Chamblee Student Shoots for the STARs


Photo courtesy of the Blue and Gold

Tinnell shows off her award

Samantha Booher, Reporter

STAR student is an honor that is given to a student (and teacher of their choosing) who scored the highest SAT score in one sitting.

This year Chamblee’s STAR student is Jason Wu who is in NHS, Interact, Beta Club, and is a runner on the cross country team. Wu did not only win the school-wide STAR student but also won at the county level, competing against the rest of DeKalb high schools. The next step for Wu is at the state level.

“I was a bit surprised because I know that I wasn’t the only one that got a [score of]1600 in our class, so I don’t actually know why they chose me instead of anyone else. So I still haven’t figured that out,” said Wu.

How did Wu prepare for his successful SAT experience?

“Practice a lot for the SAT, just do a lot of practice tests,” said Wu.

Another key part of the STAR student award process is identifying a school staff member who has made a big impact on the student’s school performance. Wu could easily identify the teacher who influenced him the most: APUSH teacher Jennifer Tinnell.

“She was my cross country coach, and so I met her in freshman year and so she’s just been my coach all four years and also my APUSH teacher,” said Wu. “She’s very upbeat, very good at keeping the class excited and energetic, especially during the pandemic last year.”

Tinnell feels this award is very much deserved.

“Jason is just an exceptional student academically as well as just an amazing individual. He’s just compassionate, he’s humble, he’s smart. He’s just so liked by his friends, I mean he’s just a great guy,” said Tinnell.

Tinnell expressed gratitude for being chosen by Wu as his most influential teacher.

“I think as teachers, we wonder a lot what difference we’re making with students and the athletes that we coach, and some kids wear things on their sleeves, you can tell right away that they really respect you, or they really like you. You know those kids that you get along with, and some kids keep things a little bit tighter and inside and I just am flattered that Jason somehow finds me to be a positive influence on his high school career and I think that it’s just very sweet of him” said Tinnell.

Tinnell felt touched that Wu chose her.

“I totally teared up that he would choose me out of all the amazing influences that he’s had. Chamblee is filled with awesome teachers and coaches. I was pretty emotional, I mean I found out pretty much by myself and the counselors told me and I just thought it was a very sweet, very kind gesture,” said Tinnell.

As Jason Wu receives recognition for his success on the SAT, he has shown that it isn’t just a reflection of a score he made on a test he took on a Saturday morning. It is a recognition of lots of hard work, and the positive influence of a teacher and coach who inspired and pushed Jason to do his best work.