Baldwin High School senior Carlos Abella-Ramirez was selected as the 2021 STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) Student at the school level. He chose Mrs. Jessica Thompson as his STAR Teacher.
Carlos was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of 1. His family later moved to Milledgeville and enrolled him in the Baldwin County School District. He has been dual-enrolled at Georgia Military College and Georgia College during his high school years.
Carlos plans to attend Georgia Tech this fall to major in computer science, a subject he is very passionate about. His career aspirations include working at a big tech company, developing new technologies, and improving existing ones. He said he chose Mrs. Thompson as his STAR Teacher because she has been the most influential teacher for him ever since he started high school.
Carlos states that he chose Mrs. Jessica as his STAR Teacher because "I've been with her since my first day at Baldwin High School. She has always been super supportive of me. I have asked her for advice on moving out and attending college and she's always super helpful. Not to mention that she's written countless letters of recommendation for scholarships and colleges for me. I really appreciate everything that she's done for me and I couldn't have asked for a better teacher to spend my four years in high school with."
Mrs. Thompson has been teaching since 2007. She has been with the Baldwin County School District since 2008. She describes Carlos in three words: steadfast, responsible, and reliable. "He has a quiet demeanor that belies the true depth of his personality, particularly his sense of humor. He is witty and kind and has a leadership style that is built upon teamwork and collaboration. He is a self-starter and is dedicated to any task he takes on. If he says he is going to do something, he does it, without needing his teacher to remind him or follow up with him."
The STAR program honors high school seniors for producing the highest scores in their schools on the SAT and are in the top 10% of their class based on grade point average. Those students then select a teacher who has had a big impact on them along their educational careers as their STAR teacher. Each of the three high schools: Baldwin High School, Georgia Military College Prep School and John Milledge Academy, name school-level winners each year to compete for the county honor.
The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is in its 63rd year and is sponsored, administered and promoted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and the PAGE Foundation. Since its creation, the STAR program has honored nearly 28,000 students and the teachers they have selected as the most influential to their academic achievement. For 35 years, the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Milledgeville have been local sponsors.