Last updated: April 10. 2014 3:02PM - 919 Views

CrossPointe STAR Teacher Dr. Charlsie Park and STAR Student John Michael Williams.
CrossPointe STAR Teacher Dr. Charlsie Park and STAR Student John Michael Williams.
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CrossPointe Christian Academy is proud to name John Michael Williams as its Star Student for the 2013-14 school year. Star Student is awarded annually to a senior making the highest score on a single test date on the three part SAT exam, as well as placing in the top tier of his or her graduating class, based on GPA.

John Michael has participated in many extracurricular activities at CrossPointe, including Beta Club (President and Vice President), National Honor Society, class representative for Student Government, varsity football, yearbook, peer tutoring and Drama Club. He recently helped CrossPointe’s Literary Team bring home a first place win at the State Literary Competition by placing first in dramatic interpretation. Williams built the brick and wood archway that marks the entrance to the school’s on-campus nature trail for his Eagle Scout project, and is the first Eagle Scout from CrossPointe’s Venture Crew 94. He is also participating in CrossPointe’s ACCEL program, which has allowed him to take pre-calculus, calculus, history and psychology for college credit.

As a junior, John Michael was selected by Southern Rivers Energy to be their representative on the Washington Youth Tour, the nation’s oldest leadership development program. It was on that trip that he realized what profession he wanted to pursue. “I love studying language and culture. Combining those two passions, I want to pursue a career in international business,” he said. “The Washington Youth Tour was a cool experience. I was able to see how the Senate works, and how people connect to conduct business.” John Michael came home from Washington and immediately began to research which university offered the best course of study. He learned the University of South Carolina had not only the number one ranked International Business School, but also the number one Honors College in the country, so he applied to both. Out of more than 2500 qualified applicants vying for a place in the prestigious Honors College, Williams was one of 300 accepted, which also guaranteed his acceptance to the highly competitive International Business School. An added benefit to his acceptance is the waiver of out of state tuition fees. He was also awarded USC’s McKissick scholarship. Since he plans to major in international business and minor in Spanish, he will have 6 semesters of Spanish, and at least one of his college semesters will be spent abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.

John Michael is the son of Malcolm and Krista Williams of Thomaston. His brother, Colin, also graduates in May, with a master’s degree in Marine Science from UGA. “He’s my brother, except on days when the two colleges play each other in football,” he jokes.

Williams chose Dr. Charlsie Park, also a Thomaston native, as his Star Teacher. Dr. Park is a graduate of R.E. Lee, and received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Georgia in 1994. She was adjunct faculty at Gordon College before accepting a position at CrossPointe, where she has taught for the past five years. Dr. Park taught John Michael World, British and American Literature.

“He is a gifted writer,” said Park. “I always enjoy reading what he has to say. John Michael is multi-talented, which I saw not only in the classes I taught, but also in his dramatic and musical literary team presentations. He’s a dream student. He gets it and is willing to share it. Some students get it but aren’t willing to participate in class. It’s obvious he loves literature, analyzing text and critical thinking, and that will take him far.”

As for his choice of Star Teacher, John Michael says, “We’ve always had a unique relationship. When we moved into the new high school building I helped her hang her posters and organize her room. She let me sit in her classroom in the eighth grade when I had a free period. At the end of the semester she told me I was her favorite non-student,” he laughs. “Dr. Park taught me to read in-depth, consider what the author and the characters are thinking and then use that type of analysis to help me retain what I’ve read.”

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