Governor’s Honor Program semifinalists

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Governor’s Honor Program semifinalists

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On Saturday February 23, semi-finalists for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program attended the state level interview for the four week summer program. The interviews were held on the Berry College Campus in Rome, Georgia.

The first round of interviews started at 8:00 a.m. and continued throughout the day until 2:00. Depending on the subject in which the students have been nominated for, the interview could last form anywhere from 30 minutes to well over a few hour. Since the drive from Leesburg, Georgia to Rome, Georgia is about a four hour drive, the semi-finalists drove up and stayed the night before at or around Rome, Georgia. Semifinalists from Lee County Madeline Conger (11), Mona Ghimire (11), Elizabeth Keaton (10) and Chris Kim (11) all traveled up to Northern Georgia on Friday February 22.

“My interview was at 9:20,” Ghimire said. We had to go stay up at my cousins house the night before because it was such a long drive. Somehow I still only managed to get three hours of sleep.”

The semifinalist interview determines which students will be given the opportunity to attend the Governor’s honors Program in June and July as a finalist. The interview stage is different for each of the subjects. Some subjects are only required to complete an interview in front of a panel of judges while others require a simulation, construction, presentation or analysis of something. Engineering groups were required to construct a machine of sorts while science was required to analyze a set data and have a discussion. Social studies groups were required to participate in a simulation on world politics and international issues and affairs while music, chorus and theatre semifinalists were required to play a musical composition, sing a song and perform a drama, respectively.

“My interview was at 8:00 in the morning,” Conger said, “so I was the first student my judges got to interview. I’m not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I was very surprised that my interview only lasted about 25 minutes. I thought I would have been interviewed for at least an hour. I was having a hard time not laughing during my interview because one of the judges in the room looked almost exactly like my uncle which kind of lightened the mood and made me less nervous.”

“I was nominated for social studies,” Keaton said, “My interview was at 9:20 and I was in the interview for well over three hours. I think I did okay with the interview, but I think I did bad on the simulation portion. In the simulation each of the semifinalists are role playing a country on the UN Security Council while having a discussion over crises in the Middle East. I was assigned Dominican Republic.”

Ghimire and Kim were both semifinalist last year and have been nominated for the same subject they interviewed for in the 2018 GHP running. Ghimire was nominated for social studies and Kim was nominated for the science subject.

“I had something to compare to since I was a semi finalist last year so I kinda knew what I was walking into for the interview,” Ghimire said. “I can’t really form an opinion on how well my interview went but It was definitely better than last years interview.”

“My interview was at 9:10,” Kim said. “It was not that great. It was okay, definitely could have been better. I feel like I did better in this year’s interview than last year. For my interview I had to analyze data and discuss it with the judges. We could choose to analyze data on biology circadian rhythms or physics. I chose the biology data. We had to analyze it with a group but we discussed it individually with the judges.

Students will receive a notification on March 29 detailing if they were a finalist, alternate or semi-finalist. Finalists next step will be to finish the necessary paperwork online. “I would be surprised if I actually became a finalist,” Kim said, “because I think there could have been a lot of people who did better than me in the interview. And I could have been a lot less hesitant in my interview.”

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