Kids Go to 'Smart School'


Broadcast on WBOY-TV in Clarksburg.
Some of the smartest high school students in West Virginia are at WVU this week for the Governor's Honors Academy (GHA).

It's not just class; it's a unique experience.

"Smart people are fun, and really smart people are really fun," said Ryan Claycomb, Assistant Dean of GHA.

Nearly 200 high school honors students are in their last week of the Academy. For three weeks, the students take classes with no homework, textbooks or grades.

"Learning itself doesn't have to be about the grade you get, or the credits you get. Learning itself is an end, more than a means," Claycomb said.
Students start their days off bright and early to attend classes full of their excited and interested peers.
"It has been really great being around so many brilliant minded people," said Micaela Ramsey from Monroe County.  "You know you are all on the same wave length. You can actually have an intelligent discussions about so many different things that you couldn't at your normal school."

"It's just really refreshing to be around people so eager to learn and have a different approach to the learning experience and being very hands on," said Adelina Lancianese of Raleigh County.

And "hands-on" is right on - some students study cryptology; others focus on square dancing and even learning to live like a hobos.

Some study the blues, even writing their own songs.

"The one I'm doing right now is ‘The Science of Anything,' said Devon Thompson of Tyler County.  "On Saturday we had to change the oil in a car in the pouring down rain. But we did learn how to change the oil in a car, and we've learned about laundry, so it's very different."

After class, students participate in recreation activates, sports, dance, arts and more.
It's all part of social aspect to GHA that limits cell phone use in interest of creating more social interaction.
"I made a lot of new friends, and I'm really glad I got to have the experience to come out here and get to meet everybody and see all that G-H-A has to offer," said Katelyn Turner of Hampshire County. ​

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Sherry Keffer