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In the early eighties regional Governor’s Schools were being developed as a strategy to promote statewide education excellence.   During the administration of Governor Charles Robb, (1982- 1986), Governor’s Schools were established to bring together exceptionally talented and motivated students, and provide them with opportunities to study in a concentrated and intensive environment. Louise Lowenthal, a Virginia Beach art teacher, spearheaded the development of the first Governor’s School for the Arts during the summers of 1985 and 1986, when a six -week pilot program for the school took place on the campus of Old Dominion University. The emphasis of Governor’s Schools was placed on high expectations and innovative curriculum. The school became a full time program in 1987.

The Governor’s School for the Arts is a center for innovation and creativity, which provides intensive, pre-professional training in Dance, Instrumental and Vocal Music, Musical Theatre and Theatre, and Visual Arts.

There is no tuition fee for students to participate.

Transportation is provided to GSA by the local school divisions.

Students may earn three credits for each year they attend GSA.

Admission to GSA is by audition. Any student in grades 8 -11 is eligible to apply. Applicants provide an application, teacher recommendations and permission from their high school principal.

To attend GSA, the student must be enrolled in a public high school in one of the eight participating school divisions.

The Governor’s School for the Arts is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the public school divisions of Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

Regional Board

Mr. C. Jeff Bunn
Chesapeake, VA

Mr. Bill Scarboro
Franklin, VA

Mr. Ted Lamb
Portsmouth, VA

Ms. Denise Tynes
Isle of Wight, VA

Mr.Christopher Smith, Chair
Southampton County, VA

Ms. Linda Bouchard
Suffolk, VA

Mrs. Em Davis
Virginia Beach, VA

Dr. Noelle M. Gabriel
Norfolk, VA


Superintendent's Committee

Dr. James Roberts
Chesapeake, VA

Dr. Michelle Belle
Franklin, VA

Mrs. A. Katrise Perera
Isle Of Wight County, VA

Dr. Samuel T. King
Norfolk, VA

Dr. David C. Stuckwisch
Portsmouth, VA

Mr. Charles Turner
Southampton County, VA

Dr. Deran Whitney
Suffolk, VA

Dr. Sheila Magula, Interim
Virginia Beach, VA


Management Advisory Committee

Ms.Sarah Rhodes
Chesapeake, VA

Mr. Ken Raybuck
Franklin, VA

Mr. Rashard Wright
Isle of Wight,VA

Ms. Dorie Banks
Norfolk, VA

Mrs. Gwen Jenkins
Portsmouth, VA

Dr. Rodney Brown
Southampton County, VA

Mr. Douglas Dohey
Suffolk, VA

Dr. Veleka Gatling
Virginia Beach, VA


Main Office

Main Office: 
757-451-4715 Fax 
254 Granby Street
orfolk, Virginia 23510

Dance Department

The GSA Dance Department
is housed in the TRDance Center
757-628-2747 Fax
325 Granby Street

Norfolk, VA 23510