Each Bullitt East High School 2020 Governor’s Scholar is profiled in this press release. They are Savannah Childress, Jacob Frakes, Olivia Proctor, Lukas Kiesewetter, Addison Pruitt, Lily-Anne Echols and Bailey Korfhage.
Earning the honor of Governor’s Scholar is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I have always dreamed of being a scholar since about the 8th grade,” Savannah said. “I heard from so many of my peers that it is an unforgettable experience that I wanted to be a part of.
She described the application process as a very lengthy one and something that took a lot of time and dedication.
“I wrote for hours on my past experiences, accomplishments, and contributions to my community,” she said. “It was actually very stressful for me at times because I spent a lot of time getting a community recommendation in order. Nothing seemed to go right but I kept going. I think the strongest portion of my application was my essay. I wrote about a personal experience that greatly affected my life and how it caused me to transition into an adult in my eyes.”
Getting the news from GSP turned out to be a very interesting time for Savannah.
“My family was going through a very distressful time and was trying to work through some issues that we were having, “she said. “Emotions were high but we eventually came to an understanding with each other. It was the first happy moment in the last 3 days before I found out. When that happy moment came I remembered that letters were coming that day and so I ran outside as fast as I could. When I saw the letter in my hand I was so nervous to open it was shaking. I went inside where my entire family was still sitting and I told them the letter came. I was so scared to open it but I called my mom and my best friend and we all opened it together. I screamed when I saw that I got in. I was so excited that all of my hard work had finally payed off.”
Looking forward to the program. Savannah really hopes to meet some amazing people and friends that she will keep for the rest of her life.
“I also hope to get a sense of the college life style,” she said.
She would 100% encourage everyone to apply for GSP. “Even though it takes a lot of time and dedication, if you put in the hard work it will pay off in the end,” Savannah affirmed.
She feels by taking advanced classes and pushing herself to do more with her school work it gave her the worth ethic she needed in order to complete the application and get as involved as she needed to be worthy of acceptance into GSP.
“All of my teachers have been so supportive in my journey to becoming a scholar and have always been there to help me along the way,” Savannah smiled.
This semester, the 17 year-old daughter of Shannon Thore and Matthew Troy Childress is taking AP Psychology, JCTC Public Speaking, JCTC Humanities, AP Statistics, Anatomy, AP Chemistry, and Emergency Procedures.
Savannah is also a dancer on the competitive senior team at Dance Unlimited, in Beta Club, National Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Lady Leaders, President of Health Occupations Students of America, and a part-time employee at Panera Bread.
Honors and recognition include University of Kentucky Rising Scholar Award, AP Biology Award, ranked first in her class, placing 1st at FBLA region and state for Organizational Leadership, Outstanding Grade Point Average Award, Outstanding Attendance Award, AP Scholar Award, danced as the Sugar Plum Fairy for an excerpt performed at the Frazier Museum, top 10% in John F. Kennedy Library Profiles in Courage Essay Contest, Multiple time Jamfest National Champion Soloist in dance, and second place school in the Donate for Life campaign competition.
Savannah aspires to become a neuro surgeon and go on to do Alzheimer’s Disease research.
The abundance of scholarship opportunities is why Jacob decided to apply and he felt the strongest portion his student profile section.
“I had numerous volunteer hours, extracurricular activities, and honors/awards,” he said.
Jacob was notified by a letter that came in the mail and his parents and younger brother were the first people that he informed about his acceptance.
“I hope to meet new people and gain new friends all while experiencing life on a college campus and studying one of the unique subject areas that I selected,” he said.
Jacob believes the wide variety of AP and college classes offered at Bullitt East have allowed him to boost his GPA.
“They also taught me the importance of time management and clarity, which are skills I utilized to complete the best application possible,” he affirmed.
