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Sacred Heart Catholic School Announces STAR Student and STAR Teacher

Sacred Heart Catholic School senior Lucy Mellen has been named STAR Student for the 2020-2021 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program. 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. “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors. We congratulate all of our STAR Students and STAR Teachers for their exceptional level of achievement,” said Vickie Powell, Senior Vice President of Foundations.

At Sacred Heart, Mellen has been named Salutatorian for the Class of 2021. She has received numerous highest average academic awards, Speech & Debate awards, and was named a Top Ten Attorney at the 2019 National High School Mock Trial Competition. Mellen was named Sacred Heart’s Outstanding Undergraduate as a junior. She participates in a variety of extra-curricular activities. She is a member of the Mock Trial and Speech and Debate Teams, and has competed as part of the STEM Team. She has served on student council and played varsity volleyball. Mellen is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Beta Club and is a founding member of Sacred Heart’s Environmental Club. In the community, Mellen volunteers with Neighbors at Hawkins and served on the Mayor’s Youth Council.

Mellen is the daughter of Drs. Leigh Anne Strong and Phillip Mellen of Hattiesburg. She attends church at Ekklesia Hattiesburg, where she is active in the youth group. In college, she is planning to double major in Environmental Science and Political Science or International Business, and would like to pursue an MBA and attend law school to study Environmental Law.

"Lucy's future as an environmental lawyer is going to make a difference on many levels, but she is so down to Earth. I want all of my students to reach for the stars in whatever they choose to do, and Lucy is true gold-star quality," said Keith Brackett, Sacred Heart Catholic High School Principal. "She is a Mock Trial Champion and will be helping lead our team as they strive to bring home our first national championship. As a co-founder of our environmental club, she is an amazing spirit that demonstrates the power of student leadership."

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement. Mellen’s STAR Teacher designee is Betsy McIntire. McIntire has taught AP English and Literature, English IV, and English and humanities electives at Sacred Heart Catholic School since 2008. She is a graduate of Millsaps College. “I am deeply honored and delighted to be chosen by Lucy as Star Teacher,” said McIntire. “I have been privileged to witness Lucy’s tireless work ethic, enjoy her sparkling intellect and admire her academic integrity. Lucy is an impressively poised young woman whose dedication to learning, achieving and succeeding is an inspiration to all of the Sacred Heart community.”

Over 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will be recognized for their exceptional achievement by MEC’s M. B. Swayze Foundation with medallions, certificates and lapel pins. The Top 20 STAR Students – The ALL-STAR Scholars – will receive scholarship and their STAR Teachers will receive awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation. The highlight of STAR is the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for the 2020-2021 school year and winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.