Notes from the Classroom: Governor’s School

Seven Union County students returned home this week after spending the summer in the Governor’s School.

Donna Tolleson from Central Academy of Technology and the Arts; Benjamin Polk from Forest Hills; Lauren King from Monroe High School; Megan McGuire from Porter Ridge High School; Catherine Hackler from Sun Valley High School; and Caroline Kerrigan and Jake Yurek, both from Weddington High School, were among 600 North Carolina rising high school juniors and seniors to attend the 2011 Governor’s School.

Students were assigned to either Governor’s School East at Meredith College in Raleigh or Governor’s School West at Salem College in Winston-Salem. The 2011 session ran from June 12 to July 23.

“The Governor’s School has a renowned legacy for stimulating the creativity and inquisitiveness of our most gifted students,” State Superintendent June Atkinson said. “I’m confident this year’s students will continue to build on this legacy,”
Students were nominated in one of 10 curriculum areas: art, choral music, dance, English, foreign language (French and Spanish), instrumental music, mathematics, natural science, social science and theater. The Governor’s School curriculum focuses on the exploration of the most recent ideas and concepts in each discipline, and does not involve credit, tests or grades.

Hackler (art); Tolleson (instrumental music); Yurek and Polk (mathematics) attended Governor’s School East, while Kerrigan (art); McGuire (mathematics); and King (social science) attended Governor’s School West.

The Union County Public Schools students were selected from more than 1,700 public and private schools after having been nominated by district Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis. Each school system, charter school and private school was allotted a certain number of nominations based on its 10th and 11th grade populations.
State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison said board members have always been strong advocates of Governor’s School.

“We need to provide students with opportunities to explore their talents, to push boundaries and to think outside the academic box,” Harrison said. “Putting like minds and talents together creates a learning environment full of possibilities that will push these students to greater achievements in school and in life.”

The Governor’s School of North Carolina, founded in 1963 by former Gov. Terry Sanford, is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation.

– Information provided by Union County Public Schools

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