• Ceremony honors Star Teachers and Star Students in the Class of 2024

    The Star Teacher-Student Awards ceremony for the Class of 2024 was held on Thursday evening, April 11 at the Gaston Early College High School.  The recognition program was presented by Gaston County Schools and sponsored by The Gaston Gazette.

    Each high school had the opportunity to choose an outstanding senior in the Class of 2024 as the school’s Star Student.  During the ceremony, the Star Student honored the Star Teacher who had a significant influence on the student’s educational career.

    Below are the Star Teacher-Student Awards honorees:

    Ashbrook High School
    Star Teacher Angela Salgado selected by Star Student Sarah Bell

    From an early age, Ashbrook High School Star Student Sarah Bell dreamed of being a kindergarten teacher. Sarah wrote, “On my first day of school, I was nervous and scared. However, when I walked into my kindergarten class at Gardner Park Elementary, I was greeted by a bright smile that eased my fears and brought me some peace. That person was my Star Teacher, Angela Salgado. Now, as a teacher cadet, I have the privilege of volunteering in her class, where I observe Mrs. Salgado’s passion for teaching and her dedication to helping those around her.”

    Sarah plans to attend a four-year university and become a kindergarten teacher.

    Bessemer City High School 
    Star Teacher Katie Pasour Brotherton selected by Star Student Megan Millsaps

    Bessemer City High School Star Student Megan Millsaps acknowledges her Star Teacher, Katie Pasour Brotherton, for preparing her for the medical field. Megan had Mrs. Brotherton for Health Science I and Biomedical Technology, and she describes her classroom as fun and inviting, reflecting Mrs. Brotherton’s personality. Although the classes can be a bit stressful, Megan says they are enjoyable and interesting, and if you listen carefully, you will truly learn something from them.

    Megan plans to attend Chowan University to major in biology for pre-veterinary medicine and then enroll in a veterinary school.

    Cherryville High School 
    Star Teacher Houston Gilmore selected by Star Student Harleigh LaRoche

    At Cherryville High School, Star Teacher Houston Gilmore has a way of making you feel like you can control everything, and that it’s up to you whether to succeed. Star Student Harleigh LaRoche is grateful for Mr. Gilmore’s guidance, which emphasizes resilience and the importance of never settling for less than the best.

    Harleigh plans to attend UNC-Charlotte to major in social work with the goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

    Stuart W. Cramer High School 
    Star Teacher Mindee Mammano selected by Star Student Ainsley VanderMeer

    Stuart W. Cramer High School Star Student Ainsley VanderMeer describes her Star Teacher, Mindy Mammano, as caring, loving, and always dedicated to ensuring her students comprehend the subject material through discussions, projects, and activities. What makes her even more special is her excitement for the students’ achievements; she proudly hangs up their work on classroom walls like a proud mom.

    Ainsley plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill to pursue a career as either a lawyer or a physical therapist.

    East Gaston High School  
    Star Teacher Brandon Taylor selected by Star Student Shelden Clark

    “One of the events that I will miss the most from high school is coming off the football field after winning a home game and giving Mr. Taylor a fist bump or high five,” wrote East Gaston High School Star Student Shelden Clark of his Star Teacher, Brandon Taylor.  Shelden managed double duty on Friday nights, playing for the football team and in the marching band at halftime. “He believed in me from day one, which allowed me to grow as a player and, more importantly, as a person.”

    Shelden plans to attend college to major in aerospace engineering.

    Forestview High School 
    Star Teacher Lindsey Dickerson-Beverly selected by Star Student Riley Rouse

    Forestview High School Star Student Riley Rouse says that mapping out a plan to achieve his goals in high school was easy, but the social and emotional challenges during the pandemic made life especially complicated. He said of his Star Teacher, Lindsey Dickerson-Beverly (known as Mrs. D.B.): “Her gifts as an educator include more than teaching the curriculum. Mrs. D.B. helped me find my strengths and encouraged me to focus on forging my own path, for which I am most grateful.”

    Riley plans to attend Clemson University and major in human capital education and development.

    Gaston Virtual Academy 
    Star Teacher Rachel Drake selected by Star Student Patrick Nanney

    Star Student Patrick Nanney enrolled in the Gaston Virtual Academy due to a chronic health condition. What initially seemed like a challenging change turned out to be a blessing, thanks to his Star Teacher, Rachel Drake. Mrs. Drake’s classes extend far beyond memorization; she emphasizes how historical events impact individuals and stresses the importance of considering facts before forming opinions.

