Alofe first ever STAR state winner from Fayette County


Photo via Twitter (@starrsmillHS)

Senior Tito Alofe and math teacher J.B. Campbell pose for a photo after being named state STAR winners. The STAR program began in 1959. Alofe is the first state winner to hail from Fayette County.

Cecily Shaber, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Tito Alofe is the state winner of Georgia’s Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Program, making him the first student from Fayette County to win state since STAR’s inception in 1959. 

Alofe chose math teacher J.B. Campbell as his STAR teacher, with whom he took AP Calculus BC last school year.

“Tito would sit and absorb the lecture, and then he’d ask usually one question,” Campbell said. “One thing he wanted to know, one thing that was like an extension, one thing that was just unclear. And it was like as soon as he got that one question answered, all the other pieces fell into place. I could pretty much count on one detailed, deeper-dive question out of him every day.”

STAR nominees are those who score highest on any single SAT test date and have scores equal to or higher than the SAT national average on both the evidence-based reading and writing section and the math section. At the end of junior year, nominees must rank in the top 10 percent of their class by GPA.

To become the state winner, Alofe first had to make his way through the school, county, and region levels. The school and county levels are based solely on SAT score, but at the region and state levels, nominees go through an application and interview process.

“[Campbell is] just a really good teacher and a really nice person,” Alofe said. “He taught me in AP Calculus and did a really good job of that, making the class feel easy even though it has a reputation for being hard. He’s also the math team coach, and he made that pretty enjoyable, too.”

Alofe also excelled with the track team during his time at the Mill. He holds the school record for the high jump and is second in school history for the triple jump.

After graduating as valedictorian for the class of 2023 in a few weeks, Alofe will attend Harvard to pursue a degree in either neuroscience or biomedical engineering.