Exceptional Choctaw Central High School senior Kyarrah Daileonis Grant has been named STAR Student for the 2017-2018 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M.B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program. To be named as STAR Student, a student must have the highest GPA and an ACT score of 25 or above.

Grant is from the Conehatta community and is the 17-year-old daughter of Shaun and Gwynn Grant. She has a twin sister, Kyannah, and two brothers, ShéChem and Sri. Her favorite subject in school is calculus. Kyarrah is not only an outstanding scholar, but also a great athlete. During her high school career, she participated in track, basketball and cross country teams. The basketball team are back-to-back state champions, and the cross country team are three-time state champions. Kyarrah is a member of the BETA Club, Chess Club and ACT 20+ Club (her score is 28). Kyarrah and her sister will attend University of Tennessee-Martin in the fall and will continue to play basketball there. Kyarrah plans to major in biology at UT-Martin. She hopes to become a physiatrist.

When she first learned she was named STAR Student, Kyarrah says she was surprised, but felt accomplished. When she was asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to her scholastic achievement, she chose Andy Hardy. Kyarrah says, “I selected Mr. Hardy because he helped me prepare for college. He is strict, like how a college professor would be, but he can also be easy-going and easy to talk to.”

Hardy is from Philadelphia, Miss. and is married to Penny Luke Hardy and has two children, Nicholas (17) and Georgia (11). He earned his Bachelor of Science in English Education at Mississippi State University and has taught at CCHS for 22 years. When asked how he felt about being selected as STAR Teacher, Hardy said, “Happy…grateful…honored.” He describes Kyarrah as a “studious, responsible and mature student.” Of her future, Mr. Hardy believes that Kyarrah will be successful in whatever she does.

Kyarrah and Mr. Hardy, along with over 500 other STAR Students and Teachers, will be honored at the Education Celebration hosted by the MEC M.B. Swayze Foundation on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson, Miss.