Shelby County’s Governor’s Scholars

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By Sharon Warner

The Governor’s Scholars Program is a 5-week, residential summer program for outstanding Kentucky students completing their junior years in high school. Eleven from Shelby County Public Schools were selected. Some responded to a questionnaire to discuss their areas of interest at GSP, school activities and greatest accomplishment.



Shelby County High School representatives:

Heather Nicole Amos – daughter of Jim and Darlene Amos. She wanted GSP to give her more experience “in the medical field to help me decide what career I want to go into after high school.” That is why she picked health-care sciences. She has been involved in marching band, pep band, concert band, Beta Club, Teen Court, teen volunteer at Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, First Baptist orchestra and saddleseat equitation. A trip with the band her sophomore year was described as “an unforgettable experience and it also brought the marching band much closer.” The group played in the Bands of America performance at the Colts stadium with bands from all over the country.


Patrick Dalton Casper – son of John and Dawn Casper. He was excited to apply for Governor’s Scholars “to test my own personal responsibility and to meet the best and brightest students in the state of Kentucky.” He looks forward to studying modes of mathematical thinking, engineering or music. At SCHS, he is involved in Academic Team and Technology Student Association. He also played the violin in the musical “Moses and the Burning Within” performed by Good Shepherd Church. His greatest accomplishment was receiving third-place overall in mathematics at the Commonwealth Academic League in which the academic team competes.


Shannon Leigh Harover– daughter of Tony and Susan Harover. About GSP, she said, “I’ve already heard it’s a life-changing experience. I can’t wait for the chance to meet new people.” She hopes to study healthcare sciences because “I think it would be a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the healthcare field.” She is a member of the golf team, National Honor Society and Shelby Christian Church youth group. “The most exciting event of my high school career was when I won the Boyle County (golf) Invitational last September. It was the first high school tournament I won individually.”


Ramsay Khalid Mandeel– son of Elizabeth and Khalid Mandeel. He’s looking forward to five weeks of “fun and learning in a subject I enjoy” along with the scholarship opportunities. He hopes to study psychology and “a further understanding of the mind and how it works.” At SCHS, he is involved in Academic Team, Role Play Club, Shelby Singers, Chamber Singers, Tapestry Jazz, Blast Show Choir and Theater. Highlights of his school career include the Academic Team making it to state, the Chamber Singers winning first-place at Lawrence Central choir competition, and his being selected for GSP.


Gwen Elizabeth Martin daughter of Bill and Therese Martin. She thought GSP would be a good experience “both to meet new people and to prepare for college,” She wants to make friends and learn what college life is like while studying psychology, cultural anthropology or international relations. Her involvement includes Shelby Christian youth, National Honor Society and Technology Student Association. She is also a Diamond Girl for SCHS baseball and a church babysitter. Her highlight was attending a brunch at the University of Kentucky where she met President Lee Todd and where she was recognized on the field at halftime of the football game.


Sherrie Lynn Martin daughter of Bill and Nadene Martin. GSP will give her scholarships, leadership skills and preparation for college. Her areas of study are psychology, cultural anthropology or legal and political issues. She hopes “to meet new people who have interests similar to my own, and I hope that it helps me determine my college major.” Her activities include equestrian, Shelby Christian youth, Beta, National Honor society, Interact Club and Teen Court. Gaining acceptance into Governor’s Scholars is the accomplishment of which she is most proud.


Haley Valenta Miller– daughter of Raymond and Tracy Miller. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience “a wonderful program and earn college funds.” She plans to study human health development. “To be positive, I want to go into the medical field.” Her activities are vice-president of Beta Club, National Honor Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Shelby Sharks swimming, SCHS swimming, track and Shelby Singers. Her greatest event was “VAMPY [Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth], which is an academic camp at Western Kentucky University. It was a great experience and I’m hoping for an even greater experience at GSP.”


Trent Meyer Turner son of Kurt and Cece Turner. He wanted to apply for GSP because he believed it would be an honor to represent SCHS. He hopes to gain an academic experience “that cannot be found in a normal classroom” in the fields of engineering models of mathematical thinking or physical science. Trent is involved in baseball, Beta and National Honor Society. His greatest achievement is being accepted into GSP, saying, “the application process was extensive so I am grateful for being selected.”


Collins High School representatives:

Matthew Kyle Folsom– (information not available)


Nicole Elaine Pottinger – daughter of Ronald and Tamara Pottinger. She applied “for the opportunity, experience, friendships and scholarships.” She signed up for drama “to be able to increase my skills and learn new techniques.” Besides theatre, she is involved in choir, show choir, Teen Court, Beta Club and National Honor Society. Being accepted into GSP is her greatest academic achievement but she named playing Tracy Turnblad in Collins’ production of Hairsprayas the most exciting event,”


Erica Lorraine Ribenboimdaughter of Eric and Suzan Ribenboim. She wanted to take advantage of the “wonderful opportunities [at GSP] with which the program provides its applicants and to broaden my horizons.” Her areas of interest were psychology because “I don’t know a lot about this subject so I hope to expand my interests and learn more about new subjects and to become more open-minded.” She is involved in swim team, track, violin, National Honor Society, Beta Club, and art club.


Ashley Faith Zepedadaughter of Manuel Zepeda and Lori Zepeda. Her application to GSP came after “a lot of friends who had gone last year and loved it. They always told me how it was such an amazing experience.” She plans to study cultural anthropology at Bellarmine where she hopes to gain a better understanding of all types of cultures and how to relate to them because she wants “to be a medical missionary and understanding other cultures is a key part of that.”  At MLCHS, she was president of Junior Class, president of Beta, and member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, cross country and track. She is also a member of First Baptist youth group. Her achievement was “an amazing time running for state president of Beta. I didn’t win but I made so many new friends and the experience is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.”