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MEC's STAR Program Honors Top 3 ALL STAR Students

From left: TOP ALL STAR Scholar Bobby G. Jarrell; 1st Runner-Up Austin Van Lam; 2nd Runner-Up Jackson A. Flowers

An Itawamba Agricultural High School student with a perfect 36 composite score on the American College Test (ACT), combine scores of 144 and average of 100.08 has been named Mississippi’s TOP ALL-STAR Scholar for 2021. Bobby G. Jarrell is the son of Bobby and Jennifer Jarrell of Fulton, MS. Jarrell will receive a $24,000 scholarship provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. He plans to attend Mississippi State and study Mathematics. Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher – the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement. Jarrell designated Christopher D. Johnson as his STAR Teacher. Johnson has been teaching for 20 years and this is his 13th time to be named STAR Teacher.

Austin Van Lam a Long Beach High School STAR Student has been name 1st runner-up and will receive a $20,000 Scholarship from the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. His parents are Jie and Liem Lam. Lam designated Aimee Chambliss-Dunaway of Vancleave as his STAR Teacher. Chambliss-Dunaway has been teaching for 5 year and this is her first time being named STAR Teacher.

Jackson A. Flowers a Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science STAR 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 Merle Flowers and Stacey Austin. Flowers designated Philip Benge of Columbus as his STAR Teacher. Benge has been teaching for 4 years. He has been named STAR Teacher 4 times.

Each STAR Teacher of the top three ALL-STAR Scholars received a $1,000 award. One-time scholarship awards of $1,000 are provided to the remaining top 17 ALL-STAR Scholars. 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 theme for the 2021 Education Event was “Strength and Resilience.” This year, the MEC’s M. B. Swayze Foundation recognized 310 STAR Students across the state. Each STAR Student received a medallion, lapel pin and certificate in recognition of their academic achievement.

SCHOOL CONTACT INFORMATION NEEDED

Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, Maddox Foundation Support MEC’s STAR Program

Please click below for more information regarding the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and Maddox Foundation's support for MEC's Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Program award recipients from across the state.

The Mississippi Economic Council and its M.B. Swayze Foundation sponsor the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Program in an effort to encourage scholastic achievement among the state's high school students. The STAR Program has two specific purposes:

  1. Emphasize scholastic excellence and encourage greater scholastic effort among Mississippi students.
  2. Recognition of the teaching profession.

Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. STAR Scholarships:

The top 20 STAR Students will be called ALL-STAR Scholastic Scholars, following the same steps as those used at the local level. Each ALL-STAR Scholar will receive a Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. STAR Scholarship provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. Mr. Cooke was a native of Attala County and was active in worldwide pipeline construction. The STAR scholarship will be:

  • To the state's top ALL-STAR Scholar, a $24,000 Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. STAR Scholarship.
  • To the first runner-up, a $20,000 Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. STAR Scholarship.
  • To the second runner-up, a $16,000 Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. STAR Scholarship.

The above scholarships are awarded in equal payments over four years and are contingent upon student performance. One-time scholarship awards of $1,000 are provided to the remaining 17 ALL-STAR Scholars. Teachers of the top three ALL-STAR Scholars will each receive a $1,000 award. The remaining 17 ALL-STAR Teachers will each receive a $500 award.

* - STAR Students and STAR Teachers must be United States citizens to receive scholarships.

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