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Five WHS Students Selected for Governor’s School

The WHS students selected for Governor’s School 2014 are (from left) Tyler Houck, Mackenzie Nelsen, Freya MacKinnon, Nate Fischer, and Evan Jones.
The WHS students selected for Governor’s School 2014 are (from left) Tyler Houck,
Mackenzie Nelsen, Freya MacKinnon, Nate Fischer, and Evan Jones.

April 18, 2014. Watauga High School students Nate Fischer, Tyler Houck, Evan Jones, Freya MacKinnon, and Mackenzie Nelsen have been selected to attend Governor’s School of North Carolina, a highly selective summer program offered to some of the most academically and artistically gifted students from across the state. 

“We are truly proud of our Governor’s School students,” said Watauga High School Principal Marshall Gasperson. “Their selection reflects their hard work, their exceptional talents, and their commitment to excellence.  They richly deserve the opportunity to attend Governor’s School and we are certain they will make the most of it.”

Students attending Governor’s School are nominated and chosen in one of eleven subject areas: art, choral music, dance, English, French, Spanish, instrumental music, mathematics, natural science, social science, and theater.  Fischer was selected for social science, Houck for instrumental music on percussion, Jones for choral music, MacKinnon for instrumental music on viola, and Nelsen for natural science.

Governor’s School is an intellectually demanding program, yet no grades or tests are given and no course credit is received.  Governor’s School courses and activities are intended to stimulate student creativity, encourage students to question basic assumptions, and develop an acceptance of change. The curriculum emphasizes contemporary theories and new developments in each subject area.  Students concentrate their studies in the subject in which they were selected but also participate in shared courses and activities with students from all subject areas.  The faculty and staff of Governor’s School include leading teachers, professors, and professionals from across the country.

A $500 tuition fee was first implemented for Governor’s School in 2009-10 due to state budget reductions.  However, Watauga High School has paid the fee for its students each year since tuition has been charged.

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is the nation’s oldest statewide summer residential program for academically gifted high school students.  High schools are limited in how many students they can nominate for the program and less than half of the highly accomplished students that are nominated receive an invitation to attend.  The program runs for approximately five and one-half weeks and this year’s session begins June 15th.

Governor’s School operates at two locations, a western campus at Salem College in Winston-Salem and an eastern campus at Meredith College in Raleigh.