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August 2019
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Smith named Pickens High STAR student

star student Smith-Daymude

Submitted by Jasper Optimist Club


Pickens High School senior Dale Smith has been named the school’s 2019 PAGE STAR Student. The Optimist Club of Jasper, the local STAR program sponsor, announced the honor.  Smith selected Dr. Kathy Daymude, Math teacher at PHS, as his STAR Teacher. 

Smith, the son of John Smith, earned the recognition for academic achievement and performance on the SAT.  

The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is sponsored, administered and promoted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). Since its inception in 1958 the STAR program has honored nearly 28,00 students and the teachers selected as the most influential to their academic achievement. High school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average to qualify for STAR nomination. 

STAR begins each year in participating Georgia high schools when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from one of the more than 165 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local sponsors of the STAR program. Students then compete for school system recognition as the top STAR Student, and those winners compete for region honors. Region winners contend for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student. STAR Teachers continue on with their STAR Students at every level of the program. 

Dr. Daymude describes Dale as “the most avid mathematical learner I have met in 24 years of teaching. He is the star of our interscholastic math competitions, sometimes single-handedly representing PHS. His mathematical prowess earned him a spot in last summer’s prestigious Governor’s Honors Program.”

Dr. Daymude went on to say that “Dale’s abilities go beyond the mathematics and linguistic skills that helped him ace the SAT. He is a gifted musician; his percussion awards include being a five-time member of the Georgia All-State Band (First Chair this year). Additionally, it’s especially fun to watch him solve multiple types of Rubik’s cubes with blurring speed.”

Dale says, “I chose Dr. Daymude as my STAR Teacher because I feel that she was the teacher that most encouraged me to take on extra work outside of the classroom to broaden my horizons.”

Smith is a member of the PHS Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and the Young Writer’s Club. He plans to attend a 4-year college and pursue a degree in mathematics or engineering.

Dr. Daymude has taught for 24 years. She lives in the Big Canoe community and is married to Tom Daymude.

The Optimist Club will recognize Smith and Daymude at the annual STAR Banquet on Tuesday evening, March 12th. The banquet will be held at Chattahoochee College at 7 p.m. If you would like to attend the banquet, reservations can be made by emailing the Optimist Club at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Reservations are required, and the cost is $25 per person.

Dr. Chaudron Gille, interim provost and senior VP for academic affairs at the University of North Georgia, will be the guest speaker for the 2019 STAR Banquet.

In addition to the STAR Student and Teacher, the Optimist Club will also recognize an additional nine STAR Student and Teacher Finalists. 

Student and Teacher:

• Bethany Carver and Ted Estes;

•Katherine Densmore and Kanyon Petti;

• Emma DiPuma and Jolain Brownell;

• Olivia Fountain and  Angela Quarles;

• Miles Gregg and Keith Petty;

• Thomas Pinson and  Ginger Rizoti;

• Emily Robinson  and Wil Nix;

• Tyler Westbrook and Christine Westbrook;

• Rosa Willis and Christi Hobgood.