Walker senior Justin Zhou has been named the school’s 2022 Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Student. Justin selected Erika Treu, an Upper School math teacher and Math Team sponsor, as his STAR Teacher.
The PAGE STAR program is sponsored, administered and promoted by the PAGE Foundation. High school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent of their class to qualify for STAR nomination.
“I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be chosen,” Treu said. “It means the world to me to know that I've had an impact on this young person's academic career.”
Zhou and Treu will receive special recognition during a local banquet hosted by the Kiwanis Club later in the semester.
“It feels nice to know all the work I've put into academics is paying off in the end,” Zhou said. “I can remember countless times where I had to study on the plane home or in the hotel at a tournament, and while it was an uncomfortable process, the end result is certainly worth it.”
Following the banquet, Zhou will compete for regional honors. Regional winners contend for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student, and STAR Teachers continue on with their STAR Students at every level of the program.
“Ms. Treu has had the greatest impact on me in school,” Zhou said. “I have had her as a teacher all four years of high school, and she has helped me not only with academic math but also with competitions and camps. I remember going over math problems after each competition, and her obvious enthusiasm to find the most efficient way to solve a problem also sustained my drive for math.”
Treu said: “I love when students offer a different perspective on a problem or ask a question that I haven't heard before.”
In addition to his STAR Student recognition, Zhou has participated in Walker’s Coding Club and Latin Club and is currently a member of the Math Team, the Chess Club and Model UN. He is also taking two independent study courses.
“One thing that makes Walker stand out is the opportunities you get,” Zhou said. “These independent studies have challenged me to study hard topics on my own, and while I know I have the help of my teachers, I like the amount of emphasis that is placed on the growth of myself through this process.
“This also holds true in more traditional classes that are not my strength. The teachers all have accurate and in-depth knowledge of how well their students are doing, and I feel like I am truly improving when I can struggle in a subject, then go to a teacher and get ways of personally improving for whatever I'm having a hard time with.”
Treu has taught math for 16 years, 10 of those at The Walker School. She teaches Honors Precalculus, AP Statistics, Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra.