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System honors award winners
I-Govs Honors pic
James Holton, far left, and Daniel Bettis, far right, were recognized for Governors Honors by Dawson County High School Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Stacy Martin during the Sept. 8 board of education meeting. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

Two Dawson County High School students were recognized during the last board of education meeting.

The board recognized James Holton and Daniel Bettis during its Sept. 8 meeting for participating in the Governor's Honors program over the summer.

The Georgia Governor's Honors Program is a four-week, summer residential program at Valdosta State University designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year.

"Very few students in the state are chosen to be part of this program," said Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs.

Holton chose to participate in the Bio-Agricultural Technology program.

"My junior year, my brother and I applied for the program and made it to the interview level," Holton said. "He got in and I didn't. I learned a lot from him, so when I went this year, it was a great experience for me."

Holton said that the students were encouraged to learn something different while there.

"They made us choose a minor there, as well. They told you to pick something out of our comfort zone, so I picked visual arts and focused on ceramics," he said. "It was a good experience and I met a lot of new contacts."

Bettis decided to work with communicative arts, which incorporates the traditional subject of English and literature with visual media.

"The teachers were phenomenal," he said. "Like James, I had a hard time choosing a minor. There were so many great options and you only get to choose one."

Also like Holton, Bettis decided to choose a minor that he knew nothing about.

"I went with the agriculture minor because I knew nothing about agriculture," he said. "I really just want to thank my parents and all of my wonderful teachers for this opportunity."

Stacy Martin, Dawson County High School assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, said that the program is not an easy one to get into.

"I think we sent the best group of kids that we've sent in a long time," she said. "For a school our size, to get one finalist chosen to participate is very good. Over the past five years, we've had eight finalists participate."

Martin said that the high school is proud of both attendees.

"The two students we sent this past summer are both amazing students," she said. "They both went in areas that are not easy to get in with. I always say I send the best each year, but this year, the interviewers couldn't help but not choose them."