What is NC Governor’s School?

For many high school students, finding fun and informative summer programs is a top priority. Thankfully, North Carolina has plenty of options. One program in particular is the North Carolina Governor’s School program, which was founded in 1963 and has operated nearly every year since.

Governor’s School is a four-week residential summer program for gifted and talented high school students across North Carolina. The program emphasizes learning and exploration of contemporary ideas, and there are no tests or grades involved. There are ten core subjects that students can apply for: English, Spanish, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science, Art, Choral Music, Instrumental Music, and Dance. These subjects are known as a student’s “Area I” for Governor’s School, and they will make up the majority of a student’s curriculum during the program. While most of the Area I’s are only open to rising seniors, Choral Music, Instrumental Music, and Dance allow rising juniors to apply as well.

Aside from Area I classes, students at Governor’s School also attend Area II and Area III classes that explore philosophy, modern society, and the facets of our identities. There are also various optional seminars that students can attend outside of their classes. Some examples of seminars from this summer include “The Intersection of Gender Identity, True Crime, and Self-Care,” “Astrology 102,” and “Fanfic: A Study of Online Fandom.” Students can also listen to many guest speaker presentations. One guest speaker who spoke at Governor’s School West this year was Endia Beal, a North Carolina-based artist who weaves activism and social justice into her work. In-between these seminars and classes are various social events, such as karaoke nights or trivia games, that allow students to have fun and meet people from different regions of North Carolina.

If accepted into the program, students will live on either the Governor’s School East campus at Meredith College or the Governor’s School West campus at Winston-Salem State University. Each campus holds a maximum of three-hundred and thirty-five students every year. While the two campuses may vary in the programs or seminars they offer, their Area I, II, and III curriculums are identical.

Although the application process is competitive, many Apex High students have made the cut before. Mrs. Stallworth, the Governor’s School contact person for Apex High, mentioned that around three students from our school attend Governor’s School each year.

“It is such a great program, and it has been fun to be a part of the process,” she added.

Amber Wilson, a senior who attended Governor’s School West this past summer for Dance, also loved the program and enjoyed meeting dancers from across the state. She also encourages interested students to try applying to Governor’s School.

“I would highly recommend Governor’s School if you’re looking for a summer program or something to boost your college applications,” she stated, “[but] résumé aside, I think that it was a great experience to get a taste of college and that lifestyle for four weeks.”

If you are a rising senior or junior who is interested in applying to Governor’s School, email Mrs. Stallworth at hstallworth@wcpss.net or stop by her office at Student Services before October 7th! You can also learn more about the Governor’s School program here.

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