Governor’s School @ Innovation Park to Open at Prince William Campus; Alum Named Director

Posted: April 20, 2010 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: April 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

By Robin Herron

The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park, a collaborative venture of the Manassas City, Manassas Park City and Prince William County Public Schools systems in cooperation with Mason, is set to open at the Prince William Campus this fall.

The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park will offer selected juniors and seniors from these school divisions an advanced and intensive program in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields).

For the first year, 75 juniors will be selected for the program. In the following year, the first-year students will continue as seniors, and another 75 juniors will join the cohort. Going forward, a maximum of 150 students can participate each year.

Students selected for the two-year program will attend classes at Mason’s Prince William Campus each morning, then return to their base high schools each afternoon to complete other requirements for graduation.

According to Ron Carmichael, executive officer of the Prince William Campus, the students will have dual enrollment at their high schools and at Mason and will earn college credit.

Classes will be held in the Occoquan Building and Bull Run Hall and will be taught by employees of the Prince William County Public Schools. Mason is collaborating on the curriculum, and Mason faculty members are expected to “have heavy mentorship involvement,” Carmichael says.

Last week, the Joint Board of the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park named Karen Dalfrey as the first director of the school. Dalfrey has received three degrees from Mason (BS Biology ’92; MEd Curriculum and Instruction ’03; PhD Biodefense ’09), and she has also served as an adjunct instructor.

Dalfrey is currently the coordinator of the Bio-Technology Center at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas. Before becoming an educator, Dalfrey was employed in the field of cytogenetics, a specialized area of laboratory medicine involving the study of normal and abnormal chromosomes and their relationship to human development and disease.

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