Senior Grace Greene was named Darlington's 2013 STAR Student during assembly on Feb. 18, at which time she selected Science Department Chairman Phil Titus as her STAR Teacher. The awards were presented by Al Hodge, president and CEO of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce.
“Mr. Titus has been both a mentor and friend to me for the past two years,” Greene said. “Being a boarding student can be difficult, because it forces you to be independent and solve your own problems, but this person has been like a parent to me, helping and encouraging me. Starting here as a junior, the workload was overwhelming; I had to do four or five hours of homework a night just to keep up with my classmates, but Mr. Titus pushed me to focus on my work. He wouldn’t let me be intimidated by the things we did in class, but instead encouraged me to learn everything else I could about the topic, even if it involved some extra effort.
“He’s always there when I need someone to talk to, and he’s one of the first people I call whenever I get good news,” she continued. “He keeps me from freaking out when I have 17,000 things due on the same day, and he’s always willing to stay after school when I need help editing a paper or finishing up a lab report. Mr. Titus is one of the most caring and devoted people I know, and he gets incredibly excited about the subjects he teaches. He dedicates his life to making students’ lives better.”
Titus, who has worked at Darlington since 2001, teaches Anatomy and Physiology as well as all levels of Biology.
A National Merit Finalist and a Noon Optimist Club Student of the Year Finalist in Academics, Greene taken 19 AP and Honors courses. She is an AP Scholar, an academic prefect and a servant leadership liaison, and also enjoys playing golf and tennis. She was named Student of the Year as a sophomore at Eagle’s Landing High School in her hometown of McDonough, Ga., and has received Darlington’s Sewanee Club Award and E.L. Wright Award for AP Biology (awarded to the student with the highest average). Greene also enjoys volunteering her time at community organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, McHenry Primary School, Rome Little Theater and Rome Action Ministries.
The daughter of Robin and Gerald Greene of McDonough, Ga., she has been accepted to the University of Alabama, Clemson University, Furman University, Georgia Tech, the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia.
The STAR Student is the senior who scores highest on the SAT during a single-day attempt and is also in the Top 10 percent of their class based on grade point average. The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, in its 55th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored more than 21,000 students and teachers.