(Rabun Gap) Nathan Williams ‘20 has been named as Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School’s STAR Student for the class of 2020. Williams chose Allegra Boggess, Upper School Chorus and Orchestra Director, as his STAR teacher.
The Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition Program, organized by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, honors the state’s top-achieving seniors and their inspirational teachers. To secure the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score of the SAT taken and be in the top-10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on GPA.
“Nathan is an exceptional student, performer, and leader,” said Head of School Jeff Miles. “We are all so proud of him for earning Rabun Gap’s STAR student honor.”
“It’s a big deal being good at school, especially if schools have anything to say about it, and I am honored to be recognized as being great at school,” said Williams. “It’s a real motivational and inspiring thing to be appreciated for trying your best, and that’s sort of what this award is. Thank you. It means a lot in a way I can’t express.”
Williams is a boarding student from Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean. He serves as a prefect and is vice president of the Student Council. He is most well known for his presence in the music and arts departments. In the music department, he sings in the Upper School choir, the Gap 8 Choir, the Barbershop Quartet, and plays in the orchestra. He has also been in several of Rabun Gap’s theatre productions and will perform in “Cirque Arqadia” this February.
Williams chose Boggess as this year’s STAR teacher because of the impact she has had on his life.
“There is not a single person in my Rabun Gap career, in my school career, or in my whole life who has encouraged me to improve as much as Ms. Allegra has,” shared Williams. “No other person has pushed me to want to succeed as much as Ms. Allegra has. I would not care as much as I do about anything if it was not for Ms. Allegra and the arts program here at Rabun Gap.”
Boggess is the Upper School Chorus and Orchestra Director. Her duties include directing Rabun Gap’s orchestra and choir and serving as the music director for the musical and cirque. She joined Rabun Gap in 2017.
“Nathan is one of those students whose presence, humility, energy, and wit make me (and probably all of the teachers who interact with him) grateful to be in our profession,” said Boggess. “In learning, he is brave, patient, and quick – and most importantly he is always humble and helping others around him. His sense of humor and kindness draw in students of all ages who are inspired by him. I can’t imagine the orchestra and choir without Nathan next year, but I also can’t wait to see where life will take him. He’s one of the most exceptional students I’ve ever worked with.”
Williams has a passion for computer science, specifically coding. His dream career would be to work inside coding programs to revolutionize them from typing words into a text editor to something more visual and instantaneous, like painting a picture or writing a book. He has applied to several colleges, including Yale, Duke Kunshan, University of Chicago, and Sewanee.
“My dream is that coding could become streamlined to something as simple as writing down instructions on a To-Do list so that everyone who can open a Google Doc can also do some simple coding,” said Williams.