    Patrick plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill where he will double major in advertising/public relations and English with a focus in creative writing. He plans to become an author.

    Gaston Early College High School 
    Star Teacher Sharanda Payseur selected by Star Student Crisbel Rodriguez

    For Gaston Early College High School Star Student Crisbel Rodriguez, English is not her first language, but Star Teacher Sharanda Payseur was supportive and provided help along the way. Her honesty, encouragement, engagement, and charisma are just some of the qualities that make Ms. Payseur a remarkable and special teacher.

    Crisbel plans to attend UNC-Charlotte and major in chemistry. She plans to pursue a career as a medical laboratory scientist.

    Gaston Early College High School of Medical Sciences
    Star Teacher Dana Hinkle selected by Star Student Amelia Matzke

    Gaston Early College High School of Medical Sciences’ Star Student, Amelia Matzke, fondly remembers her Star Teacher, Dana Hinkle, who taught her first grade at Rankin Elementary. Not only was she in a combined class with second graders, but Mrs. Hinkle also made her feel like someone of importance. “Mrs. Hinkle gave me the strong building blocks to lay a firm foundation for my love of school and pushed me to want more from my education,” wrote Matzke.

    Amelia plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and earn a degree in health policy and management. She plans to become a hospital administrator.

    Highland School of Technology 
    Star Teacher Matthew Renegar selected by Star Student Jason Li

    Highland School of Technology Star Student Jason Li credits Star Teacher Matthew Renegar’s teaching for inspiring him to pursue math in higher education. Mr. Renegar challenges his students to think critically, encouraging them to grasp complex concepts beyond just solving problems. He willingly sacrifices his time and offers extra help to students in need.

    Jason plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill or N.C. State University to major in mathematics and computer science. He hopes to become a data analyst, actuary, software engineer, or quant trader.

    Hunter Huss High School 
    Star Teacher Jessica Kimmel selected by Star Student Benjamin Kimmel

    Hunter Huss High School Star Student Benjamin Kimmel knows his Star Teacher a little too well; it’s his mother and math teacher, Jessica Kimmel, who acts as a mother not only to her own children, but also to her students. Ben wrote: “Her dedication to her students went beyond the classroom: working late into the night, attending her students’ sporting events, and even making cupcakes for them. Her hard work and dedication are traits I aspire to mirror.”

    Ben plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and major in exercise science with a concentration in sports administration. He plans on becoming an athletic director at the collegiate level or a sports administrator for a professional sports team.

    North Gaston High School 
    Star Teacher Timothy Reed selected by Star Student Charles Eason

    North Gaston High School Star Teacher Timothy Reed has had a tremendous impact on Star Student Charles Eason’s life. As the school’s band teacher, Mr. Reed always finds a way to lighten the mood of the band while maintaining the professionalism of the ensemble. For Eason, being able to renovate and improve the band trailer through his Eagle Scout project meant the world to him because it showed that Mr. Reed trusted him with the repairs.

    Charles plans to attend Campbell University to major in mechanical engineering. He plans to use his degree to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

    South Point High School 
    Star Teacher David Grimes selected by Star Student Alex Villarreal

    At South Point High School, Star Teacher David Grimes sees teaching as more than just “teaching” – it’s a performance. Star Student Alex Villarreal writes, “His enthusiasm shines through in every math problem he presents. His excitement for tackling new challenges each day even managed to make numbers exciting!” Alex said that Mr. Grimes has taught him more than just passing math tests; he’s also helped him become a confident speaker.

    Alex plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill to major in political science. His goal is to pursue a career in law and politics.

    Webb Street School 
    Star Teacher Christine Miller selected by Star Student John Robinson

    At Webb Street School, Star Student John Robinson finds joy in learning science through music, experiments, and videos. His Star Teacher, Mrs. Christine Miller, is not only kind and supportive, but also genuinely interested in his future aspirations, hobbies like beyblades, singing, and being a good friend to his peers.

    The ceremony was recorded, and it premieres on Spectrum Cable Channel 21, the Education Station for Gaston County Schools, the week of April 29 - May 5.  Airtimes are 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.each day.  The ceremony will re-air on TV at various times throughout summer.

VIDEO: Star Teachers and Star Students 2024