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Kiwanis Club honors top seniors for testing

The Newton County School System and the Kiwanis Club of Covington honored the county's STAR students Thursday. From left to right: Alcovy High School's Jansen Lindner, Newton High School's Alex Grady and Eastside High School's Marshal Bryan. Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd

The Newton County School System and the Kiwanis Club of Covington honored the county's STAR students Thursday. From left to right: Alcovy High School's Jansen Lindner, Newton High School's Alex Grady and Eastside High School's Marshal Bryan. Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd

COVINGTON -- Three of Newton County's brightest stars were in the spotlight Thursday.

The Kiwanis Club of Covington recognized three top high school students and their favorite teachers at the annual Newton County School System STAR -- Student Teacher Achievement Recognition -- program, which is in its 55th year, on Thursday.

"These students and teachers represent the best of the best," said Gary Mathews, Superintendent of Newton County Schools. "Newton County is a better place for all of their efforts."

This year, Alcovy High School's STAR student is Jansen Lindner, who selected his Advanced Placement calculus teacher Scott Rains as his STAR teacher; Newton High's student is Alex Grady, who chose his AP economics teacher Aaron Robinson; and Eastside High School's student is Marshal Bryan, who picked Latin teacher Eric Adams.

The STAR program, which is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and locally sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Covington, honors graduating high school seniors in the top 10 percent of their class with the highest Scholastic Assessment Test scores in their schools.

In addition to being Eastside's STAR student, Bryan, son of Susan and Carey Bryan, also was chosen as the county's STAR student for scoring the highest in the county on the SAT -- 2130 out of 2400. He will go on to compete in the region competition.

He plans to attend the University of Georgia to double major in Latin and English beginning in the fall. He eventually wants to become a college professor so he can share with others his passions.

He's also the school 2012-13 school year salutatorian.

Bryan chose Adams as his STAR teacher because he inspired his interest in academics, especially Latin. This is Adams' eighth year being chosen as a STAR teacher.

"(Teaching Bryan) makes your job more enjoyable -- it's his effortlessness when he does his work," Adams said. "It gives one joy that one has such intellectual gifts."

Bryan also is involved with the Academic Team, Beta Club and the National Honor Society.

Lindner, son of Shey and Kari Lindner, scored a 2070 on the SAT. He's also the school's salutatorian and has been named an AP Scholar with Honors.

He plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall to study aerospace engineering, so he can follow in his father's footsteps by being an airplane mechanic.

He chose Rains because calculus is his favorite subject.

"He's a remarkable student and very easy to teach," Rains said. "I have to always be on my toes because he comes in with the more challenging questions. He's very thorough. He's like having a second person in the class to teach, so he really makes my job easier."

Lindner also is a cyclist and part of the math club.

Grady, son of Heidi and Lexiton Grady, scored a 1980 on his SAT. He's also the school's valedictorian.

He, too, will attend Georgia Tech to study mechanical engineering; he also plans to sign with the school's cross country/track team.

He chose Robinson, who he's had as a coach since his freshman year in high school, because he said he allows him to push himself academically and is his role model both in and out of school.

"He's an all-around student," Robinson said. "He's a learner -- not necessarily looking for the grade but looking for the education."

Grady also is part of the math and academic teams, the National Honor Society, the Key Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.