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Liess named St. Joseph’s STAR student; Odom named school’s STAR teacher

MADISON (Friday, March 8, 2019) – St. Joseph Catholic School senior Alaina Liess has been named a STAR student and English teacher Susie Odom has been named a STAR teacher for the 2018-2019 school year.

St. Joe named Liess this year’s recipient of the award on the basis of her ACT score and scholastic average. Liess in turn named Odom as her STAR teacher, the educator who has made the greatest contribution to her academic success.

“This is a great honor for Alaina Liess,” said Principal Dena Kinsey. “Alaina has had a great career here at St. Joe. She is a hard-working student who gives her all in everything she does. She is a great leader and a great role model for younger students.”

The award is sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council, the voice of Mississippi business since 1949. The MEC, whose roots go back to December 1948, has more than 11,000 members from 1,100 member firms throughout the state.

St. Joseph Catholic School, located in Madison about a mile west of the Interstate 55-Mississippi 463 exit, was founded in 1870 in Jackson by the Sisters of Mercy. The school will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020.

St. Joe offers a seventh- through 12th-grade education with a rigorous college prep curriculum grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church. St. Joe is accredited by AdvancED and overseen by the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.

Liess and Odom, along with other STAR students and teachers, will be recognized at MEC’s annual Education Celebration on Thursday, April 11, 2019. STAR is an acronym for the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program.

The top 20 STAR students will receive scholarships, and their STAR teachers will receive awards. The highlight of the event will be the naming of the Mississippi All-Star scholar for 2018-2019, who will receive the $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.

Liess, 17, plans to attend Rhodes College in Memphis next fall and eventually wants to enter the medical profession. She is the second one in her family to be named a STAR student; her brother and Bruin alumnus Andrew was a STAR student in 2017.

“I’m really excited to be a STAR student,” Liess said. “The ACT is one thing that’s really important for colleges. It helps with preparations for colleges. My brother was a STAR student, so it was something I really wanted to do.”


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