COVINGTON -- More than 30 Newton County students have the chance to participate in an educational summer program in South Georgia next year.
The Newton County School System has nominated 33 students to the state level interviews for the state Governor's Honors Program.
NCSS recently announced that four Alcovy High School, 20 Eastside High School and nine Newton High School students were selected for the program, which is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors.
Students were nominated by their teachers for a specific instructional area matching their abilities, aptitudes and interests. Nominees had to provide recommendation letters and grade transcripts.
"Very few students are of the caliber to reach this level of distinction; all participants are to be commended. We know that they will represent the Newton County School System well," said Samantha Fuhrey, the system's deputy superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
This year, students were nominated in such areas as Latin, agriscience, communicative arts, mathematics, theater and music, among several others.
A function of the Georgia Department of Education, the four-week long summer program takes place on the campus of Valdosta State University. The 2013 program will be its 50th summer, making it the longest continually running program of its kind in the nation.
More than 2,900 students from across the state will be interviewed and auditioned over three weekends in January and February, and from those nominees, up to 690 finalists will be chosen to participate in the 2013 program.
The program is fully funded by the Georgia General Assembly, so there is no charge for students to attend.
At Valdosta State, students spend the morning in their major area of nomination, exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom. During the afternoons, students choose one of the other areas in which to study.
Major instructional areas for the program typically include English, various foreign languages, mathematics, various sciences, social studies, arts courses, technology and executive management. Instruction also may be provided in computers, counseling, library/media and physical fitness.
Evenings usually are filled with seminars, activities, concerts, special guests and performances.
"GHP is such a competitive program that even being nominated is an accomplishment. Less than 1 percent of the state's sophomores and juniors are awarded that honor," said program Director Dale Lyles. "I congratulate the students of Newton County School System and look forward to meeting them and their parents at the interviews."
Last year, the state selected three finalists from NCSS to participate in the program.
Lyles said that many of GHP's past participants regard being in the program as one of the most life-changing events in their lives.