell as her STAR Teacher. Pannell teaches mathematics at NAHS where she serves as Chair of the Math Department. She holds degrees from Blue Mountain College and Arkansas State University and has 28 years of experience in education. Pannell was chosen as Teacher of the Year for NAHS in 2018.
Over 650 STAR Students and STAR Teachers received recognition from MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation at the Education Celebration on April 11.