Valdosta Daily Times

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April 6, 2014

Echols County’s STAR Student, Teacher named

STATENVILLE — Pax Bernhardt is this year’s STAR Student for Echols County.

He is the son of Lynda Bernhardt.

He chose Patricia Tomlinson, his 5th grade teacher, to be his STAR Teacher.  

When asked why he chose Ms. Tomlinson, he responded, “She taught me my love for writing. From the day she made the class start writing stories in the class, I knew I was going to grow up to be an author. I enjoy acting, I can live with being a Physics teacher, but I KNOW that I’m going to write. It’s what I was born to do. Thanks for showing it to me, Mrs. T.”  

Bernhardt plans to further his education at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. When asked about his future plans he replied, “ I want to double major in, believe it or not, Theatre and Physics.”

Patricia Tomlinson is a  National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Literacy. She graduated from Valdosta State College in 1976 with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and from Walden University in 2013 with a Master's in Elementary Mathematics.

She is an ESOL certified teacher and former Mentor Teacher in the  area of second language learning for Wilsona School District in Lake Los Angeles, Calif.

Tomlinson began her career in education at Echols County Schools at the age of 18 in 1971 as an instructional assistant. She began her teaching career in 1976 where she has taught in both Georgia and California grades PreK-8th grade, including single subject areas in math, reading, and science at the middle school level.

She has also taught in various classroom settings:  self-contained classes, combination grade classes and multi-age classes in both elementary and middle school settings.

Tomlinson currently teaches seventh grade Reading/Language Arts

Enrichment at Lanier County Middle School in Lakeland.

Tomlinson taught her STAR Student, Bernhardt, as a fifth grade student at Echols County Schools.

“He was a quiet, interesting student who often sat perched in his desk with a wonderful sense of humor always thinking. More importantly he introduced his class to the idea a 10-year-old could write a wonderful fantasy adventure keeping his classmates thoroughly engaged  while also teaching them  how an author  can face writer’s block through drawings and sound effects as he read to his classmates during his Author’s Chair presentations.”

To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent of their class based on grade point average.

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