The Union Recorder

March 1, 2014

Baldwin youth possess potential; mentor, mold and challenge them

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Parents are often the first and most impactful teachers for any child, but few students are afforded the chance to thank a parent for his or her tutelage both inside and outside the classroom.

On Thursday, Baldwin County STAR student Kevin Myers did just that. The GMC Prep senior selected Maj. Charlie Myers as his STAR teacher. Both were recognized during the annual STAR program earlier this week at the Milledgeville Country Club. The unique side of this year’s program is that Charlie Myers is Kevin Myers’ dad.

Truly, Myers and his fellow honorees, Erin Elizabeth Harpe of Baldwin High School and Julie Elizabeth Hinson of John Milledge Academy, recognized at the recent Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce STAR lunch all possess an inner-drive and personal desire to succeed as evidenced by their long list of extracurricular activities and academic achievements, but it takes the guiding hands behind the scenes from parents, mentors and teachers to motivate young people to attain their fullest potential.

The roles of both parents and teachers in establishing the necessary foundation for student success can never be underestimated. It’s a symbiotic relationship that is vital in shaping the minds of future. Without striking the right balance, closing educational achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates and preparing a better workforce are near unobtainable goals. Yet oftentimes, teachers and mentors must step in to serve multiple roles, as coaches, counselors and advisors — expending long hours, resources, time and effort beyond the classroom to keep students on track and fill voids in the support system — those voids that when left open can mean the difference between student success and a another statistic. 

The dedicated educators and mentors such as those honored as STAR teachers on Thursday —Myers of GMC, Jessica Jones of JMA and John Stone of BHS— as well as their peers— support, mold and challenge young minds in this manner every day.

Beyond the scholarly awards and special recognition bestowed upon these three students, these honorees also remind us of what can be, and the potential for success that all students possess if and when we invest in them with our time and our talents.

This honor for these students likely would not have been possible without the guidance and support of family, parents, mentors, and teachers, who have invested in their success and inspired them along the way.

Teachers and mentors wear many hats in our society, serving in many forms as motivators — the guiding forces that spark dreams, tap into ambitions and afford us all the opportunity to watch the seed of learning grow.

The three students honored on Thursday should serve as a reminder to all of us of the bright potential in Baldwin County’s future. But they should also serve to remind us of the work that yet lies before us — work to continue shape and mold every student and every child to dream big and reach far to succeed.