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Back, left to right: Sydney Mahaffey, Riley Spangler, Travis Hicks, Silas Miller

Front, left to right: Emily Lanahan, Tori Critzer, Zachary Vernon, Aiden VanBuren

Orchid Tucker, also in the Class of 2024, was not present last night.

JRGS Honors Class of 2024 & More At Awards Ceremony

Clifton Forge, VA (June 10, 2024) - The Jackson River Governor’s School held its Annual Graduation and Awards Ceremony on June 10, 2024 to honor the Class of 2024 and first-year JRGS students.

The ceremony was held in the MGCC Convocation Center. Dr. Ben Worth, Vice President of Academic Affairs, was the featured speaker. The community college has hosted the Governor’s School since the Governor’s School opened in 2000.

The Jackson River Governor’s School is one of nineteen Academic Year Governor’s Schools in Virginia. It is a joint venture of Alleghany Highlands Public Schools, Bath County Public Schools, Botetourt County Public Schools, Buena Vista City Public Schools, and Mountain Gateway Community College. The Governor’s School program is offered to students at no cost.

Governor’s School students learn how to be successful in actual college courses taught by college faculty on a college campus, working through a rigorous curriculum including advanced chemistry, biology, college-level physics, statistics, introduction to scientific research, pre-calculus and calculus, differential equations, information literacy, and computer applications and concepts.

All Governor’s School students earn at least forty-one college credits, earn a career studies certificate from Mountain Gateway, and have an opportunity to earn an associate degree from the community college.

Nine scholars graduated in the Governor’s School Class of 2024: Victoria Critzer, Travis Hicks, Emily Lanahan, Riley Spangler, Orchid Tucker, Aiden VanBuren, Silas Miller, Zachary Vernon, and Syndey Mahaffey. Graduates attended Alleghany High School, James River High School, and Parry McCluer High School.

Half of the graduating class achieved a GPA higher than 3.5, and 39% graduated with a perfect GPA of 4.0.

“This accomplishment you’ve made in Jackson River Governor’s School is one that you should highlight for the rest of your life,” said Eddie Graham, director of the program. “That’s the significance of what you’ve done.”

These students all have plans to continue their education at a four-year institution, including Princeton University, Christopher Newport University, Coastal Carolina University, Washington and Lee University, the University of Virginia, Shenandoah University, William and Mary, and Utah State University.

Numerous honors were given during the event, including the Distinguished Scholars Awards, Excellence Awards, Academic Achievement Awards, Outstanding Scholar Awards, and Master Scholars Awards.

Distinguished Scholars Award recipients (4.0 GPA over one year): Victoria Critzer, Travis Hicks, Emily Lanahan, Riley Spangler, Zachary Vernon, Nathan Lee, Sydney Mahaffey.

Excellence Award recipients: Victoria Critzer, Travis Hicks, Emily Lanahan, Riley Spangler, Orchid Tucker, Silas Miller, Zachary Vernon, Nathan Lee, Sydney Mahaffey.

Academic Achievement Award recipients: Kayden Jack, Keegan Morris, James Ross, Rayshan Richardson, Dylan Tyree.

Outstanding Scholar Award recipients (excellence in a subject): Orchid Tucker (Biology), Nathan Lee (Chemistry), Sydney Mahaffey (Physics), Victoria Critzer (Scientific Research), Rayshan Richardson (Pre-Calculus), Sydney Mahaffey (Calculus), Nathan Lee (Statistics), Lindsey Childs (College Success Skills), James Ross (Information Technology).

Master Scholars Award recipients (4.0 GPA over both years): Travis Hicks, Riley Spangler, Zachary Vernon, Sydney Mahaffey.

Twelve first-year students were honored at the event with a certificate of merit for completing the first half of the JRGS program and for finishing the 2024 Cisco Networking Academy. The students honored were Lindsey Childs, Jackson Dudley, Kinlee Huffan, Kayden Jack, Cadiz Marshall, Keegan Morris, James Ross, Adrianna Essex, Sierra Gardener, Nathan Lee, Rayshan Richardson, and Dylan Tyree. These students attend Alleghany High School, Bath County High School, and Parry McCluer High School.

For additional information about the Jackson River Governor’s School, contact Eddie Graham, JRGS Director, at egraham@mgcc.edu or (540)863-2872.

Fall registration is underway at Mountain Gateway Community College. Contact Student Services at (540)-863-2820 or visit mgcc.edu to learn more about upcoming course offerings.

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