It is with great pride that Seminole County Middle/High School announces the STAR Student and STAR Teacher for 2022. This year’s STAR student is William Hilton Pace (Will). Will has selected Ms. Gay Williams as his STAR teacher.
Will Pace is the son of John and Amanda Buckhaulter and Wes Pace. He has attended Seminole County Schools since kindergarten. Will is honored to be named the 2021-2022 STAR student and would like to thank his teachers, friends, and family for supporting him throughout his journey.
Will has served as the local parliamentarian, secretary and president of Future Business Leaders of America and currently serves as the State Vice President of Communication. He has served as the local treasurer, secretary, and president of FFA and served as the Area 5 Reporter his junior year. He is the current chapter president of the National Honor Society and a member of Family Career and Community Leaders of America. Will was the recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award and also served on the state school superintendent’s advisory council in 2019-2020. This past summer Will was selected as one of two delegates to represent Georgia at Boys Nation hosted by the American Legion. In addition, he has also achieved many awards and accolades for public speaking and various competitions. After high school, Will plans to attend the University of Georgia majoring in International Affairs.
Will has had numerous outstanding teachers throughout his years at Seminole County. After much consideration, he chose Ms. Gay Williams to be his STAR teacher. Ms.Williams was Will’s physical science teacher his freshman year of high school. She not only pushed him to be a better student but also a better person. According to Will, “When I was told that I was this year’s STAR student, I knew that I would pick the teacher that had the most profound impact and for me that is Ms. Gay Williams. She has an unmatched determination and love for all of her students. I knew that I could always count on Ms. Gay to push me futher than I belived was my limit but no further from exactly where I needed to be. She has shaped who I am today and who I want to become in the future. Ms. Gay’s strength and unwavering faith has inspired me and I can only hope to carry some of the qualities she has taught and possesses into the next chapter of my life.”
Gay Williams graduated from Troy University and received a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Biology and a minor in Physical Science. She received a Master’s Degree in Biology from Georgia Southwestern University. During her teaching career, she has taught physical science, biology, chemistry, physics, and human anatomy and physiology. She also taught as an adjunct instructor for Bainbridge College. She has two children, Wes Williams and Russ Williams. They have provided her with seven wonderful grandchildren.
According to Ms. Williams, “ Will Pace is a wonderful student; the kind of student that teachers dream of. I had the honor of teaching him in Honors Physical Science. He is dedicated, driven to succeed, responsible, and friendly to all those around him. Will is involved in many extracurricular activities and still maintains an exceptional average in all subjects. He is also a wonderful leader. While Will is definitely serious about his work, he has an excellent sense of humor, and is very easy to be around. Perhaps more importantly, he is a good person with strong morals and empathy for others. I am extremely proud of Will for all of his accomplishments, including being named Seminole County’s Star Student. I am honored and humbled to be his Star Teacher. I have no doubt that he will accomplish great things in his lifetime. What an honor to have been a small part of that!”
Mr. Shane Purdy, Principal, shares, “The STAR recognition program was created to focus public attention on Georgia’s outstanding high school students and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development. It is indeed an honor for Seminole County to have such deserving students and faculty to support this most prestigious program. We congratulate both Will and Ms. Williams on receiving these honors and recognition. One of the many rewards of serving as an administrator is having the opportunity to see students and faculty members honored in such a way as these two are being honored through the STAR program. I am extremely proud of our faculty and student body at Seminole County Middle/High School and humbled to serve in helping prepare the young people of our county with the best possible education in leading them to become our citizens of tomorrow. Congratulations again to Will, Ms. Williams, their families and all who have had a part in achieving this highest of honors.”
The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Program, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored thousands of students and the teachers selected on the basis of their SAT scores, class standing and scholastic averages. The STAR student is the graduating senior who has earned the highest SAT score and is in the top 10% of the graduating class.