Two Colquitt County High School students were selected to attend the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP), a four-week residential gifted summer program for rising juniors and seniors.
Junior agriculture students Patti Mitchell (left; daughter of Donna and Bucky Mitchell) and Mary Logan Tostenson (right; daughter of Wendi and Kyle Tostenson) were among only 700 students chosen for the program, which includes students from agricultural science, communicative arts, dance, engineering, mathematics, music, science, social studies, theatre, visual arts, and world languages.
Stephanie Terrell, Principal of Colquitt County High School, said selection for GHP is a true reward for students at the top of their respective fields. “Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing our students recognized for all of their hard work and commitment,” said Terrell. “Patti and Mary Logan will be wonderful representatives for our school and community at GHP this summer.”
Stacey Beacham, the agriculture department chair at CCHS, agreed. “These two young ladies are great representatives of our agriculture program,” said Beacham. “They are always interested in trying and learning new things, have been involved for many years, and have a positive attitude that is contagious to all those around them.”
According to its website, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), which coordinates the program, says GHP “offers instruction that is significantly different from the typical high school classroom that is designed to provide students with the academic, cultural, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders.”
Allen Edwards, Director of 6-12 Gifted Education, said GHP is a unique educational experience. “GHP is usually the first opportunity the best students from our school get the chance to spend time with intellectual peers who match their abilities and passion,” said Edwards. “Every year students come back and describe GHP as life-changing.”
During their four weeks on campus at Berry College, students attend classes in their particular discipline in the mornings and choose from a wide variety of enrichment classes for the afternoon sessions. At night, students participate in social functions directed by GHP instructors. Besides transportation to and from interviews and the program itself, there is no cost to students to participate.
The state of Georgia has more than a quarter of a million high school sophomores and juniors. From that group, a little over one-percent of students were nominated from Georgia’s public and private schools and homeschool population.
Nominees completed an extensive application requiring class transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendations, and several short-answer and essay questions. GOSA then evaluated the applications and made cuts to create a pool of semifinalists, who interviewed in February for a finalist spot.
As finalists, Mitchell and Tostenson are among the top 0.3-percent of juniors and sophomores in the state. Having two students chosen in the same area is unusual, a fact not lost on Beacham. “We are always excited to have students selected to attend the Governor’s Honors Program, but to have two in the same year is exceptional,” said Beacham. “We as a department are looking forward to what these two ladies bring back next year to our Ag program after attending this new adventure.”
For more information on the Governor’s Honors Program, visit http://gosa.georgia.gov/governors-honors-program or call Allen Edwards at (229) 890-6200 ext. 10074.