by S. Purdom
Photo cutline: (from left): Lindsey Coleman, Elizabeth Dunn, Allie Swann, Victoria Holmes, Sarah Parker, Nathan Sutherland and Will Adams. Also chosen as a 2013 Governor Scholar for the Arts Program recipient, Swann will only attend the five-week Governor Scholar Program.
Murray, Ky., May 7-------Murray High School juniors Lindsey Coleman, Elizabeth Dunn, Allie Swann, Victoria Holmes, Sarah Parker, Nathan Sutherland and Will Adams were chosen as the 2013 Governor Scholar Program (GSP) recipients.
Selected from the pool of nearly 2,000 Kentucky high school GSP applicants, all seven recipients were acknowledged for their successes and achievements, while overcoming adversity in their lives.
Since Host campuses are determined competitively every three years, the 2013 session are to be hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville, Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky., and Murray State University in Murray.
A five-week summer residential program for outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors, the GSP originated in 1983 as a result of Kentucky leaders’ concern that the state’s “best and brightest” were leaving the Commonwealth to pursue educational and career opportunities elsewhere without fully understanding the potential of their talents at home. Students selected attend the program without charge. In the spirit of partnership, the Office of the Governor, the Kentucky State Legislature, and private enterprise come together to provide the financial support for the Program.
The core curriculum for these summer sessions is threefold: Focus Area: a “major” subject of study, assigned according to scholar preference as indicated on the application, General Studies: an area of study assigned by staff to challenge the scholars. Courses frequently include service-learning components in the community, and Seminar: a discussion-based small group session. Emphasis is placed on respectful debate and discussion. Scholars are encouraged to ask probing questions.
In order to participate in the Program, students must be nominated by their high schools and then compete on a state-wide level. Selection for the program is highly competitive, with an application process similar to that of prestigious colleges and universities. In addition to an academic profile that includes difficulty of course load, GPA, and at least one standardized test score, the application requires an outline of all extracurricular activities, a history of volunteer service, and a list of job positions held.
All applications are read without reference to the applicants’ name. Applications and submissions are divided into four sections: academic achievement, student profile, essay, and teacher recommendations. Each section is read by three selection committee members consisting of college personnel, college faculty members, and educational leaders from different areas of the state. An average of these scores is then tallied for that section and the four sections are totaled.
Teresa Speed, MHS principal, said these seven Murray High School students were chosen from a highly competitive field of outstanding young Kentuckians. "Being a chosen recipient to represent our Murray High School at this prestigious summer program is a well-deserved honor for these individuals," she said. "I am very proud of their accomplishments and believe this opportunity illustrates the quality education our system provides our children on a daily basis."