Thomas County Central High School has one student selected to participate in a summer enrichment intensive geared toward specific fields of study.
The Governor’s Honors Program, known as GHP, has announced its honorees for the 2015 event, and TCCHS student Chandler Watson has been selected in the Science field.
“It feels amazing,” Watson, 16, said. “I honestly thought there were candidates there who were more prepared. I'm just a sophomore. I'm shocked.”
GHP goes beyond the regular classroom instruction in order to enrich a student’s selected area of strength through workshops and special sessions with similarly-talented and motivated youths.
“We are very pleased to have Chandler selected,” Dr. Jim Rehberg, director of gifted & accelerated instruction said. “It really validates our curriculum and the amount of rigor we promote.”
Students compete against youths all over the state for a limited number of spots.
“Governor’s Honors is a state-wide recognition and resource,” Rehberg said. “We have many students who are very capable of study in a highly-focused environment. Chandler definitely deserves to experience that level of immersion in an area which could impact his entire life.”
Teachers nominate students, then a school committee narrows down those names to the number of slots allotted by the state, Rehberg explained of the selection process. Students complete applications and profiles, and, based on this information, are then interviewed by a state selection committee, which determines the finalists.
“The finalists are the best and brightest the state has to offer,” Rehberg said. “They get to meet and collaborate in high school, form friendships that could last into college, and perhaps refine goals they want to pursue into a career or further education.”
Watson feels the recognition honors his dedication to his chosen field, one he’s had an interest in from a young age.
“It basically shows how much I've worked over the last few years,” he said. “I've been doing science ever since I was little. My dad worked at the Challenger Learning Center.”
This year’s program is June 21- July 18 at Valdosta State University.
Watson is looking forward to learning from the experience.
“I want to learn something I haven't learned before, meet new people,” he said. “When will you see that many talented people in one place?”
Rehberg said TCCHS, the Thomas County Schools system, and the community like seeing their students succeed.
“The citizens of Thomas County really have a valuable asset in the school system they provide and to be able to nurture and develop these talented individuals who go on to great things is what we are trying to accomplish,” he said.