Photo by Corinne Nicholson
COVINGTON -- Three Eastside High School students are going to see a lot more of each other this summer.
The Georgia Department of Education recently announced that it invited three students from the Newton County School System to participate in this year's 47th annual Governor's Honors Program.
"We are so proud of these students and their accomplishments," said Samantha Fuhrey, director of Secondary Curriculum at NCSS. "The Governor's Honors Program has gotten more and more competitive each year, and these students have met the challenges and excelled in their areas of giftedness."
This year, the state selected three Eastside High School students as finalists. They are juniors Wesley Chambers, who will major in music/brass (tuba); Melissa Greer in Latin; and Christopher Waters in physics.
"Our Governor's Honors representatives are all outstanding, well-rounded students," said Dennis Roddenberry, principal of Eastside High School. "They will be excellent representatives of both Eastside High School and Newton County School System."
They also are representing the Eastside High Band, of which all three are members.
"It is indeed special that I get to see each of these fine students in my band every single day. They are three bright young people who likely had other subjects besides Latin, physics and music," said band director Alan Fowler, who attended GHP when he was in high school. "As long as I can remember, I have heard people cite the fact that music students succeed in other fields. With that in mind, it is no wonder that we have band students at Eastside selected for GHP in a wide range of fields."
These three students are part of the 690 students from around the state who are invited to attend this summer's six-week program, which is scheduled from June 13 to July 24 at Valdosta State University. While there, they will take classes in the areas of their majors and in elective classes, attend seminars and hear from special guest speakers.
The Eastside students said they are looking forward to the program teaching them more about their interests.
"I want to pursue music as a career and knew that I needed to look into opportunities that are bigger than just high school," Chambers said.
They also hope to learn lessons that will help them into college and afterward.
"My goal is to be an Air Force or Navy pilot, and I think participating in GHP is going to be a great experience to have as I prepare for my future," Waters said.
They also want to have fun and gain some independence.
"I'm also looking forward to the friendships I'll make with people I normally wouldn't get the opportunity to meet," Greer said, adding that she also wants to learn skills to become a high school Latin teacher. "It's also a good way to get used to the college setting and being around people dedicated to learning."