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Here at Walnut Grove High School, four of our students have been selected as semi-finalists for the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) and are looking forward to attending the final interview this upcoming April. Let’s meet them!
by Lauren Brandt
Caileigh Goldstein is a very involved student in the field of agriculture. Since sixth grade, she has been a member of FFA, and she is the vice president of our school’s FFA chapter, which made her an obvious candidate to Mrs. Shaw, the agriculture teacher, for the GHP program. Goldstein is a semi-finalist for “agricultural research, biotechnology, and science.” Her main supporters have been her mom, Mrs. Shaw, and Mrs. Dorminey, who teaches agriculture at Youth Middle School.
Goldstein believes that, if chosen, the information and resources she will receive from Governor’s Honors Program will “...not only better me but our FFA chapter.” She plans to become “an elementary school teacher and teach elementary agriculture.” Goldstein states that, “It's a big honor to be a semi-finalist.”
Ava Harrell, a sophomore student, is a semi-finalist for visual arts. She was selected by Mrs. Jackson, who has helped her along the journey. Harrell is currently taking AP Art, which she has “been interested in… ever since freshman year.” With her passion, she “actually got into the AP class earlier than most.” Most sophomores aren’t selected for AP Art at WGHS. Her love for art is because “it can do many different things for people.” Harrell hopes “to communicate how [she feels] or what stories [she wants] to tell through my art.”
If she is chosen as a finalist, she is looking forward to “gaining a lot of experience and knowledge about art.” In the future, she wants to create movies for kids. She expresses that, “ I never really thought this would be something I would do, but I'm excited!”
Samara, or Sam, McKnight is a semi-finalist for the subject of theatre performance. She reveals that, “ [she’s] been interested in getting involved in acting since middle school, but [she] was not serious about it until [she] got involved in high school drama.” In total, she will have been involved in the production of 15 performances by the end of her junior year. McKnight takes pride in being the vice president of the school’s theatre troupe. She states that, “If the troupe is doing something, I plan to be there.” Her favorite part about the whole thing is that, “[she] truly feels like [she] is being [her] most authentic self when [she is] acting.” Later in life, McKnight wants to pursue acting professionally.
She says that, “[she’s] hoping to gain educational experience and friends,” if she’s selected as a GHP finalist.
Sarah Thomas has been chosen as a semi-finalist for the mechanical design, which is a section of engineering. She revealed that she has “completed the Engineering pathway that is at our school, and [she is] currently the President of our school’s TSA Chapter.” Thomas stated that she is drawn to engineering because of how “it is being used to solve current issues.” The field of engineering is, “such a diverse field,” so there are tons of things that are possible from designing projects to developing new things.
Thomas is excited to get a second chance because last year she was selected as an alternate, which is a student that goes if the finalist cannot attend. She added, “...the interview is a lot of fun, and you get to meet a lot of cool people that share the same interest as you.”
According to the Governor’s Honors Program website, GHP is a program that offers students the opportunity to experience classes that will enrich their minds and become greater thinkers, innovators, and leaders. They will attend classes over the summer at Georgia Southern University.
Students are selected by teachers to try out for GHP, and they apply by submitting an essay. Goldstein states, “you have to fill out a big application and do a short essay… about why you want to go.” Thomas says that applicants will submit “a video talking or auditioning for their subject”. After that, students will “answer a series of questions.” Luckily, the information and everything students need is provided on the website. McKinght explains that, “they tell you everything you need to do, so it's not hard… it's just nerve-wracking.” Another semi-finalist, Harrell, shares her feelings about the process, “you just hope you get in.”
Our semi-finalists will be heading down to Georgia Southern University on March 11, 2023 for interviews that will determine who is chosen to attend the program. Good luck to our fellow warriors!
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