330 STAR Students Honored at Education Celebration
– Most in Program History
A St. Patrick Catholic High School student with a perfect 36 composite score on the American College Test (ACT), combined scores of 144 and grade point average of 97.08 has been named Mississippi’s TOP ALL-STAR Scholars for 2018. Matthew M. Bisner, son of Mr. Thomas and Ms. Robin Peters of Ocean Springs, Mississippi received top recognition at the 53rd Annual Education Celebration held by the Mississippi Economic Council’s M. B. Swayze Foundation. A $24,000 scholarship provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. was presented to Bisner by Katy Pacelli, Executive Director. Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher – Bisner designated L. Orin Eleuterius, Sr. of D’Iberville, Mississippi as his STAR Teacher. Eleuterius has been teaching for 40 years and this is his first time being named STAR Teacher.
Alexander C. Whitwam a Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science student has been named 1st Runner-Up and will receive a $20,000 Scholarship from the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. His parents are Mr. Ross Whitwam and Ms. Holleen Krogh of Columbus, Mississippi. Whitwam designated Kaye Truitt of Columbus, Mississippi as his STAR Teacher. Truitt has been teaching for 16 years and this is her first year to be named STAR Teacher.
Joe Han a Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School student has been named 2nd Runner-Up and will receive a $16,000 Scholarship from the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. His parents are Mr. Jifeng Han and Ms. Haiying Chen of Madison, Mississippi. Han designated Ruth Holmes of Ridgeland, Mississippi as his STAR Teacher. Holmes has been teaching for 35 years and been named STAR Teacher five times.
One-time scholarship awards of $1,000 are provided to the remaining top 17 ALL-STAR Scholars. Teachers of the top three ALL-STAR Scholars each received a $1,000 award. The remaining 17 All-STAR Teachers will each receive a $500 award. The Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. provided $88,500 in scholarships and awards to STAR Students and STAR Teachers. The Foundation has provided more than one-million dollars in scholarships and awards since 1997.
This year, 330 STAR Students and their STAR Teachers were recognized from MEC’s Swayze Foundation at the 2018 Education Celebration. Each STAR student received a medallion, lapel pin and certificate in recognition of their achievements.