December 5, 2020

HHS Senior participates in Governor’s Honors Program

(Valdosta, GA) — The Governors Honors Program is an annual, month-long event held at Valdosta State University that involves Georgias most intellectually and artistically gifted students.

Accepting only less than one percent of high school students statewide, several notable alumni of this program include Georgia State Senator Tyler Harper, rapper Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover, and actor Jack McBrayer.

Heard County’s own, senior Jaime Conlan was honored to participate this year in a class of 17 students in the Spanish category. She describes her experience in this program as one unlike any other.

Heard High School Senior Jaime Conlan

Heard High School Senior Jaime Conlan

Applying for the Governors Honors Program begins with a teacher nomination of the top two students in each subject. Every school then selects a certain number of nominees, based on their GPA, to apply online for the final evaluation.

For Jaimes category, the application included answering personal and school-related questions, as well as writing an essay in Spanish on a given cultural topic.

Acceptance in this category was followed by a state-level interview consisting of a 10 minute conversation with a panel of native Spanish-speaking judges as well as writing another essay.

“That was the final stage. It was really exciting when I got accepted,” says Jaime.

Within the four weeks of the program, every student goes to class for five hours every day to learn based on a no-grade, open curriculum.

This applies especially in the Spanish category, where Jaime was taught many aspects of Spanish culture and history including poetry, food, and sports, simply by engaging in classroom conversation.

Jaime says her class got to choose what they wanted to talk about, whenever they wanted to talk about it, as long as it was in Spanish.

Jaime explains her exposure to a new and exciting environment as she tells us she “was able to meet so many different people from all kinds of backgrounds,” and that “there were people there that had perfect SAT scores, or that they are number one in their class at school; and especially being on a college campus, I had to learn how to live with other people in a dorm. It was very transformational, and Im most grateful for that.”

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