Appalachian Summer Regional Governor's School logo

2021 Dates: July 19-23, 2021

The Appalachian Summer Regional Governor's School has two primary focus areas. One is to provide a variety of academic experiences in arts, science, and technology to a diverse group of academically gifted high school students. The second focus is to provide a summer enrichment experience that is academically and intellectually challenging for gifted students in an environment in which students can reach their individual learning potential.

The Governor's School serves selected rising high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors in Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, and Wythe counties, and the city of Galax. It is funded and coordinated jointly by these area public schools, Wytheville Community College, and with funding by the Virginia Department of Education.


CLASSES 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Front-End Web Development with HTML, CSS, & JavaScript

  • Instructor: Terry Hawthorne
  • This course will provide students with the skills and mindset needed to build web applications. In the first part of the course, students will learn the fundamentals of the languages used in modern front-end web development: HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript. In the latter part of the course, they will use these tools to build a web application in collaboration with at least one other student. (Effective collaboration and communication are important skills in modern software development efforts.) Students will learn about resources they can use to further their knowledge and skills, such as W3Schools and the Mozilla Developer Network. Students will also learn about creative problem solving approaches used by professional developers to brainstorm and code applications. This is an accelerated pace course with a focus on creative problem solving through envisioning and developing a custom web app that also provides students with resources to guide their own future growth as web developers and problem solvers.

Ancient Athens: Roleplaying the Origins of Democracy

  • Instructor: Jacob Spraker

  • Through a role-playing simulation, Thresholds of Democracy, students will engage with topics like history, citizenship, government, philosophy, art, and other social sciences. The class will become a public body of sorts; in character, students become figures from the period, often as members of different factions trying to win the game by meeting secret objectives and making real-time decisions from the past. Students will learn how to conduct research, write speeches and position papers, deliver formal speeches in class, and participate in informal debates and negotiations, all while improving speaking, writing, and leadership skills, critical reading and thinking with primary sources, and build learning communities through teamwork.

Broadcast Journalism

  • Instructor: Gregg Hawks
  • Students will have hands-on experience with news gathering, copywriting, storyboarding, location and studio shooting to facilitate the proper communication of news in such a way that the viewer will immediately recognize and understand the content and is informed accurately regarding the event. During this course you will learn skills and knowledge of broadcast journalism techniques and methods for delivering news content in an accurate and engaging manner. The course will involve a field trip to a news broadcasting studio.

The Face: See the Art in Me

  • Instructor: Penelope Moseley
  • This class will explore the face of art, and the art in each individual student, specifically in self-portraits, and selfies. It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. Students will draw inspiration from their own inner self, the face, faces through history and music in each inner self. Students will enhance their drawing skills with self-portraits, build a clay mask and various other art projects related to the face.

Topics in Theatre- Using Improvisation to Promote Critical Thinking Skills

  • Instructor: Tracy McAfee
  • An in-depth look at improvisation that develops a student’s critical thinking skills. Areas of concentration involve developing soft skills through improvisation that promote real life experiences. Students will create impromptu scenes that are specifically in self-portraits, and will deal with appropriate social interaction. Students will also learn how to critique acting and stage productions before attending a theatrical event. A field trip to a theatrical event is planned during the course.

Appalachian Summer Governor's School Applications

Applications are due April 23, 2021


Appalachian Summer Regional Governor's School Location:

Wytheville Community College
1000 East Main St
Wytheville, VA 24382


Jenny Buchanan
Appalachian Governor's School
℅ Spiller Elementary School
330 Tazewell Street
Wytheville, VA 24382


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