COVINGTON -- Four Newton County students will get a special summer experience this year.
The state Governor's Honors Program announced Friday that four high school students from the Newton County School System were selected as part of the 700 finalists for the 2011 summer program. Last year, three NCSS students were invited to the program.
"These students are most deserving of this opportunity," NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews said. "Hard work, commitment and smarts are commodities which will take them far in life. They are certainly among the best of the best in NCSS academics, and they deserve our congratulations and well wishes."
The chosen are Eastside High School student Marshal Conner Bryan and Newton High School students Ian Bachiller, Aaron Cole and Alex Grady. They were selected from 32 Newton County student nominees -- seven from Alcovy High School, 13 from Eastside High and 12 from Newton High.
The state-funded program is in its 48th year and is held at the campus of Valdosta State University for a few weeks each summer.
Students were nominated by their teachers for a specific instructional area matching their abilities, aptitudes and interests. Nominees had to provide recommendation letters and grades, and these nominees also recently participated in state interviews or auditions.
Only rising juniors and seniors from Georgia's public and private high schools are eligible to participate in the program designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year, according to NCSS.
This summer's GHP is scheduled from June 26 until July 23. Usually, the program lasts six weeks, but this year it was cut due to revenue shortfalls and reduced budgets at the state level.
While there, students will take classes in the areas of their majors and minors, as well as participate in elective classes, attend seminars and hear from special guests.
This year, Bachiller plans to study social studies, Bryan will focus on Latin, Cole will examine visual arts and Grady will concentrate on mathematics at the summer program.
Instructional areas offered include English, foreign languages, mathematics, science, social studies, visual art, theater, music, dance, executive business management, commercial and industrial architectural design, technology and agriscience in the area of biotechnology or environmental science.