Director's Update

I am pleased to provide this update to our community via Smoke and Scales. The focus of this update is our school’s mission. Our mission statement gives our program volition and direction.

The mission of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies is "to provide broad-based educational opportunities that develop gifted students’ understanding of world cultures and languages as well as the ability to lead, participate, and contribute in a rapidly changing global society" (MLWGS, 1991).

Our school was conceived and has grown up within the framework of this mission which has produced an incredibly tightly-knit community of passionate students, dedicated teachers, involved parents, and connected alumni. It is important to revisit the mission from time to time; thus, I will draw out a few key pieces of our mission for consideration. The pieces that I am referring to are: broad-based, gifted students, world cultures and languages, and lead, participate, contribute.

Broad-based educational opportunities are in line with the characteristics of high-ability learners. Such opportunities come in curricular and co-curricular forms as well as via an eclectic set of clubs and activities. Taken together, these opportunities provide both the breadth and depth necessary to satisfy the appetite of our exceptional student body.

Our students are exceptionally high ability learners who share an interest in our mission. Such learners, however, are not immune to the need for academic, emotional, and social support. To this end, we will recruit and retain highly qualified educators, counselors, and staff members who not only reflect and value our mission, but who also possess the skill and understanding needed to serve our student body.

Developing understanding of world cultures and languages is core to our mission as is literature, mathematics, science, government, and the arts. Our program is broad-based as it should be.

Our mission calls on us to empower students to lead, participate, and contribute in a rapidly changing global society. Empowering students requires experiential learning. Learning opportunities outside of the classroom are thus integral to our mission.

Meeting the letter and spirit of our mission is a responsibility that is and has been shared between and among students, staff, parents, alumni, and our participating school divisions for more than two decades. As we tackle our priorities moving forward including budget, diversity, and planning it is important that we continue to do so within the framework of our mission.

I remain grateful for all of the ways our community serves MLWGS and students!

Jeff McGee

MLWGS Director