Two Cherokee juniors selected to Governor’s School 

by May 18, 2020COMMUNITY sgadugi


Cherokee High School juniors Shalyn Barker and Maya Cruz were selected to attend the prestigious North Carolina Governor’s School during summer 2020. Governor’s School is a five and one-half week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students. It is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation.

Unfortunately for the selected students, precautions surrounding the threat of Coronavirus caused the cancellation of NC Governor’s School 2020.

The summer curriculum for these students would have focused on students freely exploring and discussing recent ideas and concepts in each discipline and would not have involved course credit, tests or grades.

In addition to being identified as academically or intellectually gifted, Governor’s School candidates must have scored in the 92nd percentile or higher on approved achievement tests or state end-of-course (EOC) exams in core content areas, such as Math, English II or Biology.

The Governor’s School summer program is open annually to rising seniors and integrates academic disciplines, the arts, and unique courses on one of two campuses. Barker and Cruz would each have attended the program on the Governor’s School West campus at High Point University.

“Not all school districts have students selected to attend Governor’s School and having two juniors selected to attend from a small school is a great honor,” said CCS Talented and Gifted (TaG) Specialist Dr. Beverly VanHook-Schrey. “Shay and Maya are both very deserving young women who, I’m sure, would have enjoyed their time at Governor’s School.” Both students became eligible for Governor’s School application based upon their NC EOC (end-of-course) Math I scores.

“We are honored to have had both of our students selected. This accomplishment is both a testament to the level of dedication of these young women, as well as the level of instruction provided by our teachers here at Cherokee High School,” said Dr. Elizabeth S. Younce, director of Exceptional Student Services.

Eligible students who complete applications to Governor’s School must submit their applications to the local school district. Each district is allotted a specific number of nominations based upon student enrollment. The student applicants undergo a competitive process to be nominated by their school districts and again after being nominated. Forty-two percent of this year’s applicants were selected to attend Governor’s School.

Barker and Cruz submitted their Governor’s School applications to the state in November 2019, and received their Selection notifications in March 2020. They were scheduled to attend Governor’s School West in June and July.

Regardless of whether they are able to attend Governor’s School, “It is an honor for both of these students to be selected and an accomplishment of which they and their parents should be very proud,” said TaG Specialist Dr. VanHook. “I hope that Shay and Maya will be able to take advantage of later opportunities offered to selected Governor’s School students during the upcoming school year.

“Having two students selected to represent a small school like Cherokee is rare. It is an honor simply to meet Governor’s School eligibility requirements and to be nominated by their home school. I have advised both Shay and Maya to be sure to include their Governor’s School selection on all their future college applications and on their personal resumes as one of their many achievements.

“The CCS Talented and Gifted program is pleased with these two students’ selection for the prestigious Governor’s School and happy to have them as our school representatives.”

– N.C. Governor’s School release