Choctaw Central, Neshoba Central and Philadelphia high schools will observe their 2013 commencements next week.

Choctaw Central's graduation will be May 21 at 7 p.m. at the Golden Moon Arena.

PHS graduation is May 23 at 7 p.m. and NCHS May 24 at 7:30 pm. Both will be in the coliseum.

Union High School is May 23 at 7 p.m. at the football field.

Leake Academy held its commencement last week.

Choctaw Central

Taloa Berg, a senior at Choctaw Central High School, has been named the 2013 STAR student.

Berg received the award from the Mississippi Economic Council's Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition program.

To be selected as a STAR Student, one must make a minimum score of 25 on the American College Test (ACT) and have at least a 92 average for all their high school work.

Miss Berg is the daughter of Dr. Brian and Shirley Berg, and the grandchild of the late Edmund and Evelyn Martin.

This fall she plans to study in the field of science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. She hopes to further her education by attending medical school to become a general practitioner.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student's scholastic achievement.

Miss Berg selected Mrs. Jamie Franklin as the 2013 STAR Teacher for Choctaw Central High School.

As her favorite teacher, she chose Mrs. Franklin because she encourages students to be better. Mrs. Franklin graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2007 with a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry.

She has taught Biology, Genetics, Chemistry, and Physics for the past five years at Choctaw Central. She is married and the mother of two little boys.

This is Mrs. Franklin's first time being selected as STAR Teacher.

Her husband Michael, a teacher at Newton County High School, was also selected this year as a STAR Teacher.

Neshoba Central

Alexandra M. Burt was named Star Student of Neshoba Central High School.

She is the daughter of Tina and Woody Burt.

Her honors/activities are eight year Beta Club Member, Pep Band Member, Band Captain, "Distinguished Young Woman Program"-third alternate, and two year Mu Alpha Theta member.

Other honors includes Most Likely to Succeed, seven year Symphonic Band member, most outstanding band member for four years, overall sixth chair at Mississippi State Band Clinic, four year marching band member, first chair trumpet for two years, Rotary club-Student of the Month, five year Jazz Band member, valedictorian, and Economic Summit-won runner up for table display.

She is a member of Spring Creek Baptist Church,

She plans to attend Mississippi University for Women to study Culinary Arts.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student's scholastic achievement.

Neshoba Central's Star Teacher is Melissa "Missy" E. Jackson.

She teaches 10th-12th grade mathematics.


Philadelphia High School's STAR Student for 2013 is Brooke Long.

She is the daughter of Taneil Hornesburger and Chris and Amanda Long. She is the granddaughter of Stan and Barbra Bates, La and Dale Tolbert, Larry and Angie Long. She is the oldest of fours siblings. She has two sisters, Shayla and Madeline, and brother, Keaton.


• English and Science Award, 9th-11th grade.

• The Math and History Award, 9th-10th grade.

• Chamber of Commerce medallion recipient, 9th-11th grade.

• Represented PHS as Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Delegate.

• Sophomore Homecoming maid.

• Neshoba County's Distinguished Young Woman's Program scholastic award recipient.

• PHS 2011-2012 Talent Show winner.

• Most Beautiful 2011-2012.

• Participated in the Miss Neshoba County pageant.

• Attended Ole Miss's APEX leadership program where my team got second place for the activities she participated in.

• Rotary Student of the Month.

• Lucky Day Scholar.

• Valedictorian.


• FBLA, served as the historian.

• BETA, served as secretary.

• Class Officer, nith grade president, 10th grade president, 11th grade class secretary.

• Student Council, currently the president, was vice president junior year.

• Mu Alpha Theta, made it to the quarter finals in the Science Bowl.

• Tornado Delegation 2012, represented the school at school functions such as board meetings, faculty meeting and campus tours.

• PHS Varsity Band, Color Guard Captain.


• Leadership Neshoba 2011.

• Member of Faith Tabernacle Church.

• Volunteered in the Memorial Veterans Hospital in Oxford.

• Volunteered with children at Blair E. Batson Hospital.

• Volunteered with Food Network in Jackson boxing up food for needy families.

• Helps with the Jacob Stovall memorial fundraiser.

• Volunteered for Ham Jam 2012.


Miss Long plans to attend the University of Mississippi. She has been accepted into the Early-Entry Pharmacy Program and Honors College at the University of Mississippi.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student's scholastic achievement.

Long selected Kim W. Fisher, who teaches dual credit College Algebra and College Trigonometry, Algebra II, and a class of seventh g rade math, as her STAR Teacher.

She is married to George Fisher.

They have two sons, Avery and Lucas.

She has degrees from East Central Community College/Associates Degree, Mississippi State University/Bachelor of Science and Alabama A and M/ Master's in Secondary Math Education

She has earned the Hazel Green High School Teacher of the Year in 2000 and Edinburg Attendance Center Teacher of the Year in 2009.

She has been teaching for 19 years.

Leake Academy

Kayla Nicole Thrash, 18, is Leake Academy's STAR Student for 2013.

Miss Thrash is the daughter of Charles and Sandra Thrash of Forest.

She graduated with a GPA of 99.895. She scored 31 on the ACT.

She has received the National Merit Letter of Commendation, the Headmaster's Award and academic awards.

She is a member of Beta, Sr. Christian and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

She is an active member of Ephesus Baptist Church and its youth group. She plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in anthropology.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student's scholastic achievement. She chose science teacher Sheila Sudduth.


Victoria Bruno has been named as Union High School's STAR student for the 2012-13 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council's M.B. Swayze Educational Foundation, sponsor of the STAR program. 

STAR Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence. 

Both ACT scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school's STAR Student. 

Each STAR student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contrivution to the student's scholastic achievement. 

Miss Bruno selected Mandy S. Feasel as her STAR teacher.

She is the daughter of Joey and Lesia Bruno. 

During her career at UHS, Tori has received numerous subject area awards, the "I Dare You"award, and has served as Mississippi Central District Vice President for FBLA, Secretary of the Beta Club, Drum Major of the Pride of Union Marching Band, Student Council Representative, Vice President of the Senior Class, and Co-Editor of the Yearbook.

She has also been a member of the Quiz Bowl and Mock Trial teams as well as FCA and the Drama Club. 

Tori was also selected as a 2011 Misissippi Governor's School Scholar.  She plans to attend Mississippi State University and pursue a degree in English.

Mrs. Mandy S. Feasel teaches AP English Language, AP English Literature, English IV, and art electives at Union High School. 

This makes her eighth selection as STAR teacher.  She is a Nationally Board Certified teacher with 14 years experience. 

Mrs. Feasel was slected as Union Public School Teacher of the Year in 2009, Congressional District 3 Teacher of the Year in 2009, and runner-up for Mississippi Teacher of the Year in 2009.