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Americus-Sumter High announces 2016 STAR Student, Teacher

AMERICUS — Morgan Cloutier has been named Americus-Sumter High School’s STAR Student for the 2015-2016 school year. STAR student recognition is awarded to the senior who has the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT. The selected student must also be in the top 10 percent or among the top 10 students of the senior class based on his or her grade point average.
Each STAR Student designates a STAR Teacher, the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s achievement. Cloutier selected Pushpa Rajan as her STAR Teacher. Rajan has been teaching at Americus-Sumter High School since 2007, and has been the Science Department chair since 2011.
“My passion is to get students ready for regional, state, and international science fairs. This was made possible as students like Morgan Cloutier are motivated and drive me to great heights with their sin” Rajan said of Cloutier. “She is always ready to learn AP Chemistry and ready to help me arrange lab activities. My favorite quote is — ‘If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.’”
The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, now in its 58th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored more than 23,500 students and the teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic success.
“It’s a great honor to be named as Americus-Sumter High School’s STAR Student,” said Cloutier. “It gives me a chance to give back to the teachers and the people who have helped me get to the point I am now, and show them how truly thankful I am for their time and advice. I’d like to exceptionally thank my STAR Teacher, Mrs. Rajan, for opening my eyes to just how much I truly love science and helping me to understand so much more than what a book could possibly teach me.”
Cloutier is the daughter of Paul Cloutier and Kari St. John. During her three years at Americus-Sumter High School she has earned many achievements. In her freshman year, she, along with five  other freshmen, competed in Odyssey of the Mind competitions. In both the regional and state levels, the team placed first, and then went on to place 12th at the World Finals in Michigan.
In addition, she is a member of the Varsity Tennis team where she has received many individual awards, as well as becoming a co-captain in her senior year. She was a Varsity Softball player for two years, and has been a member of the Math Team. She has also received an AP Scholar Award and was a finalist in the Georgia Southwestern State University “College Readiness” Essay contest. She has also been accepted to the Georgia Institute of Technology and plans to major in aerospace engineering.