December 2, 2020

Chamber honors Star Student at Spring Luncheon

Pictured above at the Spring Luncheon (L-R): Helen Bass, Sandra Holtzclaw, Tammy Alford, Ty Alford, Will Alford, Blake Alford, Star Student Trey Alford, Star Teacher Trent Bianco (Photo: Debbie O'Neal)

Pictured above at the Spring Luncheon (L-R): Helen Bass, Sandra Holtzclaw, Tammy Alford, Ty Alford, Will Alford, Blake Alford, Star Student Trey Alford, Star Teacher Trent Bianco (Photo: Debbie O’Neal)

(Franklin, GA/Times-Journal) — The Heard County Chamber of Commerce held their annual Spring Education Luncheon on March 14 at the Heard County 4-H Center on Glover Road in Franklin.

The event was held to honor 2017 Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) winner. The STAR program honors Georgia’s highest achieving high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.

To obtain the STAR nomination, high school students must have the highest score on any single test date of the SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year and must also be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.

This year’s Heard County STAR student is HCHS senior Trey Alford. He is the son of Ty and Tammy Alford. Trey plans to attend University of Georgia in the fall and major in pharmaceutical science with the goal of becoming a pharmacist.

Trey chose Heard County High School educator Mr. Trent Bianco as his STAR teacher. Bianco taught Trey Accelerated Analytic Geometry and Accelerated Pre-Calculus. Bianco is in his 4th year as the Head Baseball Coach at Heard High and he is also an assistant coach for the Lady Braves softball team. He has taught math for eight years.

The luncheon began with Chamber Chairman Jimmy Adams welcoming everyone. Mr. Adams gave everyone attending a one question pop quiz, “Who knows what is significant about today, March 14?” The answer: Pi Day which is celebrated on March 14th around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is 3.14.

Afterward, Chamber Board member Cutine Barber blessed the food and those in attendance were served a wonderful buffet-style lunch, catered by Joshua D. Events.

Chamber President Renai Brock recognized the meal sponsors for the luncheon which were Georgia Power and Carroll EMC. She thanked everyone for coming out and honoring the STAR student and teacher and introduced the guest speaker, Heard County High School Principal Mr. Brent Tisdale.

Principal Tisdale stated, “I truly consider it a blessing from God that my family and I were able to move to Heard County. Being the new principal, we have been well received by the community and are thankful to be part of the Brave Nation.”

Tisdale told of his first impression with the STAR student at football practice last spring, when he and his family first visited Heard County. Trey was one of the first students that welcomed them to Heard County.

Tisdale introduced Trey to those attending the luncheon by stating, “Trey is a member of the BETA Club, The Warcry, Move On To Ready Program. He has ranked No. 1 out of 147 seniors. He is this year’s Valedictorian and has a 98.6 accumulated GPA.”

In Trey Alford’s speech, he stated, “I would like to thank the chamber for putting all this together and all my family for all they have done over the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They have played a big role in my life.”

Trey spoke of the many reasons he chose educator Trent Bianco as his STAR teacher. He not only praised his teaching skills in math but also spoke highly of his baseball coaching.

“I have been lucky enough to call him my baseball coach for the last four years,” said Alford. “He has been very influential on the baseball field and has also helped me develop as a man. I would like to thank him for everything he has done.”

Trent Bianco honored Trey by saying it has been a great pleasure to teach him. He spoke of what a rare person Trey is — once he learns a concept he will help others in the classroom to make sure they understand it too.

Coach Bianco stated, “Trey shows great leadership not only in the classroom but on the baseball field as well. He genuinely cares and has become successful because of his hard work. Last year Trey was a star pitcher when we went to the Elite 8. He’s one of the main reasons we have been successful in baseball.”

“It has been an absolute blessing to call myself his teacher the last couple of years and his coach the last four years,” added Bianco. ” Thank you, Trey! This has been a tremendous honor for you to have picked me. I’m so proud of you! Your family has so much to be proud of! I can’t wait to see what you do at UGA.”

Chamber President, Renai Brock presented STAR Student, Trey Alford and STAR Teacher, Trent Bianco with a certificate and an award.

Guest Speaker and Heard County Superintendent Mr. Rodney Kay congratulated both Trey and Mr. Bianco on their accomplishments.

He spoke on the importance of education and putting kids first — reminding those in attendance of all that SPLOST dollars do to help educate Heard County students. He thanked the community for passing the FY18 SPLOST.

Kay spoke on the mentoring program and the Baby Braves program. He suggested ways the community could help by contacting the school and taking the time to read to a child or become a mentor to a student.

“I have often heard the phrase ‘Little Old Heard County’ and I tell you this, Heard County is a giant in the state of Georgia when it comes to teaching children and it is because of your support as a community,” said Kay.

“There are only two kinds of people at our schools those who teach and those who support teachers, that’s it — everyone fits into those two roles. I can’t thank the community enough for all the support they give to education. Heard County School System is something we all can be proud of.”

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