Eastside High School student Samuel Potts and Alcovy High School student William Dobar have been selected as finalists and will represent Newton County Schools in the prestigious Governor’s Honors Program — a four-week summer instructional program at Valdosta State University in Valdosta for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors.
The 2013 program will be the 50th summer, making it the longest continually running program of its kind in the nation. This year’s finalists were nominated by their teachers for a specific instructional area matching their abilities, aptitudes and interests.
In addition to submitting endorsements and grade transcripts, the nominees were required to participate in a statewide screening interview or audition depending on their desired major.
Major instructional areas are agriscience/biotechnology, agriscience/environmental science, English (communications arts), foreign languages (French, German, Latin, Spanish), mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, physics), social studies, visual art, theater, music, dance, design, technology and executive management. Instruction is also provided in four support areas — computers, counseling, library/media and physical fitness.
Potts, a junior at Eastside, will major in music/voice (tenor) during his four-week stay at Governor’s Honors.
“I attend All-State Chorus every year and they always talk about how amazing and how life-changing Governor’s Honors can be,” Potts said. “Music is one of my biggest interests for sure, so I can’t wait to go.”
Potts began singing at church at an early age and caught the music bug.
“I just continued on with it,” he said. “We are required to take music in elementary school and I enjoyed it so much, I just stuck with it.”
He added that he will most likely minor in social studies at Governor’s Honors because that is his favorite academic subject.
Alcovy junior Dobar has chosen communicative arts as his major for Governor’s Honors because he feels it is the best fit to help him in his lofty career goals.
“I chose communicative arts because at some point, I want to become a senator for the United States,” Dobar said. “While it might make sense to choose social studies, speaking and writing speeches requires more help, more practice. Governor’s Honors will give me that edge. Plus, I also enjoy analyzing different kinds of media.”
Like Potts, Dobar said he would most likely minor in social studies. “It’s got the history, politics — it’s got everything I’m interested in,” he said.
“The competition to be selected as a Governor’s Honors Program finalist is rigorous; we are elated to have two exceptional district representatives,” said Samantha Fuhrey, executive director for secondary education.
“Our finalists will have a great experience at the Governor’s Honors Program where they will be able to study their disciplines more closely with other finalists from around the state.
“Congratulations to our finalists, their parents and teachers.”
Students will arrive on the campus of Valdosta State University on Sunday, June 23.
For four weeks, students will spend the morning in their major area of nomination, exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom.
During the afternoons, students choose one of the other areas in which to study. The curriculum in all the areas is challenging and engaging.
Evenings are filled with seminars, activities, concerts and performances.
“GHP is such a competitive program that even being nominated is an accomplishment. I congratulate the students of Newton County School System and look forward to meeting them and their parents in June,” director Dale Lyles said.
He added that many if not most of GHP’s past participants regard it as one of the most life-changing events in their lives.