(SPRINGFIELD, Ky.) – Lydia Smith, Jacob Smith and Kate Moore, all juniors at Washington County High School, have been accepted into the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program, according to an announcement from Superintendent Dr. J. Robin Cochran. The Governor’s Scholar Program, which originated in 1983, is a summer residential program for outstanding high school students in Kentucky. Students who are selected attend the program free of charge. The program’s mission is to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. To be accepted into the program, students must be nominated by their high schools and then compete on a state-wide level.

Lydia Smith said she decided to apply for the program because she has always been eager to learn and further her education. “Many people that I know had attended GSP in the past and encouraged me to apply,” she says. “I wanted to push myself to my greatest potential.” At WCHS, she is a chapter officer in the school’s chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and will be a participant in the upcoming Distinguished Young Woman of Washington County program. Outside of school, she is a member of the River of Life Community Church, CrossFit E2, and also owns her own business, Write Now Calligraphy. Ms. Smith says she hopes to meet new people and form new friendships while participating at GSP. “I would like to see myself grow as an individual as well.” Ms. Smith says though she is not sure what the future holds, she is looking into attending the University of Kentucky as a marketing and sales. She is the daughter of Jason and Karen Smith.

WCHS Junior Lydia Smith

Lydia Smith


Jacob Smith says he applied for GSP for a couple of reasons, potential scholarships being one of them. “I wanted the opportunity to experience something out of my comfort zone in preparation for college,” he said. Mr. Smith is a member of the WCHS’s Academic Team, Teen Leadership, the National Honor Society, Beta Club, the Environmental Club, and is also co-editor of Commander Times. Though he isn’t sure what he’ll study, Mr. Smith wants to attend the University of Kentucky. He is the son of Robbie and Laura Smith.

WCHS Junior Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith


Kate Moore says she decided to apply for the prestigious program upon the encouragement of her parents. “My parents always encouraged me to succeed academically,” she said. Moore also had a friend who had attended in the past and had an “amazing experience”, which made her want to attend even more. She is a member of the WCHS Commanderette Softball team and the WCHS Commanderette Volleyball team, is also member of FCCLA, Beta Club, the National Honor Society, Teen Leadership, is vice president of the school’s Cultural Awareness Club, and was selected for Youth Salute. Through GSP, she hopes to have new experiences, meet new people, and learn new things. She is looking into attending Western Kentucky University or the University of Kentucky after high school, possibly studying architecture. Moore is the daughter of Jane and Mark Moore.

WCHS Junior Kate Moore

Kate Moore


“All three students are very deserving of this honor,” says WCHS Guidance Counselor Tracy Abell. “Washington County High School could not be more proud and we know they will represent our school well. Applying for GSP is not an easy task. Applicants spend many hours filling out the application, responding to writing prompts, and getting letters of recommendations before they even know if they will qualify.”

“The Governor’s Scholars Program is a great opportunity for our students,” says WCHS Principal Malissa Hutchins. “They are all well deserving of this and it will be a life changing experience for them. They will meet students from across the state and be able to study an area that is of interest to them that they may not have the opportunity to take at their home high schools. They will get a realistic view of what it is like to live on the college campus, study like a college student and be an integrated part of the college experience. I am excited for all three of our students and the summer they will have at GSP!”