Star Student

Star Student

Star Student


Vickie Powell

Senior Vice President of Foundations

Mississippi Economic Council

(601) 969-0022

Alex Yates has been named STAR Student for the 2022-2023 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program. Established by the Mississippi Economic Council in 1965, the purpose of the STAR program is to recognize outstanding students & teachers in Mississippi through its Education Celebration. Our theme this year is: The Pursuit of Excellence.

The Raleigh High School senior will be honored during the annual Education Celebration on April 13, 2023, at the Clyde Muse Center, 515 Country Place Parkway in Pearl, MS. The Education Celebration will start at 9:30 a.m. This prestigious event is co-sponsored by:


Atmos Energy

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi

Cadence Bank

Cooperative Energy

Electric Cooperative of Mississippi

Entergy Mississippi


Ingalls Shipbuilding

Mississippi Power Company


Trustmark National Bank


Wayne Sanderson


Additional local support for the STAR program is provided by MEC members from communities across the state.

Star Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence. Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student, explained Vickie Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations. “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors,” she said. Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.

Cindy Cook was designated as STAR Teacher.

Over 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will receive recognition from MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation at the Celebration. The top 20 STAR Students –The ALL-STAR Scholarswill receive scholarships and their STAR Teachers will receive awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation. The highlight of the Education Celebration will be the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for 2022-2023 school year, winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.