Welcome to the Tennessee Governor's Academy

Student Profile: Jessica Droke

TGA Class of 2010
Hometown: Arlington, TN
Home High School: Arlington High School
College: University of Tennessee, Knoxville Major: Anthropology

Reasons for coming to TGA: 

I never felt challenged at my home high school. I took five honors classes my sophomore year, and, as my parents can attest, I never had to bring home a book or study for a test. School had always been easy and I found myself bored most of the time. I decided to apply to TGA because I knew this was where I could finally have something that would challenge me and to be around others who had the same commitment to their educations as I did. The fact that I would be able to earn college credit in the process only sweetened the deal.

Favorite thing about TGA:

My favorite thing about TGA would have to be the people. I think I speak for most of the senior class when I say that we have become somewhat of a family over the past year and a half. They never cease to amaze me with some of the ideas that they come up with or just their thoughts on the world in general. It is a refreshing experience to always have someone to have an intelligent conversation with or to help you out with a troublesome Calculus problem.

Plans for college and beyond:

The university of my choice is Vanderbilt. I have visited campus twice and I found myself not only falling in love with the school itself but also Nashville. I have not decided on a major yet although I am interested in Microbiology.

The transition from living at home to living at TGA:

There were major differences for me between living at home and my life at TGA. I had to adjust to a fairly drastic increase in homework and in course difficulty. The first test I ever had to study for was a Physics test in my junior year of high school. I remember it also being a big step to leave home. Being from the Memphis area, I was essentially four hundred miles away from home at sixteen, which was somewhat scary at first. The only other thing that was hard to adjust to was not having my car, but I feel like my experiences here were worth the sacrifice.

Classes at TGA compared to previous educational experiences:

Everyone who has attended a public high school knows that there are always several students in your classes that just don’t care. The great thing about TGA is everyone does! Classes here are more rigorous academically than any that I had in the past. For the first time, I feel like I am genuinely being pushed to perform at my highest level. Average is no longer acceptable and I think that was something that I had been searching for even before I came to TGA.

Advice for prospective students:

Before you apply sit down and ask yourself what are the most important things in your life right now. If you are involved in a sport, band, etc. then are you willing to give that up to come to TGA? Then ask yourself how important it is to be near your friends and family. TGA is hard work. How much value do you put on your education? You will have to make some sacrifices to gain the advantages that you will be offered here, and if you are up for the challenge it is an excellent opportunity.


Jessica '10

Kim McMillan