GHP State Nominees Announced: Accomplished 25 Advance to Next Level


Photo courtesy of Stella Garrett.

A sunset at Berry College in Rome, Georgia—the site of Georgia's Governor's Honors Program.

Oliver Hurst, Staff writer

After a county application and interview in October, 25 Chamblee Charter High School students moved on to the first round of the state level for the 57th Governor’s Honor Program. This year’s state nominees from Chamblee are:

  1. Caeley Woo (Communicative Arts)
  2. Owen Oertell (Computer & Software Engineering)
  3. Avaye Dawadi (Computer & Software Engineering)
  4. Rachel Lee (Mathematics)
  5. William Wall (Mathematics)
  6. Ahona Haque (Mathematics)
  7. Victor Lim (Mathematics)
  8. Andrew Pietkiewicz (Mathematics)
  9. Aaditya Saha (Mathematics)
  10. Megan Woo (Flute)
  11. Jamie King (Cello)
  12. Sooriya Senthilkumar (Biology)
  13. Rajan Karsan (Biology)
  14. Naeem Islam (Biology)
  15. Iris Tsouris (Visual Arts)
  16. Ellis Hamburger (Visual Arts)
  17. Camille Thorp (Visual Arts)
  18. Sanjeev Anand (German)
  19. Matthew Lombardo (German)
  20. Suzanne Thomas (Spanish)
  21. Kai Neuhaus (German)
  22. Edwin Lee (German)
  23. Alexander Jovanovic (German)
  24. Carson Ankeny (Social Studies)
  25. Carly Aitken (Social Studies)

GHP is a prestigious, highly competitive summer program for academically motivated students. Students apply for a specific area of study such as biology and theater. The residential four-week program, open to rising juniors and seniors, is held at Berry College in Rome, Georgia and is completely free for participants.   

The state nominees offered their reasons for applying to GHP in the first place. For sophomore Sanjeev Anand, he mainly wants to attend GHP for the potential academic benefits.

“I wanted to apply to GHP because it gives me an extra opportunity to enhance something I’m good at, which in this case is German,” said Anand. “And, I mean, let’s be honest, [GHP] also looks good on college applications.”

A few other applicants, like junior Megan Woo, wanted to apply after hearing about other’s experiences at GHP.

“My sister did it, and she said that she had a really good time. And I just thought it seemed fun,” said Woo. 

This part of the state application process consists of an online application specific to each subject. If the applicants pass this round, they will be considered finalists and offered a state interview at Berry College early next semester. Now that the semifinalists have had a chance to start the application, some expressed worries about the process, especially current juniors who are applying for the second time. 

“Well, [the state application is] the same as last year so it’s kind of hard to come up with something different because my answers really haven’t changed that much,” said Woo.

Regardless of how worried the semifinalists are, some GHP alumni offered some advice to the applicants.

“You just want to make sure you don’t do [the state application at] last minute,” said GHP 56 alum Nick Markiewicz. “I can’t stress it enough because you want to make sure everything is well thought out […] with good logic and grammar. So make sure everything you submit is a good piece of writing.”

GHP 55 alum Shanru Xu offered different advice for applicants.

“In general, I would say, you have to show [interviewers] that you’re really interested in what you want to do [at GHP],” said Xu. “Because the most important thing is how much passion you have for that subject because GHP is really not about who’s the best who’s like the most skilled or who has the most awards. It’s  really about who really wants to do this, like who wants to be at GHP to learn.”

Markiewicz offered a final message to the semifinalists.

“Good luck,” said Markiewicz. “Everyone who made it to state has the ability to make it [to GHP]. Just put hard work in and just be yourself because if [the judges] really want you [at GHP], if they think you’ll be a good fit, you’ll end up being there.”