HHS Seniors Selected for NC Governor's School

HHS Seniors Selected for NC Governor's School
Posted on 06/21/2017
gov school 2017

Hickory High Rising Seniors

Selected for

NC Governor’s School


Three students from Hickory High School, who are ready to embark on their senior year of high school, have been accepted to the prestigious Governor’s School of North Carolina. Melanie Addabelle Alfonso, Olivia Marie Belcher, and Virginia Logan Tanner, received their letters of acceptance for the summer residential experience.

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is the oldest statewide summer residential program for gifted and talented high school students in the nation. With integration of academic disciplines including the arts and unique courses, the curriculum focuses on the exploration of the most recent ideas and concepts in each discipline, and does not involve credit, tests, or grades.

The program, typically open to rising seniors with exceptions made for rising juniors in selected performing/visual arts, is located on two campuses: Governor’s School West at Salem College in Winston-Salem and Governor’s School East at Meredith College in Raleigh.

The program began in 1963 and is administered by the Public Schools of North Carolina, State Board of Education, and Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children Division.


Melanie A. Alfonso, 17, is attending the Governor’s School West in Winston-Salem to study Spanish.


The daughter of Carlos and Tanys Alfonso, Melanie aspires to attend a four-year college before attending medical school with plans to eventually become an addiction psychiatrist for adolescents. “I hope to be able to treat younger patients suffering with eating disorders,” she said.


Alfonso is considering several colleges including Duke University, Boston University, Georgetown and UNC-Chapel Hill. “For my undergraduate degree, I plan to study biology or psychology,” she said.


A Junior Marshal for the 2017 Hickory High graduation, Alfonzo has been active in both the Beta Club and Spanish Club. She also works outside of school as a lab assistant with Hamilton and Herring Orthodontics, part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer.


“I feel extremely grateful to have been selected to attend Governor’s School,” said Alfonso. “I know talented students who also applied and I am appreciative to have been selected to join this group of intellects. I believe this experience will benefit me in the long run.”


Olivia M. Belcher, 17, is attending Governor’s School West in Winston-Salem to study mathematics.


The daughter of Mark and Heidi Belcher, Olivia is setting her goals to attend medical school with pre-med studies at NC State University or Duke University.


Belcher, a Junior Marshal for the 2017 Hickory High graduation, has been active in the HHS Beta Club, National Honor Society, Juniorettes (serving as secretary during her senior year) and the Interact Club (serving as vice president during her senior year).


A cross country runner since her freshman year, Belcher serves as a shadowing intern at Conover Veterinary Hospital with Dr. Judy Bumbarger and Dr. Tina Whitted.


“I am really grateful to be selected to attend Governor’s School,” said Belcher. “I am honored to have received nominations from my teachers—and I am looking forward to enhancing my skills in mathematics as this opportunity will surely serve me well in medical school.”


Virginia L. Tanner, 17, is attending the Governor’s School West in Winston Salem to study Natural Sciences (including physics, biology and chemistry). 


The daughter of Chris and Rebecca Tanner, Virginia is considering majoring in the medical field while studying at the University of Virginia, UNC-Chapel Hill or the University of South Carolina. Her medical interests include gastroenterology and cardiology.


A Junior Marshal for the 2017 Hickory High graduation, Tanner is active with several organizations including Beta Club (serving as secretary her senior year), Interact Club (serving as president her senior year), National Honor Society, Juniorettes, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Tanner has been on the cross country and track teams since her freshman year but plans to swim for Hickory High during her senior year.


Active with her church, First Baptist Church of Hickory, Tanner sings in the Praise Band and plays the piano. She is also a volunteer in the Emergency Room and Post-Operation at Catawba Valley Medical Center.


“When I was called down to the HHS guidance department, I was excited to learn the news of my acceptance to Governor’s School,” said Tanner. “This is a tremendous opportunity to work with other like-minded students and strengthen preparation for my academic future. I am very thankful.”


Alfonso, Belcher and Tanner are already immersed in the nearly six-week Governor’s School program, taking a break for the July 4th holiday.


Congratulations to all!

We are tremendously proud of your achievements!


(L-R) Olivia M. Belcher and Virginia L. Tanner, seniors at Hickory High, are attending NC Governor’s School (along with Melanie A. Alfonso, not pictured)

(Photo/post by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)




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