Mary Grace von Thron, Campus Carrier news editor

This summer, Berry will once again host high school students participating in the Governor’s Honor Program (GHP) from June 20 to Jul. 17.

GHP is a four-week residential summer program for high school students that are considered gifted. In order for a student to attend GHP, they must be nominated by a teacher. The program is highly selective. In 2017, their acceptance rate was 21%, according to their website.

Students attend classes in the mornings and afternoons in specific areas of study and they participate in a wide variety of social and instructional opportunities every evening. Meals and rooms are provided free to participants.

Chief of Staff Debbie Heida said that this year’s GHP will be as close to normal as it can be, with a few caveats. 

“We will still distance, unless those requirements go away,” Heida said. 

The daily schedule of GHP will remain similar to how it has been in years past. However, there have been some changes put in place to adhere to social distance guidelines.

Casee Gilbert, director of hospitality and event services as well as liaison for GHP, said that the biggest change taking place this year is that students will be split into several groups for events instead of one big group.

“One of the biggest changes for them is all their group gatherings will have to be split into multiple groups”, Gilbert said. “So maybe multiple performances or multiple leadership speakers and different things, just so that we can abide by kind of the social distancing in a space. But we’re hoping that the rest of it will feel relatively normal to their participants.” 

Additionally, meals will be served to students in separate groups, as opposed to having all students eating a meal at the same time.

Heida also said that GHP students will be expected to follow guidelines that Berry put in place for students. Students will be required to wear masks and social distance. 

GHP Students that are over the age of 16 will be highly encouraged to get vaccinated, though it is not required.

“I’m going to encourage vaccines,” Heida said. “Now, not everyone is eligible because they will have some 15-year- old’s and 14- year- old’s, but if someone has to go into isolation or quarantine, there isn’t any way you can continue the program if it’s just a four-week program.”

Heida is excited for Berry to host GHP this summer.

“It’s a great program,” Heida said. “Students that have been through it, part of what they say is being one of the smartest in your high school is not always the ‘thing to be,’ and so to be here with other folks as passionate about learning as you are, is just such a great program for them.”

Posted by Campus Carrier

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