Ajjan has STAR power for Stratford

Stratford+senior+Tarab+Ajjan+is+the+school%27s+STAR+student+of+2016-17.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Lee+McDavid%29

Stratford senior Tarab Ajjan is the school’s STAR student of 2016-17. (Photo courtesy of Lee McDavid)

Kaylee Jellum and Kenzie Muenzer

Surprised.

That is how Stratford Academy’s Star Student Tarab Ajjan said she felt about receiving this prestigious title.

“It was exciting,” said Ajjan. “I was like ‘Oh my god!’ ”

The Student/Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR), now in its 59th year, honors the academic achievement of high school seniors. STAR students are recognized by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) for having the highest score on a single test date on the three-part Scholastic Aptitude Test. They also must be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.

She selected Luke Harrington, chairman of the science department, as her STAR teacher.

Ajjan said she was so determined to boost her SAT scores she “turned into a social hermit for a couple of weeks.” Studying between each take, she constantly retook the SAT until she was satisfied with her score.

She boosted her score to 1490 through weeks of hard work and focusing less on school and her social life, instead turning her attention to preparing for the SAT.

Having Mr. Harrington for three years and in three different classes is why Ajjan said she selected him.

“He was the first teacher to encourage me to want to learn more, even if the subject [was] challenging,” said Ajjan. She said he helped her during science camp and never complained about it. She said that made her realize her potential.

She hopes to inspire younger students by telling them to work hard and be competitive.

“You, too, can be a star!” she said.