Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Foundation Learn more about the man whose Foundation helps fund our ALL-STAR Scholarships Read More ACT Test Registration Dates Go To Online ACT Registration

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.

STAR Program Celebrates 332 STAR Students, STAR Teachers

Click Here for Full List of STAR Students and STAR Teachers

Click Here to View the Education Celebration Powerpoint and Message from Governor Tate Reeves

Top ALL-STAR Scholar

Kees

A Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School student with a perfect 36 composite score on the American College Test (ACT), combine scores of 144 and average of 99.50 has been named Mississippi’s TOP ALL-STAR Scholars for 2020. John C. Kees is the son of Lara and Chris Kees of Jackson, MS. John will receive a $24,000 scholarship provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. Kees plans to attend college and study Biology.

Riesenberger

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher – the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement. Kees designated Thomas B. Riesenberger of Jackson as his STAR Teacher. Riesenberger has been teaching for 9 years and this is his 1 st time to be named STAR Teacher.

The theme for the 2020 Education Celebration was “Above and Beyond.”

Each STAR Student received a medallion, lapel pin, and certificate in recognition of their academic achievements. MEC has worked hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide information to each school district and connect our STAR Students, their parents, STAR Teachers, and school administrators in order to celebrate these significant accomplishments.

MEC 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. This year, The Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. provided $88,500 in scholarships and awards to STAR Students and STAR Teachers.

1st Runner-Up

Riwad Arnob Iftekhar a Madison Ridgeland Academy STAR 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 Sadeka Tamanna and Iftekhar Ullah. Iftekhar designated Matthew B. Bramuchi of Madison as his STAR Teacher. Bramuchi has been teaching for 17 years and this is his first time being named STAR Teacher.

Iftekhar

Bramuchi

2nd Runner-Up

Nathan F. Keen a Tupelo High School 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 Fred and Melissa Keen. Keen designated Jonathan C. Begnaud of Tupelo as his STAR Teacher. Begnaud has been teaching for 10 years. He has been named STAR Teacher 3 times.

Keen

Begnaud

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.

 

Congratulations to the Top 20 ALL-STAR Students & Teachers!
*- Listed in order of rank

Mississippi Top ALL-STAR Scholar
$24,000 Scholarship
John C. Kees
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
$1000 Award to STAR Teacher
Thomas B. Riesenberger

1st Runner-Up - $20,000 Scholarship
Riwad “Arnob” Iftekhar
Madison-Ridgeland Academy
$1000 Award to STAR Teacher
Matthew B. Bramuchi

2nd Runner-Up - $16,000 Scholarship
Nathan F. Keen
Tupelo High School
$1000 Award to STAR Teacher
Jonathan C. Begnaud

Kevin Zhang
Clinton High School
Teacher - Angela S. Olinger

Chase A. Yano
Harrison Central High School
Teacher - Cody Eadie

Nathan R. Chandler
Itawamba Agricultural High School
Teacher - Thomas W. Clayton

Vinson Lu
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Teacher - Darin Maier

William T. Betts
East Rankin Academy
Teacher - Josh K. Stuart

Sophia Adams Quinn
Oxford High School
Teacher - Stella D. Lindsey

Nicholas T. Dean
Jackson Preparatory School
Teacher - Kimberly M. Van Uden

Matthew C. Rester
Presbyterian Christian School
Teacher - Rhonda Robertson

Isaac G. Martinolich
Clinton High School
Teacher - Sarah Camille Hankins

Railey S. Mayatt
West Lauderdale High School
Teacher - Shauna R. Waters

Alyssa L. Stoner
Harrison Central High School
Teacher - Sharon M. Johnson

Katie L. Baker
Long Beach Senior High School
Teacher - Jonathan M. Hart

Abigail G. Wiest
Sacred Heart Catholic High School
Teacher - Richard O. Muli

Claire E. Richert
Ridgeland High School
Teacher - Christine M. Davidson

Sreya Maddali
Madison Central High School
Teacher - Rebecca K. Temple

Jeremy M. Wright
Harrison Central High School
Teacher - Cody Eadie

John A. Dale
Cathedral High School
Teacher - Laura Denise Thibodeaux

The above 17 ALL-STAR Scholars will receive a $1,000 Scholarship.
The 17 ALL-STAR Teachers will receive a $500 award.

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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