Seven RJR Students To Attend North Carolina Governor’s School

Fleet Wilson, Editor in Chief

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School is coming to a close, and after nine grueling months of homework, quizzes and tests, the student body lets out a collective sigh of relief. Everyone, except for 7 rising seniors, whose summer plans seem far from the usual.

For Eliza Carlton, Chelsea Hignite, Ben Smith, Isaac Anthony, Wills Woodruff, Allie Poovey, and Isaac Cooper, their summer will be spent back at school. However, they will not be attending just any school, these seven talented students will be attending the prestigious North Carolina Governor’s School.

Split between two campuses, one in Winston-Salem and one in Raleigh, the North Carolina Governor’s School offers courses for exceptional students in 11 areas of study, ranging from natural science to choral music. The application process is similar to that of a rigorous 4-year university, with an acceptance rate of less than 30%.

“It’s a highly competitive program, and for Reynolds to get seven [students] in, is really impressive,” Reynolds English teacher and Director of Governor’s School West Rodney Allen said in regards to this year’s Demon representation. “I don’t think people fully understand but in the two Governor’s Schools this year we will have 670 students, which means over 1% of those will be from Reynolds.”

What many people may still not be able to comprehend is why students are vying for the opportunity to spend 6-weeks in an overnight school environment.  

“There aren’t any tests or quizzes, so it’s all about learning new information,” Andie Meise, a senior at RJR and 2017 Governor’s School Alum explained. “It gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over the state, and I’m actually going to be rooming [in college] with my best friend from Governor’s School, so I definitely think that this is an experience that will continue to change my life.

When asked about what interested them in spending their summer in the classroom, here is what these accepted students had to say.

“I decided to choose dance [as her area of study] because I love to dance more than anything. I am on RJR Boots and a competitive dance team and wouldn’t want to spend the day doing anything else,” junior Chelsea Hignite professed.

“I loved the idea of learning without tests and busy work,” junior Isaac Anthony said, who will be studying natural science this summer. “I hope to gain a greater level of knowledge in the fields of science, philosophy, and self and society, along with a greater understanding of people with ideas different from my own.”

The sentiment evoked by these future alums is one that is mirrored by Mr. Allen, who is a choral music alum himself.

“Many students will say it’s life changing, and for me it was,” Allen said. “It opened the doors to opportunities and changed the way I thought about things. I thought deeper about things, I thought more critically about things, and I made some great friends.”

Along with looking forward to the exciting possibilities the summer holds, accepted students are also grateful to those at Reynolds who helped them along the way.

“RJR helped me tremendously,” Hignite said. “The dance teachers Mrs. Reece and Mrs. Hailey helped me by writing recommendation letters for me and helping me feel more prepared for the audition. I also received help from my awesome counselor Mrs. Bryant and all the other amazing counselors at Reynolds.”