Governor’s School, a summer enrichment program, will once again be held this year at Salem College and Meredith College. Combined, the program will take in about 600 students in the state for the five and a half week program. Students can apply in areas including language, math, science, and visual and performing arts.
“It is very prestigious. Typically, the type of students that go there are open-minded and are very focused on their academics; and they are interested about learning about the world,” guidance counselor Michelle Wagaman, who is in charge of the application process, said.
Junior Emma Schneider applied for Governor’s School this past year for social sciences. That program encompasses politics, sociology, psychology, and anthropology concepts. Schneider believes she is self-motivated and hopes the program will open opportunities for her in the future.
The application process requires teacher evaluations, general information and two essays. When applying, Schneider found the essay portion of the application the most difficult.
“We had to write a general [essay] and one pertaining to the field that we applied for. I wanted to make sure they sounded okay,” she said.
Like Schneider, senior Heather Gelleny found the essay portion of her application more difficult even than having to perform a live audition for dance. She was accepted and attended the program last summer.
Gelleny, who has been dancing for 15 years, wanted to expand her knowledge of dance through the program. When attending Governor’s School for choir, dance, instrumental music, theatre or visual arts, students must attend a live audition. Gelleny said that although she has attended auditions for other events before, her nerves really set in for this audition.
“I felt prepared, but I was just nervous because I wanted to do well,” she said.
During Gelleny’s stay, she took philosophy classes in addition to the set dance classes each day. She said that one of the best parts of the experience was that she was able to step out of her comfort zone and meet new people.
“It was so cool just being able to meet so many new people. It was so different from the people that are here because we all had similar goals and similar thoughts,” Gelleny said.
Governor’s School is also an opportunity for students to gain the college experience while directly studying areas of interest.. Gelleny agreed that it opens doors to new friendships, new interest and even a clearer understanding of future options.
“It is such a great experience to grow as a person and to learn about the area you are interested in. And you meet so many new people. Even though it is a long commitment, it is very worth it,” Gelleny said.
To apply students must be a rising senior for most programs; however, some art programs are available for rising juniors. Additionally, students must have scored a 92 or above on the End of Course test in the area of study desired. The entire application process last from October to March.
“A lot of schools, when they see Governor’s School on your resume, they already know that the student is someone they would want at their school.” Wagaman said.