Seven Marion County High School juniors have been selected to advance to the next round of the Governor’s Scholars Program’s application process. They are: Katie Beth Brady, Zachary Brady, Seth Caldwell, Zachary Essex, Josie Followell, Delaney Mattingly, and Samuel Thompson.
“We had a very strong pool of applicants this year,” MCPS Gifted and Talented teacher Laurie Followell said. Throughout the year, Followell worked with students on completing and revising their applications. “All of the students spent a great deal of time working on their applications. They would work at home, during their lunch periods, or if they had extra time in the NextGen lab. So, we had a lot of strong applications due to a lot of hard work.“
The seven students who were selected to advance to the state level will have their applications reviewed to determine who will be invited to attend the prestigious summer program.
“Our district has certainly tried to support these students in the GSP process, and we’re very optimistic that we’ll have several selected,” MCPS Superintendent Taylora Schlosser said. “It’s always a challenge, but we have some of the brightest and most dynamic young people in the state of Kentucky.”
Each school is allowed to submit a limited number of applications based on the total number of 11th grade students enrolled at the end of the second month of school. Approximately 1,020 students from across the commonwealth will be selected to attend this year.
“I’m very confident that we’ll have students that will move on because their applications were so strong,” Followell said. “They were strong in the academic portion -- with test scores and GPA -- and they were also strong in their areas of extra-curricular activities and service. And their essays were also very strong, so I feel good that we’ll have many kids accepted this year to attend GSP.”
While not every applicant advanced to the next round of judging, Followell says it’s still a worthwhile experience for students.
“There’s a lot of value in going through the process because the students have to invest some time and energy to create this application that really does get them to look back and reflect on what they’ve done inside of school and outside of school at this point,” she said. “So they’ll have the work done for college applications and for scholarship applications. I think it’s a resource they’ll use many times in the future.”
For current sophomores interested in applying to GSP next year, Followell recommends getting a head start on some of the work now.
“What [current sophomores] should already be doing is making a list of the activities in which they’re involved, and they should write down their contributions to those activities,” Followell said. “They should begin to make a running list of honors and service in which they’re involved so they’ll have that to us whenever we do begin the application process next year. So really, they should be started now.”
Based on the experiences of past GSP attendees, being selected makes the process worth the time and effort.
“All of the students that I’ve worked with that have gone to GSP, they’re just so excited and so proud of the experience they’ve had because of the relationships they've made and the time they’ve spent away from home to get an early start on their future,” Followell added.
Last year, MCHS had four students accepted into the program.