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Governor’s School to offer unique experiences for talented high school students
This summer, Radford University will host approximately 400 high school juniors and seniors enrolled in a program called the “Summer Residential Governor’s School for Visual & Performing Arts and Humanities.” Students from across Virginia will spend four weeks on Radford’s campus beginning on June 23, 2019.
Now in its eighth year at RU, the program allows students to choose an emphasis in either humanities or in visual and performing arts. Each year about 90 school districts across the Commonwealth of Virginia recommend their best students to apply and audition for one of the program’s two tracks.
The highly competitive selection process lasts for months, and is completed around the start of April. Students recognized as gifted or talented are able to apply and audition for Governor’s School in January. After auditions, final selections are then made from the list of applicants. Students may only participate in Governor’s School once during either their junior or senior year of high school.
Dr. Wayne Gallops, a professor in the Department of Music and Director of the Governor’s School program, said that it is a complex program to manage, but it is worth the life changing experience the students receive, the exposure RU gains hosting top high school students, as well as the amount of fun the faculty and students have during the summer program.
The purpose of the program is to give high school students an opportunity to expand on their talents and skills, and to learn to perform at a college level. “We literally have the best 400 high school students on our campus for four weeks. Students are immersed in intensive classes and rehearsals with outstanding professional faculty,” said Gallops. Throughout the four-week curriculum, arts and humanities students are often brought together for cross curricular classes and activities that enhance their experience.
Over 100 faculty and staff members are hired to help operate the Governor’s School program. Many are from the Radford community and surrounding areas, while others come from outside states and even from other countries. There will also be about 25 counselors on campus with the students, helping them navigate the campus and form a sense of community within their group. These counselors are all current Radford students, many of whom attended Governor’s School at some point in their lives. Each counselor is assigned a group of students with whom they will engage in different activities such as hiking, canoeing, card games, and social events.
Beginning with the student’s arrival in late June, they will not see their parents again until the program concludes on July 20. On this day, different showcases and performances will be taking place around campus for parents to see what the students have been working on during their time at Radford.
Each year there is a different theme associated with the new group of students and reflected in their work. This year’s theme is “be counted” with the idea of all voices being heard and all demographics being represented.
For more information, visit the Governor’s School web page.