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Four selected to attend GSP

GSP students

From left to right: Brianna Mattingly, Mason Sullivan, Anna Kate Hardin and Dailyn Spalding discuss their excitement about being accepted to GSP.


Four Marion County High School juniors have been selected to attend the prestigious Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) this summer. Eleventh graders Anna Kate Hardin, Dailyn Spalding, Mason Sullivan, and Brianna Mattingly learned from MCHS principal Thad Elmore that they were accepted into the program, which is a 5-week residential program at one of three college campuses.

“I am absolutely thrilled for these students,” Gifted and Talented Consultant Laurie Followell said. Followell worked with several students on their applications. “They are an outstanding group of individuals who have excelled in many areas, both inside and outside of the classroom. I know the commitment that they made to completing their GSP applications. They will have a wonderful summer, and they represent us well.”

The students will attend GSP at either Morehead State University, Bellarmine University, or Centre College, although they have yet to be informed of which location they will attend.

“I was so excited [when I found out], I couldn’t wait to tell my parents,” Hardin said. “My mom cried and my dad started screaming over the phone.”

For Sullivan, finding out he was accepted was filled with excitement and relief.

“I was really nervous when Mr. Elmore called me in [to tell me]. I was really excited and happy. It was like a weight had been lifted.”

Sullivan said he’s most looking forward to the experience of a residential program on a college campus.

“I’m most excited about getting the college campus experience and getting some familiarity with that before I go off to college,” he said.

Mattingly said she was genuinely surprised she was accepted.

“I wasn’t expecting to get in.I looked at [Mr. Elmore] and I was like, “Are you serious?” she said with a laugh.

Mattingly also noted the college experience as one of the main reasons she was excited to be selected.

“I’m most excited to meet all the new people around me and get to live a college experience,” she said. “I’ve never been off on my own for five weeks.”

Mattingly also credited Followell with helping her prepare her application

“Mrs. Followell really helped me a lot on my essay. She highlighted some of the changes I needed to make.”

And although the application process was admittedly stressful, Mattingly said it “was definitely worth it.”

Spalding said she was “most excited about all the memories and friendships” she knows she’ll make. However, she admitted: “I’m very nervous. I’ve never been away from my family that long without getting homesick.”

During their time at GSP, students will focus their studies on a particular area, having selected three potential subjects during the application process.

“I look forward to learning about psychology because I feel like there a lot of cool studies we could learn about,” Sullivan said.

“I’m really looking forward to forensic science because I’m interested in the medical field,” Spalding said.

Hardin said she hopes to study psychology and Mattingly would like to focus on visual arts.

According to its website, GSP “strives to enhance Kentucky's next generation of civic and economic leaders. Established in 1983, the program provides academic and personal growth through the balance of a strong liberal arts program with a full co-curricular and residential life experience.”

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