Jacob’s class schedule has included AP US History, AP Computer Science, JCTC ENG 101, JCTC PYS 110, AP Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Physics and Spanish 2. His extracurricular activities included Football, Wrestling, Track, National Honor Society, Beta Club, FCA, FBLA, HOSA, Teen Court, NSHSS and RedZone Rowdies.
Among the honors he has been bestowed are Award for Academic Excellence, Business Principles Excel Award, Pre-AP Chemistry Excel Award, Pre-AP Algebra II Excel Award, AP Environmental Science Excel Award, “We the People” High School Congressional Hearing - 2nd Place, KHSAA Academic All-State First Team, FBLA Region 3 Business Law - 3rd Place, FBLA Region 3 Computer Applications - 1st Place, Very Important Partner (VIP) Youth Poster Select, Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Award, Top 5 class rank, Award for Outstanding Attendance and Centre College Fellows Program Select.
The 17 year-old son of Sarah and Marty Frakes aspires to become a Radiologist.
Friends who previously attended the Governor Scholar Program and had an amazing time inspired Olivia to apply.
“I’ve heard it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and you learn so much,” she said.
However, first, the 17 year-old, daughter of David and Becky Proctor had to tackle an application which she described as long and thorough.
“Writing descriptions for each activity I was a part of as well as each award I have received took a lot of thought,” Olivia said. “I believe my strongest portion was the essay. It encompasses my adoption story and really makes me unique.”
Olivia was initially notified of her selection by her counselor who also happens to be her cheer coach, Crystal Barr.
“When she called to let me know I got in, I was ecstatic and awaited my official acceptance letter in the mail,” she smiled. “I told my parents and my two best friends first.”
As GSP approaches, Olivia hopes to become more independent by gaining new life skills and adjust to dorm life.
“I am also excited to meet new people and create the friendships of a lifetime,” she said.
With in-person classes ending early this school year, Olivia is thankful she had nearly four years inside Bullitt East which she feels “thoroughly prepared me for the application process as they strengthened my writing skills. The classes at Bullitt East offer me a challenging schedule so I can improve in all subject areas.”
Her class schedule includes AP United States History, Dual Credit English 101, Dual Credit Public Speaking, and Dual Credit Intro to Computers, Pre AP Chemistry, Spanish 2, Pre-Calculus, and AP Biology. My extracurriculars include BETA Club, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, Bullitt East Varsity Cheer, and Legacy Special Abilities Cheer.
Olivia has also worked a part-time job as a teacher assistant at the daycare, Bluegrass Academy.
Honors include Vice President of FCCLA, ICU Cheer Gold Medalist, All A Honor Roll, 3-time KHSAA Competitive Cheerleading Champion, NHSCC Competitive Cheerleading Champion, NHSCC Partner Stunt Winner, Women in Sports Honors for Best Competitive Cheer Team, and Outstanding Achievement in Honors Geometry.
Olivia aspires to be a pharmacist or something similar in the medical/healthcare field.
Students have precious little time for summer and Lukas was determined to enjoy his to the fullest.
¨Since I just moved to Kentucky and Bullitt East last summer, I didn’t really know much about the GSP program,” he said. “When I first heard about it, I had no interest at all as being away for five weeks of my summer didn’t sound too fun.”
Then, his parents made him attend the school’s informational meeting and everything changed.
“After hearing last year’s scholars talk about their own experiences with GSP, seeing how enthusiastic they were about it, and hearing about the scholarship opportunities, I was sold,” Lukas grinned.
Assembling the application was a time-consuming progress. Lukas felt his strongest portion was the combination of honors, activities, and experiences from both Kentucky and Illinois.
“For example, I talked about being a student hockey coach, competing in Argonne Lab’s autonomous robot competition at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and presenting a built-from-scratch app to State Farm IT executives as part of a special STEM program. The screeners probably thought my unique experiences would really add to the diversity of GSP,” he observed.
Lukas received his letter of acceptance in the mail and read the first line of congratulations with a huge smile.
