Three of North’s Finest to Attend Governor’s Honors Program


Claire Pearson (Left), Jack Kern (Middle) and MaryKate Schwaemmle (Right), will be heading to GHP this summer at Berry College for science, theater and social studies, respectively.

JoAnn Ahn, News Editor

It had been a month since the last of the interviews occurred. Sitting through the Atlanta traffic, MaryKate Schwaemmle’s mother reminded her daughter to check to see if she had been chosen to attend the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) for her most favorite subject, history. Though hesitant at first due to nerves, MaryKate logged onto her account- immediately, the color green surfaced. After about seven months since the first interview at the school level, she was finally notified that she would be a finalist for the prestigious Governor’s Honors Program.

Along with MaryKate Schwaemmle (11th), Jack Kern (11th) and Claire Pearson (11th) will also attend the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program for four weeks this summer at Berry College in Rome, Georgia for theatre and science, respectively. Kern will be the first North Forsyth High School student to ever participate for the category of theatre.

GHP is a residential summer program offered for talented and gifted rising juniors and seniors in high school. Schwaemmle, Kern and Pearson, along with many other NFHS students, were first nominated by teachers and thus began the interview process last September. Due to this highly selective process, from school to county to state level interviews, the path to becoming a finalist for GHP never was and never is, easy. 3,000 students in Georgia were nominated to go to the state level or semifinals, and 1,700 participated. Forsyth County Schools sent 70 students to the semifinals. Ultimately, 20 FCS students were chosen to be finalists.

“This is incredible. I’m so humbled to be a finalist, “ Kern stated. “I definitely expect this experience to give me a definite answer to see if theatre is what I want to pursue, and I cannot wait to be enriched by this.”

According to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, “the program offers instruction that is significantly different from the typical high school classroom and that is designed to provide students with academic, cultural, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders.”

“It feels really rewarding to have worked this hard and be given the chance to expand my knowledge of history outside the classroom, which is something I don’t get to do often,” Schwaemmle exclaimed. “I am so excited to spend this summer with kids who are passionate like me.”

GHP will provide these selected high school students with a college experience prior to their college years, as they will live on campus and attend classes for their selected area of study in the mornings and afternoons, and a variety of social opportunities classes every evening.

Pearson stated, “After waiting a whole month after that last interview, and finding out I am a finalist… everything was perfect, really. I’ve been to other camps before, but GHP is free, and with such an excellent reputation, I know this will be an incredible experience. I definitely want to know what I want to do in the future after being exposed to more science fields in the program.”

This prestigious opportunity will enhance their educational experience and further their knowledge and skillsets for the real world. Congratulations to our finalists and go Raiders!