The purpose of BRVGS is to serve the academic needs of a community of motivated, high-ability students through a variety of instructional strategies and learning opportunities that engage their interests and challenge their intellectual boundaries beyond a traditional high school experience.

The mission of BRVGS is to inspire and challenge our students through unique, rigorous, technology-centered learning experiences, and to prepare them with the skills to be the leaders, collaborators and innovators of the future.

BRVGS Address:

14455 James Madison Hwy. Palmyra, Va 22963

Blog Index
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William Monroe High School Students Leaving a Legacy

Michael Deisbeck

Michael Deisbeck experienced the fastest internship in BRVGS this year!  A senior from William Monroe High School in Greene County, he conducted his internship with NASCAR driver Ross Chastain #4 of JD Motorsports.  He spent time in the pit and interviewing pit crew members at Bristol Motor Speedway as well as at IIHS (where he interviewed engineers regarding safety enhancements and witnessed car crashes).  When asked WHY he chose this topic, he said, "It's because I aspire to become a crew chief with a NASCAR team".   For his legacy (just in time for prom!), Michael will be "helping to plan an event that will bring together local emergency response teams to show students the dangers of vehicle crashes".  Michael plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and double-major in mechanical engineering and physics.


Grace Talley

Grace Talley is a Greene Senior who has already begun planning her financial future.  Through her research and internship, Grace developed a financial plan that we should all read and attempt to implement.  Grace did her internship at Ameriprise Financial and is planning to hold a financial planning seminar this spring for seniors at William Monroe High School.  Says Grace, "managing money and keeping a budget is important to doesn't matter if you're going into the workforce or going to college."   ​


Kaitlyn Pantella

Kaitlyn Pantella​ is a Greene County Senior who completely changed her thesis based on her research!  She chose to do her internship in a first grade classroom.  In the beginning, "I thought extrinsic rewards would be very beneficial to students...but, through research and observation, I found that it keeps students focused only on getting the reward and not what they are learning".  For her community service, Kaitlyn worked with 3rd-5th graders at Hope Tutoring program after school, "helping them with math and reading comprehension".  "This experience has been very rewarding and pointed me in the direction of my future major".


BRVGS Students Take Part in SPARK! Hackathon

This past weekend, several students of the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s took part in the SPARK! Hackathon, sponsored by Mozilla and Saint Anne’s-Belifield School in Charlottesville.  The event brought students from the region together for two days of “learning and making.”  BRVGS student Abena Appiah-Ofori, a sophomore at Orange County High School, described the events of the weekend:

“On the first day professionals from different fields presented problems to us and we were given the option to choose which problem group we wanted to be in. I chose the biomedical engineering group.

Our group's mentor was a professor at UVA's Department of Biomedical Engineering. He gave us a scenario where we had a 72 year old patient with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In addition to having MS, our patient was also blind, had limited feeling in his fingers, and took a total of 16 medications daily four times throughout the day. Our patient lived alone and had a caretaker come in for four hours to help around the house every day. Our job was to come up with an idea to make our patient less reliant on his caretaker and more indepent.  To empathize with the patient, we blindfolded ourselves / closed our eyes while we went to dinner. We noticed that we felt helpless and found that simple things like eating were very hard. Because of this, we wanted to make our mechanism as simple as possible for our blind patient.

There were around 8 people in my group and we ended up splitting into a manual section and a programming section. The manual side created prototypes that would take the place of the caretaker to dispense pills one at a time. We used cardboard, tape, and coffee cups to create a The dispenser prototypes. The programming section made an arduino equipped with a sonar device that checks to make sure there was at least a week’s worth of pills in the container. Once there was less than a week of pills, the Arduino would emit a beeping sound (shown by light because of lack of beeper) for about five seconds to inform the user that that particular pill is low.  Once we were finished we made a poster  of our idea and presented it to people around the community at an open house at the end of the hackathon.

Overall, the SPARK hackathon felt like a BRVGS semester project put into two days without the 10-15 page paper. We were given a scenario(topic), put into groups, came up with a possible a solution, and in the end we presented our idea with our groups. The hackathon was very fun and I would recommend anybody interested to apply next year.”

We are very proud of all of our students who gave their time and effort to take part in this event!



Two William Monroe Seniors Focus on Serving Others

Leah KirssinLeah Kirssin, a Senior at William Monroe High School in Greene County, has made an impact on the world around her by lobbying members of the Virginia state legislature.  Lobbying is the attempt to influence lawmakers on policy-based issues--Leah has lobbied at the State House of Delegates and State Senate in Richmond on behalf of the gun-control lobby, healthcare, the poor, and for continued funding of the BRVGS program.  Says Leah, "...I felt like I needed to get involved and create change." 



Phillip HallPhillip Hall, a Senior at William Monroe High School in Greene County, was inspired to work on behalf of the environment for his senior year research and thesis project. An avid environmentalist, Phillip chose to work with Wild VA and has been conducting research on the decommissioning of forest roads.  His research paper will be used by Wild VA and submitted to the Forestry Department to aid in their research!   Says Phillip, "I've been interested in studying the environment for years and finding a grassroots group like Wild VA was a great opportunity for me."





Information Meeting Set For BRVGS Galapagos Trip

An informational meeting for students, parents and BRVGS staff members wishing to take part in a BRVGS trip to South America and the Galapagos in Summer of 2018 will be held at 6:30 PM on Thursday, Feb. 16th, at the Best Western Zion Crossroads.  Participants will hear about the cost and logistics for the trip, and will also have an opportunity to formally sign up for the trip that evening.  

BRVGS is asking anyone who is planning to attend the meeting (or anyone who is even THINKING that they might attend) to respond to a brief, 2-question survey to provide the number of people that they will have coming to the meeting, and to list any questions they might have about the trip.  Please click on the Galapagos RSVP Form to reach that form.

For questions about the meeting, please email BRVGS Director Marc Carraway at


BRVGS Students Attend Capitol Day in Richmond, Virginia

A group of BRVGS students visited Richmond, Virginia for Capitol Day on January 23, 2017.  This day was sponsored by the Friends of Virginia Governor’s School. The purpose of the trip was to meet with legislators, tour the Capitol building, and see the Virginia General Assembly in action.

Students met with Delegate Robert Bell of Greene and Fluvanna County and Senator Bryce Reeves of Louisa and Orange County. Students also met with staff members of Delegate Peter Farrell of Louisa County, Nick Freitas of Madison and Orange County, and Senator Emmett Hanger of Madison and Greene County. 



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