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Record number of Hall students make Governor's Honors
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West Hall High sophomore Ben Golden talks about how he was encouraged by his music teacher, Tim Gale, to apply for the Governor’s Honors Program.

GAINESVILLE — A record number of Hall County high school students have been selected to attend the Governor’s Honors Program at Valdosta State University later this year.

The students are Bridget Neukum, Cameron Phillips and Rachel Siegfried of Chestatee High; Taylor Pettit and Rachel Stoker of Flowery Branch High; James Bellamy and Kyle Bellamy of Johnson High; Leah Smith of North Hall High and Benjamin Golden of West Hall High.

The six-week program aims to provide high-achieving and artistically gifted high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year.

Neukum and Phillips will study math in the program while Rachel Siegfried and Stoker study communicative arts; Pettit and Smith, theatre; and Golden and James and Kyle Bellamy, music.

Students must be rising juniors or seniors to be accepted in the program, which is accepting 690 finalists this year.

Hall County schools had 37 students apply for finalist positions, said Sally Krisel, assistant director for teaching and learning.

Before this year, the most acceptances Hall County has was seven in 2007.

The 45th annual program is set for June 8-July 19.

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