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Final four advance to state

GHP candidates showcase their talents to advance on to the next round.

Ashley+Wilhelm%2C+junior%2C+poses+for+a+picture+after+receiving+a+treat+for+advancing+to+the+next+round+of+Governor%27s+Honors+Program.+Lori+Vincent%2C+English+teacher%2C+nominated+Wilhelm+for+Communicative+Arts.+
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Final four advance to state

Ashley Wilhelm, junior, poses for a picture after receiving a treat for advancing to the next round of Governor's Honors Program. Lori Vincent, English teacher, nominated Wilhelm for Communicative Arts.

Ashley Wilhelm, junior, poses for a picture after receiving a treat for advancing to the next round of Governor's Honors Program. Lori Vincent, English teacher, nominated Wilhelm for Communicative Arts.

Bronlyn Holland

Ashley Wilhelm, junior, poses for a picture after receiving a treat for advancing to the next round of Governor's Honors Program. Lori Vincent, English teacher, nominated Wilhelm for Communicative Arts.

Bronlyn Holland

Bronlyn Holland

Ashley Wilhelm, junior, poses for a picture after receiving a treat for advancing to the next round of Governor's Honors Program. Lori Vincent, English teacher, nominated Wilhelm for Communicative Arts.

Bronlyn Holland, Editor in Chief

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From music to communicative arts to engineering, four students head to Berry College on Feb. 23 for the state interviews for Governor’s Honors Program. Emma McDonald, sophomore, represents art, Mallory Wiggins, junior, represents music, Ashley Wilhelm, junior, represents communicative arts and Nathaniel Grayson, Academy for Advanced Studies, represents engineering.

Through the process reaching the state level interviews, the students selected for the process go through rigorous levels and must have a full commitment from start to finish.

“It’s on the teachers to identify quality students who can make this commitment, because it’s not just a commitment to the process but also to the summer camp for GHP that you have to commit to…I try to encourage them [students] if you know you can’t do it then back out early…We had a lot of very qualified candidates that did end up pulling out because they’re so busy and they’re pulled in so many different directions,” Rod May, assistant principal said.

May took the job of being the GHP school coordinator when Debra O’Quinn retired. He helps the students retain the materials they need and also helping the teachers pick their qualified students.

“It’s hard for me to tell them what that ‘it’ is, because it really depends on the subject, who they are, who that person is in the room, so it’s a lot of dynamics,” May said.

John Wood, art teacher, nominated McDonald for her artistic abilities.

“Mr. Wood nominated me and basically there was a lot of making new art and stuff like that, so it was a lot of time and effort and first we started off with the application…basically saying why I wanted to be in GHP and what I could contribute and that’s also in the second application…I went to the first interview and I had all of my art there, like I had 11 pieces, and I just talked about them and explained what they were…the second application was similar to the first except I had to do a video,” McDonald said.

Each segment in GHP must do something different at the state interviews. Music must do an audition, art must discuss their selected pieces and communicative arts must provide a discussion.

“I’ll have 13 of my best pieces there [Berry College] and then I’ll present it for them [interview committee] and talk about all of it…I can’t remember if it’s 100 question or something like that, but I have a test afterwards,” McDonald said.

For Wiggins, she has to perform in front of judges.

“I can pick it [the piece] myself. It’s usually like a three page solo piece that I can do on my own without an accompaniment,” Wiggins said.

Through Wiggins’ process, the most influential person is someone she has been around since seventh grade.

“My private lessons teacher has helped me through the music and helped me write all the answers to my questions and everything and has just been really supportive of me too,” Wiggins said.

I feel like last year, I was feeling out the waters and everything and I didn’t really know what to expect with everything, but I feel like this year I’m more prepared and that’s why I made it this far, because I kinda know what they [selection committee] are looking for,”

— Ashley Wilhelm

Last year, the selection committee cut Wilhelm at the district round. Wilhelm used last year as a lesson to how she approached this year through the process.

“I feel like last year, I was feeling out the waters and everything and I didn’t really know what to expect with everything, but I feel like this year I’m more prepared and that’s why I made it this far, because I kinda know what they [selection committee] are looking for,” Wilhelm said.

Because Wilhelm went through part of the process, she is handling her emotions more tranquil manner.

“I’m not really nervous about it, because if I get in then I get in and if I don’t then I don’t, even though I really want to, but the cards are in the cards,” Wilhelm said.

You have to explain what your good qualities are and so I feel like it’s made me into a more confident person,”

— Mallory Wiggins

Through this process, each student gained strength in different areas of themselves.

“It’s really helped me with nerves. I feel like preparing for it has helped me through other auditions that I’ve done throughout the year, so it’s giving me more experience and auditions and interviews and stuff…It’s helped me be more confident. You have to explain what your good qualities are and so I feel like it’s made me into a more confident person,” Wiggins said.

For some, the GHP process validates why they have a passion in their subject.

“Back in fourth grade or something like that, I had a friend and we used to draw together and stuff like that all the time and in fifth grade, we had to do this media thing… and we decided to work together and she had one of the tablets…and it was on Paint and it just inspired me. It was pretty awesome for a fifth grader. I asked my parents to get me a tablet too and I did most of my work digital and sketchbook…In eighth grade, I had art and that’ when I did paintings and stuff like that, but I still love digital and then I’ve been expanding more…with painting this year,” McDonald said.

With this being a stressful process that is winding down on Feb. 23, May gives one last word of advice to the candidates.

“At this point, relax. The hay is in the barn. They’ve done the hard work and now it’s just being cool, because there’s a lot of pressure in that room. There’s a lot of nervous energy and when I was at Luella, we hosted the state interviews and you had students throwing up with anxiety and nerves, so at this point you have to relax, so allow the best version of you to come out, because if you have that anxiety and pressure you’re probably going to be focused on not screwing up,” May said.

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About the Writer
Bronlyn Holland, Editor in Chief

Bronlyn Holland, a well-organized and kind-hearted senior of many talents, enters her fourth and final year of High School here at Ola. Holland has concluded...

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