Local sponsoring organization Paulding Chamber of Commerce named Brianne and Alex Leischow, both 18, as the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) award winners from the Paulding County School District in a ceremony at the county board of education offices in Dallas.
The students, who are the children of Steven and Kristy Leischow of Dallas, tied for the school district-level award because they had the identical highest score on the SAT college entrance exam among all the school-level winners at the county’s five high schools.
Kristy Leischow said she was “thrilled” for her children.
“I’m so happy for them. They worked so hard for everything, and are always pushing themselves just to do it,” she said.
The Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation sponsors the annual competition. To be nominated, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent, or top 10 students, of their class based on grade point average.
STAR students also recognize a teacher as having had the most influence on their academic success. Brianne named government and history teacher Christina Stanley, while Alex named advanced placement chemistry teacher Tammy Brown.
Stanley said Brianne Leischow, who was also North Paulding’s 2013 homecoming queen, was not self-conscious “but she’s true to herself.”
“As per her attitude of being true to herself, she’s loved by many and she’s a role model for her peers and her underclassmen alike,” Stanley said.
Alex Leischow said Brown “really made what is, honestly, kind of a hard and boring subject, entertaining and fun.”
Brown said Alex was “like an onion, because he’s got so many layers,” and said he was “humble” and “civic-minded.”
“If I could say one thing about Alex – if you spend any time around him, you come away a better person,” she said.
The siblings, who are fraternal twins, are products of Paulding County Schools, starting in kindergarten at Shelton Elementary School before attending McClure Middle School and North Paulding.
Alex is considering UGA, while Brianne is considering UGA and University of Alabama.
Other students named as school-level STAR winners within the Paulding County School District:
- Andrew Gamel, 18, son of Tommy and Roseann Gamel of Dallas, is Paulding County High School’s STAR student. He selected Bill Hayes, his honors physics teacher, as his STAR teacher. He is undecided on a college choice.
- Nicole McKim, 17, daughter of Sherie McKim of Douglasville in Paulding, is South Paulding High School’s STAR student. Her STAR teacher is Janene Browning, her calculus teacher. McKim plans to attend the University of Alabama.
- Sydney Sims, 17, daughter of Rebecca and Chad Sims of Dallas, is East Paulding High School’s STAR student. Her STAR teacher is Spanish teacher Tonya Simmons. The STAR student plans to attend either UGA or Kennesaw State University.
- Roxanne Richardson, 18, daughter of Jerry and Shawna Richardson of Dallas, is Hiram High School’s STAR student. Her STAR teacher is world history teacher David Todd. She plans to attend Kennesaw State University.