The General Journal

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The General Journal

The General Journal

Governor’s Honors Program: A Summer to Remember

Heritage High School had many students selected as finalists for the 61st year of Georgia’s prestigious Governor’s Honors Program.
R. Bradford

Four recipients from Heritage High School made it to the final round of the Governor’s Honors Program. Counting the two alternates, who will most likely be attending, this makes a new record for HHS. The Governor’s Honors Program selects the best of the best students from each subject to go to Georgia Southern for four weeks of the summer to extend their learning in a fun, new, intelligent way. 

Junior Kai Courtney-Soper, who will be going in for Computer Science said, “The Governor’s Honors Program is a great program for students who are passionate about certain subjects, whether that be normal academic subjects or different CTE (Career Technical Education) subjects.” He was nominated by one of his teachers for computer science and went through the six month process of interviews and projects. Courtney-Soper talks about how the build up to seeing the green light, meaning he was accepted, was exciting but nerve racking. One part of the process was going and doing an in-person interview at Georgia Southern. “It was really scary, but getting that first look at the campus was super fun.” Although he is nervous, Courtney-Soper is ecstatic about his four week long future endeavor. 

Junior Natalie Ferry talked about her future experience in GHP specializing in Communicative Arts. “It’s a really long application process—ranging from nomination at the county level to semi-finalists at the state level.” Ferry created an original piece based off of the film “Chinatown” (1974) for her application. She is the first from Heritage to make GHP for Communicative Arts, so she had no idea what to expect during the creation of her application. She found out she was accepted into the program while she was in a parking lot waiting to head to her job. GHP had posted the application results early. “I was so surprised by the early results. I wasn’t prepared to find out this giant news while sitting alone in my car,” she explained. Ferry can’t wait for the summer that is to come; “I’m a nerd who gets to see other nerds,” and she could not be more excited for that.  

Junior Georgia Taylor is majoring in the subject she is most passionate about: Social Studies. She is most excited that GHP is like school, but better. “There’s no tests. It’s supposed to bring all of the fun into learning at a higher level.” She will focus on certain topics of history like political science, which she is passionate about. This is a good experience for her future as “a bunch of colleges come to this like convention,” and she gets to meet them all. Taylor was in New Orleans when she found out the exciting news of making it. She was in a different time zone and wasn’t sure of when to look, so when her mom called her telling her she made it, Taylor started crying from excitement. 

Junior Caleigh Jackson, a Vocal major, was another one of Heritage’s finalists accepted into GHP. “I had to sing an Italian Aria [“Voi Che Sapete”] and prepare myself to write more essays about it.” She did interviews, essays, auditions, and sight reading for her application process. Jackson was the first ever person from Heritage High School to make it into the vocal major.  From 1,000 altos to the final eight that were chosen, Jackson is one of the top singers in the state. Her choir teacher nominated her and had to write a letter of recommendation in order for her to start this process. Her abilities and academic grades helped her get in. Jackson was very excited about making it through all the rounds and got to venture out to Georgia Southern. 

All of these students including alternates Ethan Bruce and Clara Beth Elsenrath will speak on how grateful they are for this once in a lifetime experience. Until then, they will be packing and preparing for the summer to come.

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About the Contributor
Benae Pederson
Benae Pederson, Staff Writer
Benae Pederson is a 17-year-old junior at Heritage High School. This is Benae’s first time in Journalism, and she is excited about the rest of the year. Her favorite things include working out, drawing, singing, cheer, and hanging out with friends. Benae moved here from Ringgold this year, and before that she was from Nebraska. She would be on the cheer team if it was permitted after transferring, but she is looking forward to next year. Her goal for junior year is to focus on her grades, family, and friends. Benae is the youngest of five kids and the only one left at home. When Benae leaves home and goes to college, she plans on majoring in business. She has no preference on which college but wants it to be a big university. No matter what is to come in her future, Benae is excited for this upcoming year of carrying on "The Legacy."