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The STARs shine at Chamber lunch
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Yash Patel and Dayle McCallar with Liberty County Board of Education Chairwoman Lily Baker at Thursdays Progress Through People luncheon at the Performing Arts Center in Flemington. - photo by Patty Leon

The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Progress Through People Luncheon Thursday, introducing this year’s STAR students from Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School.
The luncheon was sponsored by Webster University and catered by JJ’s Bar and Grill.

Dayle Lauren McCallar was named Bradwell Institute’s STAR student and Yash Mukesh Patel was the recipient from Liberty County High School.
McCallar is a native and lifelong resident of Liberty County. She represents the fifth generation in her family to attend BI, including both of her parents. She is at the top of her class academically and also involved in many activities at school.

McCallar is senior class vice president, captain of the soccer team, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and a member of both the Beta Club and National Honor Society. Through these affiliations and others, she has spent many hours over the past four years giving back to her community through organizations such as the Liberty Humane Shelter, Midway Museum, Liberty County Recreation Department, and Keep Liberty Beautiful. This year, McCallar is also co-chairing Bark for Life, an event hosted by the Liberty County Relay for Life to raise funds to fight cancer.

McCallar was also recognized as a Georgia certificate of merit recipient, an AP scholar with distinction, a Wendy’s High School Heisman school winner, a WSAV Parker’s Outstanding Student, and a two-time Positive Athlete Georgia, a Governor’s Honors Program state semi-finalist, a Georgia Girls State Delegate, and a member of this year’s class of Young Adult Liberty Leaders.

She plans to attend the University of Georgia in the fall where she will major in political science. She plans to attend law school in the future as well, with the hopes of working in public policy one day. She is the daughter of Greg and Melissa McCallar.

Patel is the son of Mukesh and Damini Patel. He’s lived in Hinesville most of his life. Patel has participated in many activities in and out of school. He is vice president of FBLA, member of the varsity basketball team, National Honor society, and student council. Outside of school he actively gives back to the community as a youth basketball coach and volunteers at organizations such as the Humane Shelter and Keep Liberty Beautiful. Furthermore Patel has also been recognized as an AP Scholar with distinction, a member of this year’s class of Young Adult Liberty Leaders and a recipient of the Georgia certificate of merit. Patel will also be attending the University of Georgia as a first generation college student and will major in finance.

Each STAR student selected a teacher they felt made the biggest impact through their educational journey.
McCallar credited her success to Marilyn Hampton. Patel said his success was due to Tracy Austin.
The Professional Association of Georgia Education, Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Program, is in its 60th year.

It is sponsored, administered and promoted by the PAGE Foundation. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored nearly 26,500 students and the teachers that they have been selected as having had the most influence on their academic achievement.
To be eligible for a STAR nomination, 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.
The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce is sponsor of the STAR program in Liberty County.

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