The GSP program is a nationally-recognized five-week summer residency program that offers outstanding high school juniors the opportunity to study and interact with faculty members from three of Kentucky's colleges.
Scholars will balance busy academic schedules in the sciences, mathematics, humanities and the arts with a variety of co-curricular activities and rich residential life.
They will participate in community involvement projects, seminars and other activities that are often initiated by the students themselves.
A statewide selection committee chose the participants for the program from nominations submitted from each Kentucky school district. Selection criteria included academic records and test scores, teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities and essays. The program is free to those who attend.
This year's governor's scholars may be assigned to either Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University or Bellarmine University.
Andrea Bennett's activities at RHS have included participation in band, Pep Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Science Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the academic team.
She has won national recognition in the Duke University Talent Identification program. As a participant in the program, she has attended two summer studies programs at both Duke and Davidson College. She has won several district and regional awards in academic team competitions and in band competitions.
Bennett is an active member of the RHS marching band, pep band, jazz band and the Post Oak Church handbell choir. She is also an accomplished pianist.
Katie Howlett has also had outstanding high school achievements. She has been active in the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Science Club, Spanish Club, academic team, FCA and the yearbook staff.
She has received district and regional awards in academic team competitions and holds officer positions in the science and Beta clubs, as well as in the band. She is also an editor of the yearbook.
Jessica Shutt is actively involved in band, both jazz and pep, as well as the Beta Club, academic team, student council, Science Club, National Honor Society and the speech team.
She is a section leader in the marching band and has won district awards in both the Beta Club and academic team.
Shutt, a Beta and band officer, has also received regional recognition for her part on the academic team and has participated in the Kentucky Lions Club All-State band. She also serves on two faculty committees.
Ryan Leach is also quite involved in the RHS band program, including the marching, jazz and pep bands. He has also distinguished himself in academic team competitions and won a top award in the state Technology Student Association competition and will compete in the national competition in June.
Furthermore, Leach is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club and Positive Panther Peers. He is actively involved in the Russellville Boy Scout Troop and is a member of the United Methodist Temple and Post Oak Church's handbell choirs. He works part time for WRUS radio station.
Hannah Grise is involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including the RHS soccer team, for which she is the only female athlete. She is also a member of the academic team, Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club and tennis team.
Grise has won awards at the Kentucky Foreign Language Festival, TSA and Beta competitions and has also received a scholar athlete award. Like Leach, she is eligible to compete in the TSA national competition. She holds officer positions in TSA and Science Club, is a sports editor for the yearbook and is an accomplished violinist.
ShaeQuinna Sydnor is a member of the RHS softball team, Beta Club, HOSA, yearbook staff and Spanish Club. She was selected to participate in the state Beta scholastics competition and is a sports photographer for the yearbook. She is also involved in numerous community activities and associations, including Concerned Citizens, Leaders in Training and the Adopt-a-Grandparent program. Sydnor works part time at the Logan County Public Library.
All of these students are examples of dedicated, involved, hard-working young people. They have enriched RHS by their service, participation, loyalty and motivation. The entire faculty joins them in celebrating their accomplishments and in wishing them exciting Kentucky Governor's Scholar experiences this summer.