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WSSU to host NC Governor’s School

Students look at petri dish held by teacher
High school students examine contents of petri dish.

The western campus of the North Carolina Governor’s school will have a new home beginning this summer, moving from High Point University, where it was located for the last three years, to Winston-Salem State University.

The N.C. State Board of Education was updated last week on the new site for the selective summer program for gifted and talented rising high school juniors and seniors. The new campus represents a return of the Governor’s School to Winston-Salem, where it began at Salem College in 1963.

The move also marks the first time a Governor’s School campus has been located at one of the state’s public universities. Meredith College in Raleigh has hosted the eastern campus of the summer program since 2000.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt commended Winston-Salem State University leaders for providing a home for Governor’s School West, which is expected to enroll about 350 students for the 4-week program beginning in mid-June.

“Students across North Carolina are very fortunate to have this special opportunity to learn, explore and create during this summer program,” Truitt said, “and both the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction are glad to enter into what we hope will be a long partnership with Winston-Salem State. We know this is a win for students, the university and the state.”

Dr. Elwood Robinson, chancellor of Winston-Salem State University, said he was excited about the new partnership.

“Winston-Salem State University is honored to be the first public institution selected as the western region host site for The Governor’s School of North Carolina,” Robinson said. “This momentous opportunity will allow us to showcase our historic campus as a premier partner in educational advancement. We look forward to welcoming these great young minds into the Ram Family and immersing them into the culture that is uniquely WSSU.”

NCDPI is currently reviewing more than 1,700 applications from upper high school students from across the state, with about 700 of the state’s most academically gifted and talented rising high school juniors and seniors to be selected for the 2022 session.

Local school superintendents, along with directors of charter and private schools initially nominate students to attend Governor’s School. The program is open to rising seniors, with exceptions made to include rising juniors in selected performing arts areas.

Each school system, charter school and private school is allotted a certain number of nominations based on its 10th- and 11th-grade populations. There are 10 specialization areas for nomination: English, Spanish, mathematics, natural sciences, social science, art, choral music, instrumental music, theater, and dance.

Faculty and staff of the Governor’s School include distinguished teachers and professionals from public and private schools, colleges and universities across the country. Others are independent artists and scholars. To further enrich the students’ experience, many faculty members are in residence on campus as well.

Gov. Terry Sanford founded the Governor’s School of North Carolina in 1963. The program, which does not involve credit, tests or grades, is the oldest statewide summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students in the nation.

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