Five Rockdale students selected for Governor's Honors

Conyers -- Rockdale County Public Schools has received notification that five of its students were selected as finalists, and 21 students as alternates, for the Georgia Governor's Honors Program this summer.

The Governor's Honors Program, known as GHP, is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors.

A function of the Georgia Department of Education, it takes place on the campus of Valdosta State University. The 2013 program will be the 50th summer, making it the longest continually running program of its kind in the nation.

Nearly 3,000 students from across the state were interviewed and auditioned over three weekends in January and February, and from those nominees, 690 finalists were chosen to participate in the 2013 program.

The RCPS finalists are Heritage High School's Sarah Michelson, who will study communicative arts; Rockdale County High School's Kaegan Gregory, who will study music/woodwinds with a concentration on the flute; Jeremy Rachels, studying mathematics; and Lauren Smith, studying social studies; and Salem High School's Elizabeth Leary, studying technology.

"We congratulate our Governor's Honors Program finalists along with all of our students who were nominated for this very competitive summer program," said Superintendent Richard Autry. "We realize the benefits of rigorous programs such as this and have created several enrichment opportunities within our district for students in all grade levels."

Since the program is fully funded by the Georgia General Assembly, there is no charge for students to attend.

Students will arrive on the campus of VSU on Sunday, June 23.

For four weeks, they will spend the morning in their major area of nomination, exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom. During the afternoons, students choose one of the other areas in which to study.

The curriculum in all the areas is challenging and engaging. Evenings are filled with seminars, activities, concerts and performances.

"GHP is such a competitive program that even being nominated is an accomplishment," said GHP Director Dale Lyles. "I congratulate the students of Rockdale County and look forward to meeting them and their parents in June."

He added that many if not most of GHP's past participants regard it as one of the most life-changing events in their lives.

Last year, three students from the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology were chosen for the program.

More information about GHP can be found on the Department of Education website, gadoe.org, under the division of School Improvement.