Governor’s School holds Graduation

2023 Graduating Class of the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) held its 34th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday. Nearly 150 families from every corner of the state came to Hartsville to celebrate their graduate’s achievement.

The GSSM Class of 2023 hails from 27 counties and 75 high schools across South Carolina. The atmosphere in the DeLoach Center was electric as Residential and STEM Foundations students received the GSSM diploma after two years of rigorous, advanced STEM studies.

“This year’s Commencement was another amazing celebration,” said GSSM President Danny Dorsel. “The GSSM Class of 2023 earned full-ride scholarships to our state and country’s best universities as well as publications in peer-reviewed research journals. The students also competed in international academic competitions, athletic state championships and earned national recognition in visual arts. The future is bright for these GSSM graduates.”

This year’s class was accepted to more than 175 top colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad.

“This year’s class is so talented, motivated and hardworking,” said GSSM VP of Academics Dr. Michael Newsome. “It’s always a bit sad to see the graduating class move on, but we are proud of their accomplishments and are very excited for their future. Our alumni make so many great contributions to South Carolina and the nation.”

Jason Hong, 1993 GSSM alumni and a professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute that’s part of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, served as this year’s Commencement guest speaker. Throughout Hong’s message, he reminisced about his time at GSSM and how the school built the foundation for his career. He also shared words of advice to the Class of 2023.

“It was a really great honor to be presenting to today and to talk to many of these alums,” Hong said. “I graduated 30 years ago, and I hope many of today’s graduates will be able to get back in 30 years’ time.”

On Saturday, May 20, GSSM hosted the Annual Completion Celebration for its virtual engineering certificate program, Accelerate, at Prestwood Country Club in Hartsville. Twenty-four students representing 12 South Carolina school districts earned program certificates after completing three years of challenging collegiate engineering curriculum. Participating schools included Chesterfield High School; Cheraw High School; D.W. Daniel High School; Gilbert High School; Green Upstate High School; Greenville Technical Charter High School; J.L. Mann High School Academy of Mathematics, Science & Technology; Lexington High School; Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology; River Bluff High School; Seneca Senior High School; and South Pointe High School.

In total, the Class of 2023 received more than $19 million dollars in scholarship offers. Many received prestigious, merit-based scholarships, including, The Gates Millennium Scholarship; Breakthrough Scholar, Clemson University; National Scholar, Clemson University; Colonial Scholarship, College of Charleston; Darla Moore Scholarship, Francis Marion University; John D. Hollingsworth Scholarship, Furman University; Presidential Scholarship, George Washington University; 21st Century Scholars, Mt. Holyoke College; Presidential Scholarship, Rochester Institute of Technology; Presidential Scholarship, St. Olaf College; Stamps Scholarship, The Ohio State University; Singer Scholarship, University of Miami; Horatio Alger Scholarship and the US Army ROTC Scholarship.

Applications are being accepted for the GSSM Class of 2025 at

Residential Program

Chesterfield County

Julianna Palmera, student of Harold Palmera and Kellys Vargas, will attend Emory University.

Darlington County

Gianna Bambery, student of John Bambery and Veronica Gallo-Bambery, will attend the University of South Carolina.

Haven Modequillo, student of Ylva Grade Modequillo, will attend AMA University.

Mabel Brown, student of Gordon Brown and Martha Brown, will attend the University of South Carolina.

Taylor Salazar, student of Jenny Salazar, will attend Roanoke College.

Tyler Melton, student of Amy Melton, will attend Clemson University.

Zoe Latham, student of Monty Latham and Kimberly Latham, will attend Clemson University.

Dillon County

Brycelyn Berry, student of Bryan Berry and Monica Berry, will attend Francis Marion University.

Florence County

Abhinav Cheedipudi, student of Bhargavi Sanikommu, will attend the University of South Carolina.

Jermarion Frazier, student of Kisha Scott, will attend the University of South Carolina.

Om Patel, student of Malvika Patel, will attend Carnegie Mellon University.

Salvador Torres, student of Margarita Sanchez-Moerno, will attend Rice University.

Marion County

Lex Baker, student of Kirby Baker and Lisa Baker, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology.

STEM Foundations Program

Marion County

Princess Brown, student of Sharon Dargan, will the University of South Carolina.

Author: Stephan Drew

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