Nestled in the small town of Hartsville, SC is the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM), a high school for academically motivated juniors and seniors pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering and math—one of only 12 specialized, residential high schools in the nation. The accelerated students that attend excel not only academically, but also athletically, through extracurricular activities, and leadership opportunities.
GSSM’s varsity sports teams have had great success and big wins in the last few years, including Men’s Soccer and Cross Country both being named the 1A State Champions this past school year and seven individual athletes being named State Championships at the 2018 State Track Meet. In fact, 64% of the student body participates in Varsity Athletics, playing 125 regular season games, matches, and meets every year. With 21 seasonal coaches and a full-time athletics staff, the 16 varsity men’s and women’s teams receive professional guidance under the principles of sportsmanship, teamwork, skill fundamentals, and persistence.
Within the past two years, many changes have occurred related to GSSM athletics in order for student-athletes to get the most out of their time in high school sports. There are written coaching standards and contracts for 21 seasonal coaches, including a coaching stipend based off of years of service. Each team now has a head coach and at least one assistant coach who receive training in many different areas. Every athlete gets playing time. There is now an Athletics Department sponsorship program with local businesses and an online store and active department Facebook page with new department branding. Students now have the opportunity to participate in a Sports Medicine Interim class developed by the department, summer strength and conditioning programs, and fitness, dance, and kendo classes twice a week for those interested.
Emerging as an athletics powerhouse in its conference, GSSM academics remain unsurpassed and it comes as no surprise that students accomplished many major achievements this year. The school continues to enable opportunity for all talented students with the passion and grit to succeed. This is accomplished in a rigorous yet humane learning environment where students are challenged and nurtured by meeting them where they are in their academic and personal development. The outcomes of this nourishing learning environment include 100% college attendance, including to highly selective institutions such as Yale, Princeton, Brown, MIT, UCLA, U.S. Naval Academy, and others.