Arushi Thakur has been named STAR Student for the 2020-2021 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.

Arushi is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Abhash Thakur of Greenwood. She scored 35 out of a possible 36 on the ACT. Her cumulative GPA is 4.92.  While at Pillow, Arushi has taken honors classes, advanced classes and AP classes. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, which is an honorary mathematics organization. Arushi is a member of International Thespian Society, caption of the Quiz Bowl team for 2021, the Thespian Society, PA Dance team, Green & Gold Ambassadors, Model Security Council, and the Photography Club.  This year she also has a major role in the Class of 2021’s senior play and is a student director.  Arushi’s classmates voted her as the Most Intellectual in PA’s Who’s Who. She was 1 of 50 students chosen in the southeast to participate in the Lott Summer Leadership Institute for High School Students.

Many local organizations have benefited from Arushi’s time and dedication to our community. She has volunteered at the 300 Oaks, Beacon Harbor, the Greenwood Mentoring Center, drama/dance camps, the Greenwood Public Library, Art Place, Greenwood Little Theatre, Greenwood Leflore Hospital, American Cancer Society, the annual Canned Food Drive, and the Leflore County Humane Shelter.

Arushi has not finalized her plans for college this fall.

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

Mrs. Marietta Branch was designated as STAR Teacher.  Arushi selected Mrs. Branch because she has had a great influence in shaping her interest in academics.  Mrs. Branch has been teaching science at PA for 30 years.  Mrs. Branch said, “If I could use one word to describe Arushi, it would be OUTSTANDING.  She is outstanding in all that she does.  She is outstanding in all of her academic endeavors, as well as her involvement in community activities.  Arushi is never without a BIG smile.  Her outstanding compassion and work ethic are remarkable attributes. She is definitely a HARD WORKER WITH A BIG HEART!

Congratulations to Arushi and Mrs. Branch!