Senior Joe Haston develops English passion at NC Governor’s School


Peyton Carrington, Assistant Photography Editor

Spring 2016, instead of preparing for summer break, senior Joe Haston was gearing up for another scholarly pursuit, the North Carolina Governor’s School.

The summer school provides a five and a half enrichment experience for intellectually gifted students in North Carolina.

Haston’s weeks at the Governor’s School were totally different than his regular high school classes.

“There was a lot more free thought at the Governor’s School, and they don’t have to follow course outlines, which helps in nurturing curiosity to pursue whatever subject the heart desires,” Haston said.

A major difference between traditional public school and the Governor’s School is that the Governor’s School students get to partake in whichever area of study interests them, which for Haston was English.

“I’ve always had a love for English and literature, and getting involved in English was a good way to explore the literary side of myself,” Haston said.

The classes at the Governor’s school are also conducted differently than typical public high school classes.

“They’re very though-provoking, and you talk about a lot. Everybody has a chance to enter themselves in discussion and everyone’s opinions and experiences are accepted,” Haston said.

The Governor’s School’s academics are only a part of the experience. Electives are offered to help students explore additional interests.

Haston said that there were “electives all the time ranging from Latin dancing to soccer to improv.”

In fact, Haston’s favorite part of the experience wasn’t directly related to the academics, but the people he met.

“The friends and relationships I created with friends and staff and knowing that I’ll know these people for a long time was amazing to me,” Haston said.

For rising seniors, preparation for college applications starts before they even begin senior year. For Haston, attending the Governor’s School was a stellar experience to put on his college applications.

“It gave me a sense of who I am as well as allowing me to discover how to take care of myself because I was responsible for myself.” Haston said.

However, art teacher Theodore Gasper, who attended the Governor’s School during the summer of 1994, believes that students overlook this opportunity.

“I didn’t want to do it at first because I didn’t understand it, and I feel like others have the same mentality,” Gasper said, “It was life-changing.”

For students preparing to embark on their summer at the Governor’s School, Haston shares his advice.

Haston said, “Keep an open mind about the experience, be prepared to encounter all different types of people and make it a home.”