VALDOSTA -- A literary enthusiast and her "calculating" friend will spend six weeks on the campus of Valdosta State University this summer.

Erin Parks, 17, and Sasha Woldman, 17, were recently named finalists in the 2005 Governor's Honors Program. The two are juniors at Valdosta High School.

During the summer instructional program, which runs from June 12 through July 23, Parks plans to concentrate on the communicative arts. This will provide an opportunity for her to study the art of communication in all its forms -- speaking, writing, reading and media, which includes film, television, advertising and print.

"I am excited about living away from home," she said. "I like meeting new people and the idea of living in a dorm."

At Valdosta High School, Parks is a member of the Drama Club, Interact Club, Key Club, and secretary of the Y-Club. She is the daughter of Don and Anne Parks and Howard and Lorraine Goldstein.

Woldman plans to concentrate on mathematics. This will provide an opportunity for her to study linear algebra, cryptology, fractals, probability and geometry.

"I look forward to living away from home and figuring out if I am capable of taking care of myself," she said. "I hope to meet others who share similar interests."

At Valdosta High School, Woldman is a member of the Art Club, Math Team, Academic Bowl Team, and president-elect of the Science Club. She is the daughter of Yakov and Mila Woldman.

The Governor's Honors Program is designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. Activities are designed to provide each participant with opportunities to acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to become independent, life-long learners.

Rising juniors and seniors in Georgia's public and private high schools may be nominated for the annual program by their teachers in a specific instructional area in which their abilities, aptitudes and interests lie. Transcripts and records, nomination forms, endorsements and other pertinent information are submitted to substantiate the nominations. Local nominees are then sent to statewide screening interviews or auditions. The written evidence and data gathered in the student interview or audition are used to rank nominees and select finalists.

Major instructional areas include English (communicative arts) agriscience/biotechnology, foreign languages, mathematics, science, social studies, visual art, theatre, music, dance, design, technology and executive management. Instruction is also provided in four support areas -- computers, counseling, library/media and physical fitness.

In addition to studying communicative arts and mathematics, Parks and Woldman will have the opportunity to select a minor area of interest. Options include all the major instructional areas as well as additional offerings which reflect the interests and abilities of the instructional staff.

Parks plans to minor in theatre. Woldman plans to minor in art.

All performing groups are open to the entire student body. Orchestra, band, chorus and theatre productions include representatives from all major areas.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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