MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce honored Michael Watson of Baldwin High School as the county’s 2013 STAR Student at the Milledgeville Country Club Thursday with a plaque and a $1,000 scholarship in recognition of his achievement.
Watson said his late grandfather Laurence Heymann has served as a huge driving force for everything he has accomplished in his academic career thus far.
“I come from a family of teachers; my great uncle teaches at Auburn and my grandfather was an English teacher at Georgia Military College. [My grandfather] was diagnosed with [multiple sclerosis] in 1980 and by the time I was born in 1995, well I never really heard him talk. He passed away in 2007, and everything I’ve done academically is a tribute to him,” Watson said during his speech. “I hear stories about him and hear from my mom, grandma and students of his in the past, and everything just drives me to be a little bit better. Everything I do, every paper I write, I know he’s looking down from heaven with his red pen and grading it.”
Watson’s parents, Benny and Lori, and grandparents Delores Heymann and Ben and Jackie Watson, were more than elated to see their son and grandson earn the STAR Student merit.
“We could not be more proud of him,” Lori said.
“It’s just a privilege to be his grandparents,” Jackie added emotionally.
Since his freshman year, Watson has been involved with the school theater, Thespian Troupe No. 2187, the mock trial team and Baldwin Marching Pride, serving as trumpet section leader, selected to numerous district and region honor bands, and participated in the Georgia Music Educators Association’s All-State Chorus. He has been nominated for the Governor’s Honors Program in the area of social studies, and the Macon Telegraph’s Golden Eagle Award in the area of drama. Watson stays active within the community by assisting and tutoring with the Homework Helpers Ministry through Hardwick Baptist Church and Discipleship Christian Center. He was also a founding member of the school’s Political Science Club during his junior year. Watson will attend the University of Georgia in the fall as a political science major to pursue a career in teaching.