December 7, 2021

Chamber Celebrates 2019 STAR Student and Teacher

Pictured above (L-R): Debbie Hudson (mother), 2019 STAR Student Mason Hudson, Grandparents, Wendell and Brenda Cole and 2019 STAR Teacher Mr. Lee Burson (Photo: Debbie O’Neal)

(Franklin/Times-Journal) — The Heard County Chamber of Commerce hosted the Spring Education Luncheon on March 19 at the Franklin Community Center.

The luncheon was held to honor Heard County High School’s STAR student and STAR Teacher. Lunch was catered by Great Events, Inc.

Heard County Chamber President Melinda Brown welcomed all in attendance.

HCHS principal Brent Tisdale introduced Mason Hudson as 2018-19 STAR Student. He stated, “Mason Hudson is a remarkable young man — very quiet, very humble but always smiling.”

Mason is the Salutatorian of the Class of 2019 with a GPA 98.38 and has had Perfect Attendance throughout High School. He’s been dual-enrolled in college this entire year.

During Mason’s four years at Heard High he has been involved in Marching Band – 4 years, National Honor Society – 3 years with 60 hours of NHS in Group and Individual community service, Future Business Leaders of America – 4 years, FBLA President 2018-2019, FBLA Vice President 2017-2018, FBLA Webmaster 2016-2017, Second Place in 3-D Animation at State Conference 2017, Competed at National Conference 2017 in 3-D Animation at Anaheim, California, First Place in Business Communications and Political Science at Region Conference 2019, National Spanish Honor Society – 2 years, and Tri-M Music Honor Society – 2 years.

After graduation, Mason plans to attend Georgia Tech and major in Computer Science and minor in Spanish and Business Technology. He plans to march for the Yellow Jacket Band while studying at Georgia Tech.

In his speech Mason stated, “I chose Señor Burson as my STAR teacher because every day in his class I learned something. Señor Burson cares about every single student so much and he’s very passionate about Spanish. Without a doubt, he is one of my favorite teachers!”

Mason explained how he learned a lot of vocabulary and problem-solving skills from his Spanish Class, which helped him on the SAT.

Spanish Teacher, Mr. Lee Burson honored Mason in his speech by saying, “Little did I know when I came to Franklin, Georgia five years ago that I would get the opportunity to teach one of the most unique and amazing people that I have taught in my 26 years of teaching. Because in this reality show world that we live in, it’s the students like Mason that you don’t discount because they are truly the stars!”

Chamber President Melinda Brown presented Mason and Mr. Burson with the STAR Student and STAR Teacher Award.

Guest Speaker, School Superintendent, Rodney Kay stressed a burden that has been on his heart. He spoke about the three E’s (Enrollment, Enlistment and Employment) for Heard County students.

“Around 150 students graduate each year but only around 40 of those students enroll for college. Not because they are not college material but because they do not have the desire to enroll,” said Kay. “My burden is for the 95 to 100 students that either enlist in the Military or that are seeking employment after high school.”

Mr. Kay spoke of the plans being put in place to provide better opportunities for students that have a desire to work after graduating. Plans that will help those students to come out employment ready from Heard County High School.

Guest Speaker, Assistance School Superintendent, Mike Roberts began his speech by saying, “Congratulations Mason! I was Mason’s middle school principal. He just has a quiet excellence about him. I’m not surprised at all that he is named STAR student!”

Mr. Roberts spoke on Heard County Schools core values. Core values are how they do their work each day. Not test scores or data but how they walk out into their daily lives and interact with kids and each other. The core values he spoke of were patient, kindness, forgiving, truthful, trusting, unselfish and being dedicated to these six values.

After speaking about each one of these values Roberts stated, “If you wonder where these values come from, if they sound familiar to you, I’m going to read to you where they come from.

“2 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

We pour out all this communication and all this knowledge into our students but I love this quote! Though students obtain all the knowledge we can communicate to their minds, unless we can reach their hearts with love it is of little value.”

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