SPCHS Announces Star Student & Star Teacher

Congratulations Gavriella Persing ’21 for being named this year’s STAR Student. 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. Persing scored a 35 on the ACT and has a weighted GPA of 4.25. She has also taken all seven Advanced Placement courses offered at St. Patrick Catholic High School. 

“Being selected as Star Student is such an honor to be able to represent my class in this way,” Persing said. “It serves as a testament not to my achievements, but to the dedication of my parents and my teachers in encouraging my education and growth.”

Gavriella is a member of several clubs at St. Patrick Catholic High School including National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and National English Honor Society. She is also a member of the Team Tempest Robotics team, Interact Club, Quiz Bowl, Drama Guild, and FCA. 

“Gavriella is most deserving for this year’s STAR Student award,” Dr. Matt Buckley said. “Her dedication to her academic success and her willingness and ability to lead and encourage others is inspiring. On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of St. Patrick Catholic High School, I extend a special congratulations to Gavriella!”

After graduation, Persing plans to attend Baylor University to study Biochemistry and/or Astrophysics.

Persing has chosen Mrs. Debbie Worrel as this year’s Star teacher. Mrs. Worrel has been a teacher for 44 years; 26 of those years were at Mercy Cross Catholic High School and the last 14 have been at St. Patrick Catholic High School. She teaches an array of science classes including Chemistry I, Advanced Placement Chemistry, Physics, and Biomedical Research and Engineering. 

“I am so honored to have been named Gavriella’s STAR Teacher,” Worrel said. “She is a very special young lady and I truly am touched by the fact that she feels I have contributed so much to her academic future.”

Dr. Matt Buckley says he was proud Gavriella selected Mrs. Worrel as her STAR Teacher.

“Mrs. Worrel is one of the best teachers with whom I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside. Her devotion to her students and her dedication to the mission of out great school is most impressive, and I am extremely proud to have Mrs. Worrel among our faculty at St. Patrick.

More than 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 scholarships and their 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.