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Student Achievements » Georgia Governor's Honors Program (GHP)

Georgia Governor's Honors Program (GHP)

The Georgia Governor's Honors Program (GHP) is a four-week summer residential instructional program designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. Sophomores and juniors in public, private, and home schools are eligible to be nominated in one of twenty areas. Students attend the program on the campus of Valdosta State University, in Valdosta, Georgia. 

Activities are designed to provide each participant with opportunities to acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes to become independent, life-long learners. The Georgia Governor's Honors Program is fully-funded by the Georgia General Assembly, and operates at no cost to the participant.

Local system nominees then go to statewide interviews/auditions in January and February, where this written evidence plus data gathered in the student interview/auditions are used to select finalists.


2015-2016 Tift County High School GHP Finalist:

Noah Pierzchajlo - Theater Design
Anna Bowen - Alternate for Ag Science


2014-2015 Tift County High School GHP State Winner

Mary Kathryn Howard (Science) 

The listed students advanced to the state level:

Mary Kathryn Howard - Science

James "Dru" Branch - Social Studies

Dillon Kemeness - Social Studies

Chandler Mathis - Visual Arts



   The Tift County School System has received notification that one student has been selected as a finalist for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program.  The finalist for the 2013 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program is Mary Vo, a rising junior and her area of interest is Biology.


The Governor’s Honors Program, known as GHP, is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors.  A function of the Georgia Department of Education, it takes place on the campus of Valdosta State University (VSU).  The 2013 program will be the 50th summer, making it the longest continuously running program of its kind in the nation.


Nearly 3000 students from across the state were interviewed and auditioned over three weekends in January and February, and from those nominees 690 finalists were chosen to participate in the 2013 program.  Since the program is fully funded by the Georgia General Assembly, there is no charge for students to attend.


Students will arrive on the campus of VSU on Sunday, June 23.  For four weeks, students will spend the morning in their major area of nomination, exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom.  During the afternoons, students choose one of the other areas in which to study.  The curriculum in all the areas is challenging and engaging.  The evenings are filled with seminars, activities, concerts, and performances.


Mr. Dale Lyles, director, said, “GHP is such a competitive program that even being nominated is an accomplishment.  I congratulate the students of Tift County School System and look forward to meeting them and their parents in June.”  He added that many if not most of the GHP’s past participants regard it as one of the most life-changing events in their lives.


More information about GHP can be found on the Department of Education website (gadoe.org) under the division of School Improvement.