“I immediately told my mom and dad and was just really excited that all the hours I spent on the application had paid off,” he said.
He is looking forward to meeting some great people with similar interests from all across the state.
“Hopefully we can all stay in touch and maybe reunite in college or later in life,” Lukas said.
The 16 year-old son of Andrew and Myra Kiesewetter eagerly encourages fellow students to apply for GSP.
“Absolutely! I never would have applied if I didn’t hear encouragement from other students so I will be sure to do the same for future potential scholars,” he said.
Lukas feels Bullitt East has prepared him well to contribute to GSP. Lukas has had a lot of opportunities to work in groups and “build off of other creative students,” he explained. “I used to dread Spanish class, but this year it is my favorite mainly due to the collaborative environment for working on creative projects with my amazing classmates. I think the development of my team skills will be a great asset moving into GSP.”
His current class schedule consists of Spanish 3, AP Physics, World Civilization, JCTC Humanities, AP Calculus BC, and AP English 3. Extracurriculars while at Bullitt East: Upwards Basketball Head Coach, Academic Team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Extracurriculars while at Normal West: STEM Club, Robotics Team, Scholastic Bowl Captain, assistant hockey coach, Computer Science Cohort, and Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Team.
Honors include Illinois History Day State Finalist, Argonne National Laboratory Autonomous Vehicle Competition 1st place, University of Illinois Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Competition State Finalist, Normal West High School PE Olympics Pushup Team Gold Medal, Normal West Academic Excellence Award, Normal West Way of the Wildcat Outstanding Student Award, Academic Team District Math 2nd place finisher, and State Farm Community STEM Challenge Finalist.
Lukas has his sights set on becoming an engineer.
“I grew up building things with Legos and figuring out how things work,” he said. “Also, I really enjoyed calculus and physics this year so engineering seems like the best fit for me”
Stories from past GSP participants inspired Addison to apply.
“They all made so many bonds and I wanted to experience the same!” she said. “I hope to gain many friendships and lots of memories during this experience!”
Addison feels the strongest part of her application was probably the extracurricular area.
“I am involved in multiple clubs and two sports at school as well as outside activities,” she noted. “They all have shaped my life in some form and I described that well in that section.”
Addison said she was notified of her acceptance by reading the letter that came in the mail.
“I was very excited and told my parents first,” said the 17 year-old daughter of Amy and Andrew Pruitt adding she will encourages fellow students to apply.
“I think that just the applying allowed me to look back on my high school experience from that point to see how much I have grown and how the opportunities I have had allowed me to be close with so many people!” she smiled.
Addison believes her classes at Bullitt East prepared her since teachers always wanted the best for her and pushed her to be the best,
Her junior class schedule includes AP US History, JCTC Communications, JCTC English 101, JCTC Humanities, Music Alive, AP Stats, Student Leadership (SLAM), AP Psychology, and Spanish.
Addison is also a member of the soccer and cheer team and vice-president of FBLA, on the leadership team in FCA, a member of BETA, NHS, and Project Unify.
She has won districts 3x and regionals 2x for soccer and have been named Sixth Region 2nd Team (sophomore), Sixth Region 1st team (junior), and State Honorable Mention team (junior) for soccer. She has also won state 3x and Nationals this year with her cheer team.
An opportunity to grow, learn, and meet new people inspired LilyAnne to prepare a GSP application which she described as a lengthy process but one well worth it.
“It took a lot of self-discipline and dedication to complete,” she said. “I started writing my involvement section first because it was the longest of the three, and branched into the other sections of service and awards. Each section requires a series of detailed explanations.”
The application also requires a community and teacher recommendation and LilyAnne feels the strongest part was her diverse involvement.
“Being involved in school as well as the community is very important to me. This year, I joined several organizations that center around service and philanthropic work. Joining organizations that focus on building the next generation of philanthropists is important to me as someone who wants to explore the field,” she said.
