North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation Launches A Campaign To Save Governor’s School (2017)

For Immediate Release — Monday, May 15th, 2017                                                                      
Lee Conner @ 919-260-6165 | President, GSF
Melissa Matton @ 919-264-6876 | Vice President, GSF

In response to the North Carolina Senate’s recent decision to eliminate funding for Governor’s School in its proposed budget, the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation successfully launched a campaign to Save Governor’s School.

The campaign’s goal is to protect the nation’s oldest statewide summer residential program for academically gifted high school students by activating and informing Governor’s School’s passionate network of alumni, parents, educators, and supporters, and empowering them to share their Governor’s School experiences with the North Carolina General Assembly.

“For almost 55 years, Governor’s School has served over 35,000 of our state’s brightest young minds by providing a unique and engaging educational experience built on students asking questions and interacting with each other and faculty to find answers,” said Lee Conner, President of the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation. Conner continued, “Governor’s School symbolizes North Carolina’s deep commitment to provide the highest quality educational opportunities for its gifted and talented children. Unfortunately, the budget passed by the Senate jeopardizes that commitment and threatens to deny future generations of North Carolinians a crucial opportunity for education, growth, and discovery.”

The Senate’s proposed budget would eliminate Governor’s School’s state funding ($800,000 each fiscal year) and redistribute it to other programs, including a new Legislative School for Leadership & Public Service that would serve a different mission using a very different curriculum. The Senate’s proposed budget was sent to the North Carolina House for consideration on Friday, where Governor’s School supporters are hopeful the House will take action to save Governor’s School.

In just the past few days, Governor’s School has received an outpouring of support from thousands of North Carolinians who have witnessed the powerful positive impact of the state’s prestigious program for gifted high schoolers, including over 7,000 visits to in just the first 24 hours of the campaign.

“To cut funding from this program would not only be unjust and unwarranted, but it would in fact be doing a massive disservice to all of the students in the state of North Carolina,” wrote Latrell Broughton, from Beaufort County (Class of 2013), in a letter to legislators supporting Governor’s School. “It would be depriving them of a life-changing opportunity, an opportunity to grow exponentially, an opportunity to expand their minds and pursue their interests, and most of all, the opportunity for them to be their true selves, without fear of being judged.”

Ellie Simpson, a Winston-Salem resident who is a music therapist and social skills coach for individuals on or around the autism spectrum, described her experience at Governor’s School during 2010: “That summer that I began to understand the phrase ‘Where words fail, music speaks’. I knew I wanted to be a part of bringing that experience - the power that music has to move people in unspeakable ways - to people in need. I dedicated my future career not to performance, but to a profession that uses music as a means to heal.”

Since its founding in 1963, over 35,000 North Carolinians have attended Governor’s School. Each summer, Governor’s School welcomes over 650 of the brightest young minds from across the state, typically representing 95 or more of the State’s 100 counties. More than 70% of Governor’s School alumni live, work, and contribute their talents in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit whose purpose is to support and preserve North Carolina's premier summer enrichment program.

Learn more about the Campaign to Save Governor’s School at or on Twitter by using #SaveGovSchool.