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Poole, Delaughter are Loyd STARs

Eighteen-year-old Meagan Poole is one step closer to her dream of being a veterinarian. In just three weeks, she will graduate from Loyd Star Attendance Center, then continue her studies at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Mississippi State University, to obtain a degree in veterinary science.

“I’ve always been drawn to animals, and I feel this career field would suit me well,” she said.

The animal med hopeful is her high school’s 2019 STAR student.

Poole, the daughter of Shannon and Regina Poole of Brookhaven, will finish her high school career as an honor graduate with a 4.0 grade point average. She is a member of the Beta Club, has been inducted into the Loyd Star Hall of Fame, was a 2018-2019 Lindy Callahan recipient and is a Mississippi Scholar.

As a member of the Lady Hornets varsity fastpitch softball team, Poole was chosen as a 2018 Wendy’s High School Heisman recipient.

But achieving STAR student has required just as much work as any of her other achievements, if not more. Poole first took the ACT college preparatory test as a freshman. She’s taken it a total of nine times.

“I had a 28 going into my senior year. I wanted at least a 29, so I committed to studying one hour a day to get a higher score,” she said.

She also used ACT Academy and a private tutor. Her final score was not a 29, but a 30.

Her advice to other students who want to get a good ACT score is to keep trying.

“The ACT is a valuable resource for obtaining scholarship money which can be very helpful in college.  Even if you don’t get it at first, don’t give up. Set a goal and work for it,” Poole said.

Every STAR student gets to choose a teacher to be designated STAR teacher, recognized for his or her contributions to the student’s education and life. Poole chose Jan Delaughter.

“I chose [Mrs. Delaughter] because she has helped me so much over the years. Along with helping me to increase my score, she was a big role model in my life,” said Poole.

Delaughter has been a teacher for 29 years — all at Loyd Star. She’s taught Algebra II, pre-calculus/trigonometry and geometry and has had Poole in algebra and pre-calc/trig. She’s also coached Poole in fastpitch softball.

She holds degrees in mathematics and secondary education from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University.

This is the veteran instructor’s fourth time to be chosen as STAR teacher. She’s also received teacher of the quarter awards and been named Coach of the Year by The Daily Leader and MAC All-Star Coach.

“I feel Meagan chose me as her  STAR teacher because I have always instilled in her that the results of good work ethics are rewarding,” said Delaughter.

She’s humbled to have been selected from all her “great colleagues” in teaching from which Poole had to choose, she said, but believes it’s because she’s consistently challenged Poole to reach her goals and strive for her best, because “the best will come.”

“My advice to all students is to take the ACT in the early high school years and plan to repeat it at least four times before you graduate,” said Delaughter.

“Practice makes perfect,” she said.