RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Governor’s School, a four-week summer residential program for upcoming Arkansas High School seniors, had its final day for the year Monday, Aug. 1. Three hundred seventy students from throughout the state were hosted this year, the school’s forty-third anniversary.
The school was held at Arkansas Tech University, as it will be through 2024.
Governor’s School is made possible by a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. Students’ daily class schedules at the school are based, in part, upon their demonstrated aptitude in one of nine areas of specialization: visual arts, choral music, instrumental music, drama, English/language arts, mathematics, natural science, social science or development engineering. Those nine disciplines constitute what is defined as Arkansas Governor’s School Area I.
AGS Area II is a study of the nature of knowledge, while AGS Area III is focused on the personal and social development of students.
“When I came here, I was really nervous,” Issac Thomas of Hot Springs, a student who is interested in a career in public service, said. “I have my friend group back home, but I was really concerned about the push to meet new people. I am now comfortable with the idea of sharing a dorm room with someone all the way up to interacting with teachers in a class in a more personal way. Since there are no grades, [the school] is all about your personal experience and cultivating that. The biggest thing that has changed about me is I really don’t want to leave. This program is for everybody. What matters here is your openness and willingness to connect with the world and those around you.”