Shooting for the Stars: Kate Zappa and Ansley Miller Named Class of 2023 STAR Students


Scores so high they are in the STARS: Seniors Kate Zappa and Ansley Miller named Star Students for their exceptional SAT scores.

Being awarded the title of North Atlanta’s STAR Student is a highly coveted honor that only a select few students can obtain. The achievement requires having the highest composite SAT/ACT score of the entire senior class. This year two students, Kate Zappa and Ansley Miller, were both awarded the title of STAR student because they had the same score: a 1560. That phenomenal score places them both in the top 99th percentile nationally out of the 1.7 million SAT test takers every year and gives them a shot at getting into almost any college of their dreams. Huge congratulations to both of these ladies on being such stars!

The first of the STAR Students is Kate Zappa, an IB DP student who is also the class of 2023 valedictorian. Zappa did not have any external help when it came to the SAT. Instead, she prepared by taking many practice tests, reviewing her most missed questions, and maximizing her studying time. After taking the test two times, Zappa achieved her desired score. “I tutor in algebra and geometry, which really helped me refresh my memory for math,” said Zappa. “I remember feeling confident about the math section the day I got my highest score because I had time to check my answers, and I ended up getting a perfect score in that section.”

Ansley Miller, the second STAR student, is an IB DP student who had a breezy SAT experience compared to most. She took it for the first time after a month of tutoring with a private tutor and scored a 1530. Since she already had a quality score, plenty of pressure was taken off her for her second and final test, where she scored 1560. “I think what helped me most was taking the test at a location where I would not see anyone I know and reviewing the questions I most consistently missed,” said Miller. “Those two things were key to getting the score I got and making my experience as stress-free as possible.”

Every year, each STAR student picks a teacher that has been the most influential in their academic development. These teachers are then named STAR teachers. Zappa selected Mr. Matthew Lundy, an IB Literature teacher. “Being awarded with the recognition of STAR Teacher is inspiring,” said Mr. Lundy. “To have the incomparable Kate Zappa show me with the STAR Teacher award that I influenced her educational career in such a notable way is indescribable.” For Star Student Miller, the choice was clear – Ms. Michelle Luco, an IB History of the Americas teacher. “Ansley is an excellent student with the utmost ambition and drive that makes her so deserving of this award,” said Luco. “I am honored to have been chosen as a STAR teacher by her.”

To celebrate the students’ accomplishments, North Atlanta hosted a brunch for the STAR students and their chosen teachers. These two Dubs have exceedingly bright futures ahead of them. While they have yet to determine where either of them are headed to college next year, we know it will be somewhere incredible! The entire North Atlanta community congratulates Kate Zappa and Ansley Miller on this massive achievement. Go STAR students, and go Dubs!