Luke Roberts, the 2019-2020 STAR student for Ingomar High School, has selected Tabitha Dillard as STAR teacher of the year.
Roberts was selected as the school’s 2020 STAR (Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition) student for the 2019-2020 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council’s M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the STAR program.
In addition to being named the STAR student, Roberts was inducted into the Ingomar High School Hall of Fame, was elected as student body vice president as a junior and a student body president as a senior. He has also been a member of the varsity basketball team for four years, including during its recent win of the Class 1A state championship. He was named Scholar Athlete for the championship game. He has also been a member of the varsity cross country team since he was in the 7th grade and has been named to the all-county team and all-division team four times and the all-state team two times.
Roberts has also been involved in the Union County Theatre club, where he has participated in the productions of The Addams Family Musical, Cinderella, Big Fish and Grease. He has also been a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Students against Destructive Decisions, the math club, science club and student council.
In his spare time, Roberts enjoys hanging out with friends, running on his own, spending time with his family and working with animals. He is currently an animal care technician at the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society..
Roberts advised his fellow seniors to not doubt themselves.
“Over the many years we’ve had together I’ve seen first hand how amazing everyone of y’all is,” Roberts said. “Y’all can do anything you put your minds to. I know we are living in a tough time right now, but always be positive and never doubt or give up on yourself.”
He also encouraged other students at Ingomar to cherish every second of high school.
“I know it sounds cliché, and you have heard it 100 times, but it is true high school really is over in the blink of an eye,” Roberts said. “Nothing is for certain. The class of 2020 did not know that our last day of high school would be on March 5 and if we did, we would have cherished those last memories a little more. So never take anything or granted and enjoy every second because these truly are the best years of your life.”
Roberts said he will be attending the University of Louisiana-Monroe to major in pre-pharmacy. In seven years, he hopes to graduate with a PharmD and begin work as a retail pharmacist.
Roberts is the son of Kenneth and Jenifer Roberts and has one sister, Sydney Roberts.
Dillard, who currently teaches high school English at Ingomar, has a bachelor's degree in curriculum and instruction in secondary English education from Blue Mountain College, a masters degree in curriculum and instruction with a focus in Secondary English from the University of Mississippi, a specialist degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University and a National Board Certification in adolescence and young adulthood in English.
The STAR teacher was first hired at South Pontotoc Attendance Center, where she taught junior high creative writing and high school English for three years. She then transferred to North Pontotoc for one year to teach high school English and was hired to teach at Ingomar in 2007.