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Hickman County High Juniors attending summer GSP and CHA
L to R: Charles Byassee, Aaron Harpole, Alex Allen, Kelsey Grubbs and Alex Richards

Hickman County High School, population 350 students, will be sending four juniors to the Governors’ Scholars Program (GSP) this summer and one junior to Murray State to participate in the Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP).

Juniors Kelsey Grubbs, daughter of Greg and Carla Grubbs, Alex Richards, son of Alan and Aprilla Richards, Charles Byassee, son of John and Jill Byassee, and Alex Allen, son of Mike and Lori Allen, were chosen to participate in GSP.  The four students filled out an application which included their academic record, ACT, PSAT or SAT scores, leadership and community activities and 500 words essay on one of six topics.

Students were not recruited by the school.  Alex Richards said that “you had to take the initiative to apply.”  Students applying spoke with the four seniors at the high school who went to last year’s GSP. They were told that they will meet lots of new people and that it will change them. 

The Governor’s Scholars Program is a five week program offered on one of three college campuses: Murray State University, Centre College in Danville and Bellermine University in Louisville.

The students go to class and spend at least 12 hours a week in a focus area class. Focus areas range from A for Agribusiness to V for visual arts. Students will have general studies courses that emphasize inquiry, service learning, community leadership and resolution development. Personal development seminars that stress concerns and problems faced by students are also part of the five week training.

Students are also encouraged to step outside their comfort box for their three focus area choices.  Alex Allen and Kelsey Grubbs made architecture one of their choices. Charles Byassee, who plans to major in pharmacy, chose psychology.  Students are not guaranteed their first focus area choice.

They do not choose the college campus they will attend. They are required to spend the whole five weeks on campus and will only be excused for family emergencies.  There are three starting dates for the program: June 19, 25, 26th. 

Kelsey Grubbs said the hand of God was on her schedule. Kelsey had volunteered for a mission trip to El Salvador which would have fallen during the Governors Scholars Program. Through no doing of hers, the mission trip got rescheduled to August 1st.  She will now be able to do both.

Aaron Harpole, son of Mark and Marsha Harpole, will attend Commonwealth Scholars Program.  The theme of this year’s program is “Harmony or Chaos? Pursuing Resolution in a World of Differences.”

Students attend the program without charge, except for their snacks, laundry and incidentals. Upon completion, the course of three weeks at MSU will offer six hours university credit, have the opportunity to take six tuition free hours at the University and be awarded a four year renewable housing scholarship of $2000.

Principal Larry Farley came out and stood with his juniors. He praised their “brainpower” and hard work. Farley looks to juniors like the five going to academic summer camp to be student leaders when they become seniors.  While they will be busy taking college classes through Falcon Academy, the five have already demonstrated their ability to multi-task.

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