NCSS Announces 2021 Governor’s Honors Semifinalists

Six Newton County School System (NCSS) high school students have been named semi-finalists for the 2021 Governor’s Honors Program (GHP). The GHP, open to all sophomores and juniors, is a free residential summer program for gifted or highly talented students who are passionate about the subject. Students interested in attending must participate in a series of interviews and should be able to speak eloquently and in great detail about the subject they choose. They are students who desire to work with their subject outside of school and go above and beyond. Students may be nominated in Communicative Arts (ELA), all the Foreign Languages, Math, Science, Social Studies, Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Engineering, and Agriscience.

According to Dr. Nikkita Warfield, NCSS Director of Secondary Schools, each school has a school level GHP coordinator.

“The coordinator informs teachers about the program and asks teachers to nominate students who are highly talented and qualified to meet the criteria of the program,” Warfield explained. “After the teachers provide the coordinators with student names, the coordinator meets with students to provide them with an overview of GHP and how the nomination process works. Additionally, the school-level GHP coordinator checks to ensure students meet the criteria. If the student meets the criteria, the coordinator informs the teacher and has the teacher complete the GHP nomination form. The teacher completes his or her portion as well as assists the student with filling in his/her nomination information (essays).”

She added, “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s interview process was virtual and centered around the students’ application and essay. If selected as district winners, the students’ names are submitted to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA). The students are next contacted by GOSA to complete a state application in efforts to be selected for state interviews. If selected, students become semi-finalist and then compete in state interviews. Students selected as finalists from state interviews will have the opportunity to participate in the GHP summer program.”

NCSS students who have successfully passed the school and district-level interviews and had their applications approved by GOSA to be named a semifinalist in the program are as follows:

Dhakiya Knights Newton High & NCCA STEM Institute  10  Communicative Arts
Noah Geiger  Newton High & NCCA STEM Institute  10  Engineering-Mechanical Design 
Brie Worton  Eastside High & NCCA  11  Visual Arts 
Elizabeth Johnson  Eastside High  11  World Languages-Latin 
Matthew Walker  Eastside High  11  Communicative Arts 
Rivash Deepnarain  Eastside High & NCCA STEM Institute  11  Engineering-Mechanical Design 

“Congratulations to our students who have been named semi-finalists in the 2021 Governor’s Honors Program,” said Warfield. “These students persevered and worked tirelessly to complete many rounds of revisions to get their applications and essays prepared for the semi-finalist round. They did not allow the restrictions of COVID to stop them from reaching their goals. It is nice to see so many students so passionate about a subject area, that they wish to participate in a program to learn more in-depth information about the topic. I commend them and wish each of them well in the next phase of the Governor’s Honors Program.”

Feature Image: Photo ID: (L-R): Brie Worton, Elizabeth Johnson, Matthew Walker, Noah Geiger, Rivash Deepnarain, and Dhakiya Knights are Newton County School System’s 2021 Governor’s Honors Semifinalists.

SOURCE: Newton County Schools

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