St. Pius X nominates the best and brightest for Governor’s Honors Program


Photo courtesy of Lucy Vrazel

Junior Lucy Vrazel practices percussion for upcoming GHP interview.

Ava Godbey, Staff Writer

Every year, schools across the state of Georgia nominate their brightest and most passionate students to the Governor’s Honors Program. According to its website the program seeks,“to provide students with academic, cultural, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders.”After competing in a selective admissions process, the students participate in a four-week educational program at Berry College, the host since 2017. 

In the fall, teachers nominated eight students based on their scholastic achievements and passion within an individual subject area. Those that advanced were Maxi Brogi (English); Victoria Celedon-Garcia (English); Jacob Fleming (Math); Lucy Vrazel (Band); Gracie Rosenberg (Theatre); Samuel Grass (Spanish); Anna Pichanick (French); Lindsey Nelson (French). 

Brogi, Rosenberg, Nelson, Vrazel, Fleming, and Grass all advanced to the state-level interview.                    

 This high school subject area is translated into majors in the GHP. 

GHP offers several subject areas of English or “majors” as they are referred to including English, World Languages, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Visual Arts, Theatre Performance, Theatre Design, Music, Dance, and Engineering. 

Students nominated in these areas must partake in a months-long application process with interviews and submissions. 

Junior English semifinalist Maxi Brogi said he is, “excited for a chance to further develop his writing” but found each part of his application [Short essay questions, audio response, literary analysis, creative exploration, and self-analysis], “painful in its own way.” 

Junior French finalist Lindsey Nelson has been working hard to carefully craft her application but must be able to do well on the spot in her impromptu interview, but she felt well prepared based on the French curriculum offered at St. Pius. 

She said she was interested in GHP because, “I feel like it would help me prepare for AP French, and I have always loved French. GHP goes into more depth on French culture; I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, specifically France, so I can apply what I learn in GHP there.” 

Junior Percussion semifinalist Lucy Vrazel agreed with Nelson’s sentiments regarding the benefits of the GHP. 

She admitted, “Mr. LaBreck guilt tripped me into applying, but I do think it will be very beneficial and help me progress a significant amount as a percussionist.” 

Even before the students are granted acceptance into this prestigious program, they are given a sneak peek into the rigorous college application process and even potential job interviews. 

“I feel like it will help me to prepare for college admissions and help me really understand my passion for the language and the culture,” Nelson said.  

Despite the challenges thus far in the application process, each applicant notes that the most difficult part is yet to come. As the GHP weeds out students from each school, the interviews and applications become increasingly difficult and demanding. 

Vrazel noted that the final percussion stage consists of, “an audition of three pieces of music, an interview, and a sight reading evaluation,” adding, “the most difficult part of the application is definitely the audition.” 

Nelson agreed, “The most difficult part is the on-spot interview,” she said. 

Although each student is challenged in both their work ethic and passion for their subject, they note that the application process also has cemented their love for their subject.

Brogi explained, “Mr. Scirocco opened my eyes to the beauty of art and poetry. I really want to be in this program because it sounds interesting, and I am curious as to what they will have to say about poetry and film.” 

Vrazel agreed. “I love percussion because it is an escape. It is a way for me to release stress and anxiety and a way to express my feelings and creativity,” she said. 

The interview process continues throughout the spring, and winners will be announced March 26 if they are finalists or alternates.