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Advanced Education

The Aiken County Public School District is pleased to announce that three outstanding senior students have successfully completed the S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics’ (GSSM) Accelerate Engineering Program. Stephen Michael Havasy, Jr., of North Augusta High School, and Bryce Alexander Hopkins and Madilyn Pearl Hancock of South Aiken High School were each honored during a program completion ceremony held May 18 in Hartsville.

The GSSM Accelerate Program allows high school sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in a career in engineering to engage virtually with Governor’s School faculty and participate in a rigorous, dual-enrollment curriculum, while remaining at their high schools. Students who participate in the elite program have the opportunity to earn up to 49 hours of college credit from Clemson prior to their graduation from high school.

“We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of these terrific students,” stated Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford. “They accepted the challenge of an advanced educational curriculum designed to enhance their future opportunities and each of them performed with excellence.”

Aiken County Public Schools’ middle and high school programming offers students the opportunity to master prerequisite coursework in pre-calculus, calculus, chemistry, physics, engineering, and English in order to be eligible to apply. The Accelerate Program provides students with the opportunity to take electives in areas such as computer science, biomedical engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. Selected students may also have the opportunity to participate several times a year in pre-engineering, chemistry, and physics labs at GSSM’s Hartsville campus. All Accelerate Program students also participate in unique Summer Experiences and Saturday Experiences, giving them exposure to real-world engineering challenges through hands-on learning and team-based projects.

In addition to their completion of the GSSM Accelerate Program, Stephen Michael, Bryce and Madilyn were also honored recently as 2019 Senior Scholars. Senior Scholars are among the top 10 percent of their high school’s graduating classes, have a minimum 3.8 grade-point-average (GPA), and earned an A or B in all classes and all nine-week grading periods throughout grades 9-12.

For information related to S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Accelerate Program admissions, please visit online at

Pictured below are Stephen Michael Havasy, Jr., (from left) of North Augusta High School, Bryce Alexander Hopkins and Madilyn Pearl Hancock, both of South Aiken High School. 




ACPSD Communications Department