Mina L. Burton has been named STAR Student for the 2017-2018 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsors of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program. Established by the Mississippi Economic Council in 1965, the purpose of the STAR program is to recognize outstanding students and teachers in Mississippi through its Education celebration. The theme for this year’s celebration is: Think. Grow. Succeed.
The Sacred Heart Catholic High School senior will be honored during the annual Education Celebration on April 12, 2018, at the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson. The Education Celebration will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex.
At Sacred Heart, Burton serves as Student Body Secretary and Senior Class Secretary and is a member of the Beta Club and Mu Alpha Theta. She was named Homecoming Queen earlier this year and has served as team manager for basketball, track and cross country. Burton attended American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and represented Mississippi as a Girls Nation Delegate. She is the daughter of Amy and Mark Miller of Hattiesburg. Burton plans to attend Washington & Lee University and major in Business Management.
STAR Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence. Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student, explained Vicki Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations. “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors,” she said. Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.
Burton designated Richard O. Muli as STAR Teacher. Muli has been a teacher for 41 years and has taught high school Mathematics at Sacred Heart for the past 11 years. He holds Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi. In 2000, Muli was named a Presidential Educator, and in 2002 he was named as the Joseph P. Whitehead Teacher of Distinction. During the STAR Education Celebration, Muli will be honored for being named STAR Teacher 11 times in his career.
Over 500 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will receive recognition from MEC’s M. B. Swayze Foundation at the Celebration. The top 20 STAR Students – The ALL-STAR Scholars – will receive scholarships and their STAR Teachers will receive awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation. The highlight of the Education Celebration will be the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for the 2017-2018 school year, winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.