Three Newton County School System students have been selected as finalists in the prestigious Governor's Honors Program (GHP) and will be invited to participate in the prestigious six?week summer instructional program at Valdosta State University in Valdosta. This year's program is scheduled for June 13 through July 24.
The school district's three finalists are each from Eastside High School. Their intended majors during the program are as follows: Wesley Chambers, Music/Brass (Tuba); Melissa Greer, Latin; and Christopher Waters, Physics.
Sophomore Wesley Chambers said he is very excited about participating in GHP this summer. "I want to pursue music as a career and knew that I needed to look into opportunities that are bigger than just high school," said Chambers. "I hope to learn a lot about music and also make new friends while representing Eastside." He added that the musical audition was "intense" but he would "definitely recommend to friends that they try to participate in Governor's Honors. Just going through the process to get nominated was very rewarding."
Eastside junior Melissa Greer chose to apply for the GHP to increase her knowledge in her chosen subject area, Latin. "I want to be a high school Latin teacher and I'd like to learn even more about it than what we get just in school," said Greer. "It's been my favorite subject because it makes so much sense and it's interesting. Nothing changes because it's history." "I'm also looking forward to the friendships I'll make with people I normally wouldn't get the opportunity to meet," she added. "It's also a good way to get used to college setting and being around people dedicated to learning."
Christopher Waters, also a junior, chose to pursue the GHP selection because of his life?long interest in science. "I've always liked science, especially physics because it just makes sense-it describes how the world around you moves and operates," said Waters. "I've getting my private pilot's license and I fly model airplanes and now I'm attending GHP. It just seemed like a good experience to have because I'll be able to obtain a better understanding of the field."
Waters added that he is an avid viewer of the NASA and Discovery Channels and enjoys watching shows about how things work and are made. "I've spent my entire life building and taking things apart, like old boat motors," he added. "My goal is to be an Air Force or Navy pilot and I think participating in GHP is going to be a great experience to have as I prepare for my future."
"We are so proud of these students and their accomplishments," said Ms. Samantha Fuhrey, Director of Secondary Curriculum. "The Governor's Honors Program has gotten more and more competitive each year and these students have met the challenges and excelled in their areas of giftedness."
"Our Governor's Honors representatives are all outstanding, well rounded students," said Dennis Roddenberry, principal of Eastside High School. "They will be excellent representatives of both Eastside High School and Newton County School System."
One person who knows all about the excellent opportunity awaiting these three students is their band teacher, Alan Fowler, who participated in GHP when he was in high school. "Having attended GHP myself many years ago, I have long been aware of what a special experience the Governor's Honors Program is," said Fowler. "Melissa, Chris and Wesley are terrific young people and I could not be more proud of them. It is indeed special that I get to see each of these fine students in my band every single day. They are three bright young people who likely had other subjects besides Latin, Physics, and Music in which they could have found themselves nominated for GHP."
Fowler added, "As long as I can remember, I have heard people cite the fact that music students succeed in other fields. With that in mind, it is no wonder that we have band students at Eastside selected for GHP in a wide range of fields."
Only rising juniors and seniors from Georgia's public and private high schools may participate in the Governor's Honors Program. 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, theatre, music, dance, design, technology and executive management. Instruction is also provided in four support areas: computers, counseling, library/media and physical fitness.
In addition to Newton County School System's three finalists, 28 students have been named program alternates. These students include:
Alcovy High School
Amanda Barrentine, Latin
Robert Hight, Biology
Avantai Moody, Spanish
Arie Smith, Mathematics
Michaela Smith, Social Studies
Heather Steckenrider, Social Studies
Eastside High School
Kelsey Dabney, Theatre
Patrick Ford, Latin
Samuel Glanton, Music/Voice (Bass)
Rebecca Mayo, Latin
Marie Paul Roldine Pierre, French
Adam Pruitt, Music/Brass (Trumpet)
Felentae Maryiah Terrell, Visual Arts
Abigail Thomas, Visual Arts
Hailey Thomas, Latin
Kaitlin Trust, Music/Voice (Soprano)
Kaitie Tuttle, Music/Voice (Soprano)
Eryn Wyatt, Visual Arts
Newton High School
Summer Allen, Social Studies
Ian Bachiller, Social Studies
Brandi Clark, Visual Arts
Delayney Henry, Agriscience/Environ. Science
Kiara Lee, Executive Management
Patrick Lopes, Visual Arts
Briana McWilliams, Biology
Shacora Mitchell, Executive Management
Alexander Oshinfondunrin, Technology
Jennifer Tran, Visual Arts