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Long STAR student, teacher honored
Long STAR students
Long County STAR student Brandon Abbott and teacher Denise Montgomery display their awards with BoE Chairwoman Janet Watford and Abbotts mother, Brandy. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

The Long County Chamber of Commerce recently held its annual Student Teacher Achievement Recognition ceremony at the recreation complex in Ludowici. With about 40 people in attendance, Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Watford presented the awards to Long County High School senior Brandon Abbott and teacher Denise Montgomery.
Watford said that Abbott achieved a total SAT score of 1498 — 496 in reading, 514 in math and 488 in writing. He also has been in the top 10 percent of his class for all four years of high school. Abbott is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America and student council. He is attending Armstrong Atlantic State University under a dual-enrollment college/high school curriculum.
Montgomery, who was selected by Abbott as his STAR teacher, has been a math instructor for 23 years and was Long County’s Teacher of the Year in 2009. Both Abbott and Montgomery also were selected as the school system’s STAR student and teacher, so they now will represent Long County at the March 19 region competition at Georgia Southern University.
The ceremony was held as part of the chamber’s monthly Business After Hours program. The recreation department’s new director, Henry Strickland, addressed the guests and told them that his attendance at Long County schools from 1964-70 made his return special.
“I work for all of the children in Long County, and I want you to know that the children will always come first,” Strickland said.
He said he has worked in youth sports since 1977, and he thinks there are three ways to reach children — through the churches, schools and recreation departments. He said that children need guidelines and structure, and want to be led by adults.
“Adults lead, children follow. We need to pay attention to how we lead these kids … true leadership always means action,” Strickland said.
Relay for Life Chairwoman Deborah Wells also spoke at the event, reminding the crowd that the Long County Relay for Life is slated to begin at 7 p.m. May 16 and will run through the next morning. This is Long County’s ninth year hosting a RFL, and the fundraising goal is $40,000. For more information, go to

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