Annika Jolley from Dresden High School and Westview’s Joseph Roupe will have little more than a week from the last day of school to the first day of an opportunity that could shape their future academic careers.
Both have successfully navigated the extensive application process and been accepted into Tennessee Governor’s Schools. Jolley will be attending the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences (GSAS) at the University of Tennessee at Martin beginning May 29. Roupe will travel to UT Knoxville for the Governor’s School for the Sciences & Engineering (GSSE) which starts May 30.
TN Governor’s Schools provide rising high-achieving 11th and 12th grade students currently enrolled in Tennessee’s public and private high schools an academically demanding experience. Nine other Governor’s Schools covering subjects such as the arts, humanities, science, business and teaching are also offered as four-week summer sessions. Governor’s Schools instructors include writers, language experts, historians, philosophers, artists, actors, conductors, expert musicians, scientists, distinguished professors, and career-level teachers.
To be accepted in schools, applicants must be nominated by school faculty.
P.K. Kelley, the DHS counselor, notes that Jolley is “an exemplary student, a respectful young lady, and an ethical teenager. Annika is very interested in agriculture, especially veterinary medicine,” she said, adding that the soon-to-be senior will be an “asset to the Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences.”
Jolley said she first learned of the GSAS from a friend who attended two years ago. Though she was eligible last year, she still wasn’t sure about applying but says that because of Covid, “I have learned to face each opportunity head on and when applications became available, I decided to pick one up. I asked my parents, and they fully supported any decision I made.”
Jolley chose to focus on the agriculture business elective and the veterinary science group study project to help her prepare for her anticipated career in Veterinary Medicine. Group Study Projects (GSP) are small, specialized groups taught by expert faculty from various Tennessee agricultural schools.
The Veterinary Science GSP will present the students with the opportunity to observe and learn about the diversity of career opportunities in veterinary medicine, animal care of both farm and companion animals and perform a basic research project on companion animals from local humane shelters.
“Dresden High School has better prepared me for Governor’s School through having a fully functioning farm and some of the best advisors and teachers,” said Jolley who is an active member of FFA and part of the school’s softball, track and field, Student Council, Beta Club, and Weakley County Youth Coalition programs.
“This summer, I hope to gain new friends, expand my knowledge of agriculture and learn more about college life,” she concluded. Her extended plans include attending the University of Tennessee at Martin for her bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science and later obtaining a doctorate of veterinary medicine at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Roupe’s experience at the Governor’s School in Knoxville will begin each morning with common Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses and, in the afternoon, he will attend chemistry classes, his choice for the customized portion of the program. GSSE participants now earn (5) college credit hours upon completion of the program.
In addition to classroom experience, Roupe will be invited to open houses of science and engineering departments, laboratory tours, educational field trips, college and career choice programs. In previous years, concerts, plays, movies, and special events have been scheduled for after hours and the weekends.
The current sophomore says he thinks his STEM club experience at Westview will help prepare him for the summer experience which he anticipates will in turn help prepare him for college.
“I hope to learn more about the college process and what I will be doing in college,” he noted. “I also hope to better myself so that I will be better prepared for my further stages in life.”
Included in his dreams for the future are inventing new and/or improving existing technologies.
Erica Myers, Westview’s 9th-10th grades counselor, is excited about Roupe’s representation of the high school at the GSSE. “It is a very competitive program, and the fact that he was accepted says so much about the type of student he is. He is a hard worker and is also very liked among his peers,” she shared.
“Along with being chosen for Governor’s School, he was voted as sophomore class favorite!” she added. “We are lucky to have Joseph here at Westview and are so happy for him.”
The Governor’s Schools are funded by appropriations from the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. All students attending Governor’s Schools receive a scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, housing, and meals.
(Karen Campbell, Weakley County Communications Director)