March 21, 2019
Back in 1984, a program was started in East Central Indiana to help with student and teacher learning performance. The program is called ISTAR. ISTAR enhances teaching, schooling, and learning, and it honors senior students who have the most academic growth, and it honors teachers who have made an impact on those students. ISTAR stands for Indiana Student Teacher Achievement Recognition. The schools participating in this program are Centerville, Connersville, Franklin County, Hagerstown, Lincoln, Rushville, Tri County, and Union County.
This program has been on for thirty-five years. Only the top three students that rank in the top ten percent in their classes are selected. There is a selection committee at each school that determines the selection. The student then determines which teacher has had the greatest impact on them academically. The teachers are given a plaque after a banquet, and the students honor them with a speech. The students explain in the speech how their teachers have made an impact on their school lives.
On the Wednesday evening of March thirteenth, 2018, at Union County High School, three seniors were honored along with the teachers who have made an impact on the students. The seniors were Alex Austerman, who nominated Connersville Middle School teacher David Reeve, Ethan Fowler, who nominated Whitewater Career Center Precision Machining teacher Rick Bever, and Elizabeth Waterman, who nominated CHS Choir Director Roger Tyler.
Each of the students has said something good about their teachers and how the teachers have been an impact on their life. Fowler, said the greatest impact Bever had on his life is, “his passion to succeed. His desire for the successful future of his students is inadvertently passed on to his students”.
Bever said that being nominated for ISTAR, “has impacted my teaching. It made me realize that I have a bigger impact on student`s education than just machine shop. I am truly blessed to have some awesome students.”
Austerman talked about how teacher Mr. Reeve made an impact for him. “He made me understand that never giving up will lead to success in unforeseen ways.”
Reeve said his former student Alex Austerman made an impact on him. “Alex, shows what hard work means. I am very proud to know him. He is outstanding!”
Waterman reflected on the impacts Tyler had on her high school years, “He always believes in me. Even when I fall short of a big audition or struggle on something. He constantly reassures me and helps me find a way to alter the scenario or push myself further.”
Tyler stated that, “Elizabeth Waterman has been an amazing student. She has always been a great leader and she is always all about the performance. I would like to have an entire choir of students with her level of excitement, dedication, and talent. She makes it easy to teach.”