Commonwealth Governor's School - An insider's viewpoint

By Kaitlyn Bestick May 23, 2019

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The Commonwealth Governor's School (CGS) is a highly rigorous academic program within many of the counties in Virginia. There are six high school sites in total including Riverbend, Stafford, North Stafford, Colonial Forge, King George, and Spotsylvania High School. Currently, I am one of thirty freshmen finishing up the school year at the Riverbend site of CGS. Unlike most of the students at this site, I am not districted to attend Riverbend. I spend one half of my day at Chancellor High School and then we are bussed to Riverbend to complete the rest of the day in the CGS program. Within this time period at Chancellor we take our elective courses and then fulfill the academic courses while at the CGS site. This is a lot to take on at first, two new schools, two different types of students, and many different teachers' names to memorize. It is overwhelming at first but the staff at the CGS sites are very understanding and try to accommodate your needs to the best of their ability. 

This year I was fortunate enough to be a member of the 2018 state champion field hockey team at Chancellor. This trip to the state tournament meant missing days of valuable class time, but every one of my teachers cheered for us while we were gone and allowed us to make up any work with ease. All of our assignments were posted ahead of time of Blackboard (the online calendar) which allowed us to get ahead on our work so we didn’t miss as much. As mentioned before, I am an athlete at Chancellor as well as a member of CGS. This means free time is very limited. But, I have learned how to manage my time more wisely and prioritize to complete all of the tasks assigned with ease. 

Learning through this program is varied through many different methods. During the week, teachers may hold broadcasts to teach a lesson instead of a traditional class session. Broadcasts are an interactive live stream system where all of the different sites are being taught by the same teacher through TV monitors. They allow us to interact with our fellow classmates at different sites and are fun! Teachers also use field experiences to teach lessons as well. These can be a trips to a theater or museum or even the good ol’ landfill. We are given freedom to explore the topics in different ways than just learning, but actually experiencing it for ourselves. Overall CGS has allowed me to make some amazing friends as well as close bonds with my teachers. Although we tend to be stressed, it's because we are a group of students that really do care about our academics. Governor’s school is a very different experience than what high school is expected to be, but the great friends, teachers, and memories are worth turning in the application. 

Working on our class interpretation of Romeo and Juliet

Field Trip to the National Art Gallery


New and old bonds, created and enjoyed!

Today's featured young writer is Kaitlyn Bestick. Kaitlyn is a hard-working student, athlete, and sibling. 

Thank you for your submission, Kaitlyn!