Upon receiving her acceptance letter in the mail, LilyAnne said she was, “overjoyed to be selected for the prestigious program. I first notified my parents and then close friends.”
During GSP, the 16 year-old daughter of Tabitha and Jeb Echols hopes to expand her horizons, grow as a student, and gain experiences that better her as a leader in her school and community.
She will also recommend fellow students consider applying.
“I will absolutely encourage others to apply for the program,” she affirmed.
She believes Bullitt East has prepared her for GSP because of the challenging classes that push students to work harder and the wonderful teachers who work hard to ensure that they receive the best education.
LilyAnne’s class schedule was AP US history, AP biology JCTC English 101/ JCTC psychology 110, Student Leadership class, French ll and Precalculus. Extracurricular activities are The Louisville Youth Philanthropy Council, Kosair Teen Ambassador, Student Leaders In Action and Mentoring, Church Youth Group, HOSA (future healthcare professionals), Bullitt County Lady Leaders, Project Unify, National Honors Society, Beta Club, Academic Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), RedZone Rowdies and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
She has been honored to earn a Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, All A Honor Roll, Top 10 class rank, BEHS 2019 Student of the Month for September, 2nd place composition Districts Academic team 2020, 5th place Language Arts District academic team 2020, Academic Team JV challenge Governor’s Cup 6th Place Composition 2018, Academic Team JV Challenge Governor’s Cup 5th Place Language Arts 2017, Academic Team District Governor’s Cup Runner Up Quick Recall 2018, Academic Team JV challenge Governor’s cup 3rd place composition 2017, Academic Team JV Challenge Governor’s Cup Team 3rd Place Overall 2017, Selected to be a 2019-2020 Kosair Teen Ambassador, Selected to be a Bullitt County Lady Leader, Co-Captain of Academic Team, Selected to be Louisville Youth Philanthropy Council and 2020 FCA leader.
LilyAnne’s career aspiration is to become a pediatrician.
“I was inspired to apply to GSP because of my dear friend and role model, Lauren Jones, who was accepted last year,” Bailey said. “We are alike academically and I wanted to share the experience that she had during the summer of her junior year.”
Like her classmates, Bailey had an abundance of extracurriculars and community service she completed throughout the years.
“I think that was very appealing and that what really put me over the top was my academia seeing that I had a 4.0 GPA and 30 on the ACT at the time,” she said.
Bailey received an envelope in the mail and was anticipating it due to the fact that most of her friends and fellow applicants had already received theirs.
“Once I opened the envelop and saw the “Congratulations!” my eyes welled up with tears of joy,” she smiled. “I thought that my merit was not to the level of the people that I had heard were accepted and to see that “Congratulations!” was heart stopping. I told everyone, I cried in my parents arms, I called my grandmothers and told them (although they weren’t sure what it was) and I was elated for the rest of the day.”
Bailey hopes to gain a lot maturity from being away from her parents, Tara and Walter Korfhage, and her friends for 5 weeks.
“I am going to take on some of leadership roles next year and I hope to bring that maturity to those roles,” she said. Plus, she would like to guide classmates through the process of applying to GSP.
Being the Creative Editor of the yearbook, Bailey said she has learned so much and been able to have extremely unique circumstances that have helped her grow as a student and as a person.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity that the Graphic Design pathway gave me. This class allowed me to problem solve and develop that no other class or program did,” she affirmed.
Bailey is enrolled in Two-Dimensional Media (yearbook), Spanish, Physics, Advanced Production Design, AP US History, Pre-Cal, and AP English 3 and participates in NHS, BETA, Yearbook, Quill and Scrolls, Manager for Bullitt East Volleyball Team and Academic Team. She also coaches for the middle school volleyball team.
Her honors include VIP Partner in Prevention, Volleyball All-Around Team Player, merit and academic awards (multiple), Academic Team awards for placing in a subject (multiple) and group awards.
Bailey desires to pursue Marketing and Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design due to her involvement with the Graphic Design pathway.