Star musician receives STAR student recognition

Senior Eron Smith was recognized as the STAR student for Decatur High School in January which she had received for being in the top 10 percent and having the highest SAT score of the entire senior class. “I felt wonderful when I was awarded,” she said. “I wasn’t sure that I was going to get awarded, but I knew I was in the running when I got my SAT scores back.”

Smith is currently a National Merit Finalist as well as an aspiring musician who plays multiple instruments and sings. “Hopefully my future will involve lots of music and possibly a good bit of math,” she said. Music, a large part of her life, inspires her to work harder. “I don’t have a main person that inspires me although I am inspired by pieces of music and personal goals,” she said.

Last summer, Smith participated in a summer program called the Governor’s Honor’s Program for music. “It was the most amazing summer,” she said. “I love being around other musicians, and I made some awesome friends.”

Junior year was among the most stressful years of high school for Smith. “Junior year is the hardest year of high school at least in my opinion,” she said. “I had four AP classes, five AP tests, the beginnings of my college search, two instruments, marching band, an auditioned wind ensemble, and a boyfriend.”

Even though she was stressed out, she felt like that is was worth it. “I pulled though with good scores and a social life,” Smith said. “Although, my sanity may have been a little worse for the wear.”

Smith for her senior year, has a more flexible schedule of different classes. “I only have four classes at DHS, plus Calculus II at Agnes Scott and an online AP macroeconomics course,” she said. “My AP courses are much lighter on the workload, and I can get extra sleep when I need it.”

Although she has a less stressful life than her junior year, she does admit getting hit my ‘senioritis’. “I am plenty guilty of the night-before paper/project and the occasional late submission,” she said.

Jennifer Gonzalez, one of AP US History (APUSH) teachers at DHS, was chosen by Smith as her STAR teacher. “I had Ms. Gonzalez my Junior year, and I won’t lie, she worked all of us into the ground,” she said. “Not only did she keep it entertaining, but I actually learned stuff.”

In Ms. Gonzalez’s class, Smith did extremely well. “She gave me what I needed to get a 5 [on the National APUSH exam], and she knew how much work I could and would take to do so,” she said. “Also, she’s just awesome.” Gonzalez is also Smith’s senior project coach. “I chose her to as my senior project coach for many of the same reasons,” she said.

Gonzalez enjoyed having Smith as a student. “[Smith] enjoys learning,” she said. “She giggles at a challenge and makes learning fun.”

She has high praise when it comes to Smith as a student. . “She is a machine in the classroom, and she’s so creative with her music,” she said. “She’s one of the most interesting and thought-provoking students that I know.”

Gonzalez, was one of the teachers who administered the SAT to Smith. “She came to my class prepared to rock that thing,” she said.

In the future, Gonzalez has high hopes for Smith’s future. “She can be anywhere she wants to be,” she said. “That girl has enough drive to make it wherever she wants to go, and I hope to see her performing in the future.”

Smith wishes to share some helpful advice to rising seniors. “On preparing for the SAT, Practice, just like anything else,” she said. “Standardized testing isn’t so much about the material on the test than your ability to test well, and you can develop that like a muscle.”

Although the SAT seems to many like a huge part of the college admission process, Smith believes that the whole application is what makes the admission. “Do the best you can, but don’t get too caught up in it if you don’t get the score you want,” Smith said. “Colleges nowadays do a really good job of looking at your whole application, and not everyone tests well.”

For her college plans, STAR student Smith has big dreams when it comes to her future. “I don’t have any specific college plans now, but I have applied to 12 schools including three Bachelor of Music programs,” she said. “I’m crossing my fingers.”