By Selena Shifflett
April 23, 2015
After months and months of waiting, the results are finally in. It is official; ten students from Monticello will attend a summer residential program with the Governor’s School.
The Governor’s Schools are a collection of academies devoted to enhancing academic and artistic skill. Students who are accepted into Governor’s School spend up to four weeks of summer at a college in Virginia. While there, they will meet with professionals in the student’s area of interest and collaborate with other students. There is a Governor’s School for Fine Arts and a Governor’s School for Academics. This year, Monticello students will be attending a wide variety of schools.
Cassie Ferrer (‘17) will attend Governor’s School for Instrumental Music. She will spend four weeks at Radford University, enhancing and expanding her knowledge on the bassoon. She said, “I’m hoping to make a lot of friends there and get to play with other people that are very serious about music.”
Taylor Thompson (‘16) will also go to Governor’s School for Instrumental Music, except her area of expertise is the cello. She will go to Radford University for the program, like all of the other students studying fine arts.
Two more students will go to Governor’s School for the fine arts; Cate Wells (‘16) and Ny-Jhee Jones (‘16) will attend for Vocal Music and Theatre respectively. For a look at the fine arts side of Governor’s School, read this article.
The academic Governor’s Schools include programs for foreign language and other disciplines like health and medicine. Students who wish to apply to an academic Governor’s School have to put together a résumè and fill out a long application. This year, six students were chosen to go to Governor’s School for an academic subject.
Kelly Bao (‘16), a member of the Health & Medical Sciences Academy at Monticello, will attend Governor’s School for Health & Medical Sciences at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Bao will work alongside doctors and other medical professionals.
Over the summer, Subin Yun (‘16) will attend the residential Math, Science, & Technology program. This takes place at Lynchburg College. She will attend classes that strive to teach in a different and creative way and further her skills in math and science.
Two students from Monticello got into the Governor’s School for Agriculture: Ben Habermeyer (‘16) and Liam Snyder (‘16). Both will go to Virginia Tech for this program, where they will study science, technology, and nutrition as they pertain to agriculture.
Though students who participate in Governor’s School do not receive college credit, the programs look good on college applications. Even more than that, they offer educational enrichment that many schools cannot provide. For example, many of the Governor’s Schools for foreign languages are total-immersion experiences. In a total-immersion academy, the students will only speak a foreign language like German, Spanish, or French.
“Our folks going to German and Spanish will be [in] total immersion, the whole experience in the language,” said Mr. Baran, Gifted Resources teacher at Monticello High School.
There are also partial-immersion programs, which means that the students can speak English as well as the second language. The schools for Spanish, French, and German are total-immersion programs whereas the schools for Japanese and Latin are partial-immersion.
Caroline Fernandez (‘16) will attend la Academia Expañola, the Governor’s School for the Spanish language. Meanwhile, Haley Stern (‘16) will go to Die Deutschakademie, the German Governor’s School. Both of these schools are total-immersion programs, so both girls will speak their respective languages of study while at Washington & Lee University this summer.
In past years, students from Monticello have gone to the Governor’s Schools for Spanish, French, and German. According to Mr. Baran, no students from Monticello have attended the Governor’s School for Latin in the past, but several have participated in other programs. No Monticello student has gone to Japanese Governor’s School, but some are considering applying for next year. While Japanese is not taught in most schools, most students are still eligible to apply. A student only has to take three years of a language, not necessarily Japanese, in order to be considered for this program.
When these ten students go to Governor’s School, they will get to meet other students who are serious about music or language or science and work with professionals in the field. It will certainly be an unforgettable experience for all who attend.