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Overhead view of Johnson Hall and campus.

Meredith Welcomes Governor’s School East Back to Campus

By Melyssa Allen

Meredith Welcomes Governor’s School East Back to Campus

By Melyssa Allen

After a year’s hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Meredith College welcomed Governor’s School East (GSE) students and staff back to campus in June.

On June 20, a group of 337 high school students moved into residence halls at Meredith for Governor’s School. Governor’s School is the nation’s oldest statewide summer residential program for gifted high school students. Meredith hosts Governor’s School East and High Point University hosts Governor’s School West.

President Jo Allen calls Governor’s School “an outstanding opportunity for high school students to refine and strengthen their talents and, equally important, their abilities to make critical connections between various areas of study and expression.”

Allen said Governor’s School’s mission mirrors Meredith’s mission, making the campus a good fit for the program.

“So many of the alumni of this program attest to the life-changing experience that is Governor’s School East,” Allen said. “It is no coincidence that it is set at Meredith, where so many of our own students make the same attestation. In that sense, introducing young minds to extraordinary educational experiences mirrors the College’s mission to help students own their strengths and flourish.

Successful COVID-19 Precautions

Meredith College and Governor’s School worked together to implement COVID-19 safeguards to make an in-person program as safe as possible. Nearly 95% of program faculty/staff and 84% of student participants had been vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, Governor’s School participants followed community standards and operated as a “bubble” by requiring participants to remain on campus for the full five-week program.

“Members of Meredith’s Executive Leadership and Incident Response Teams worked closely with GSE administrators and state health officials to develop a robust COVID-19 mitigation plan to ensure the safety of both communities,” said Vice President for Marketing and Communications Kristi Eaves-McLennan. “Elements of that plan included entrance testing, surveillance testing for unvaccinated individuals, daily symptom monitoring, masking and distancing while indoors, and making extensive use of outdoor spaces.”

Thanks to these efforts, no COVID cases occurred during the five weeks of Governor’s School.

Governor’s School East Site Director Laura Sam was pleased that the program was able to be offered in person again this year.

“The students expressed repeatedly what a wonderful time they were having at Governor’s School hosted by Meredith College,” Sam said. “Many experienced over a year of virtual learning and so were even more appreciative of their experience this summer.”