What a student brings to the educational process is as important as what the instructor brings.
A group of outstanding Utah high school students concluded that whether they attend a small rural high school or a larger urban school, the opportunity for learning depends as much on attitude as on aptitude.The students, selected from all over Utah, attended the annual Governor's Honors Academy at Southern Utah State College.
Gov. Norm Bangerter established the program two years ago to provide an opportunity for exceptional students to meet, share their own successes and learn more about leadership. Students apply for the honor and are selected based on their excellence in citizenship, service to their communities, extracurricular activities and academic excellence.
The two-week session at SUSC is jointly sponsored by the college's Center for Free Enterprise Studies.
"I've learned how to get along with a variety of people and appreciate our differences," said Derek White of Manti.
Jason Eastman of Kearns zeroed in on the quality that makes these students candidates for the academy. "I love everyone's enthusiasm - even when things are a bit boring," he said.
Rachel Bowthorpe, a student at Wasatch High School in Heber City, didn't see any disadvantages in a small school. "There are advantages in both small schools and large ones. No matter where you are, education is available for those who want to learn."
The two-week stay in Cedar City was a busy time for the academy honorees. They attended classes aimed at increasing their leadership skills and their understanding of America's government and heard lectures by Utah's government, industry and entertainment leaders.
Boarding together in college dorms provided an informal forum for the exchange of ideas - and typical teenage banter.
"We really learn best from each other," said Scott Sheffield of American Fork.
The teenagers also took in the variety of entertainment that marks Cedar City as Utah's cultural capital every summer. They attended Shakespeare plays and other events on the 1990 agenda.
The academy is managed by a steering committee headed by Harold Hiskey, dean of the SUSC School of Business and acting director of the Center for Free Enterprise.