Governor French Academy is a small school. Its instruction is highly individualized. One of the results of these conditions is that the relationships that develop between the faculty, students, parents, guardians, and interested others is more family-like than one finds in other schools which are larger and more impersonal. Some people are put off by this characteristic, but it is an understandable by-product of the GFA culture.
Governor French students are highly involved in their community. Most of our Student Council members are also members of the Kiwanis-sponsored Key Club. This group performs volunteer work within the school and in the extended community.
Our Mu Alpha Theta chapter sponsors three blood drives each school year to benefit the Mississippi Valley Community Blood Center, which services both Belleville hospitals. This math honor society group also raises funds for local community non-profits such as the Belleville Interfaith Community Food Pantry and the Violence Prevention Center.
The Governor French Art Gallery features local artists. In addition, artistically-inclined Governor French Academy students contribute to the student art program each May at the community’s Art on the Square, which is a nationally ranked art show. Governor French Academy has long been a part of the Belleville Main Street organization.
Governor French Academy upper school students volunteer each October to help with the city’s Downtown Trick or Treating event. The Yearbook staff also hosts a haunted science lab for community children during that event.
Governor French Academy sponsors Cub Scout Pack 7, which participates each year in the Scouting for Food Drive. The Academy also has an informal connection to the Boy Scouts. Several of our students have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. We also sponsor active Girl Scout troops for ages 5-17. We had our first Gold Award recipient in 2015 and expect to have another in 2016.
GFA in Action
Governor French Students are active within the academy and throughout the local community, as wells as the community at large.
The Summer Academy, administered by Governor French, is a distillation of the Academy’s regular school year. Open to students GFA students, and to those who are not regular Academy students, Summer Academy is designed to assist those who want to “catch up” or “move ahead.” This distillation of the Academy’s college-preparatory curriculum specifically focuses on the development of math and language skills. The math skills range from kindergarten math to calculus, while the language skills range from elementary phonics to A.P. levels of reading and writing.
The Academy also helps students during Summer Academy who need to make-up or complete a credit for some other school. During past sessions of the Summer Academy over seven local public school districts and several private schools have used Governor French’s Summer Academy for their students.
Lower School Athletics has been developed around the physical and behavioral discipline of Karate. The Academy has a Karate Dojo as part of its facilities. And, all students, K through Form III participate in the Karate program as administered by Kirsten Peterson. Through the years, many Governor French students have competed internationally, and a few have earned spots on the U.S.A. Junior Olympic Team.
Upper School Athletics is built around the English Public School model in which every Upper School student, Form IV through graduating senior, is required to participate on one of the Academy’s intramural sports teams.
These teams include: Girls’ Volleyball, Coed Cross Country, Girls’ Basketball, Boys’ Basketball, and Golf.
Intramural softball is also part of the Academy’s yearly schedule. Even though Governor French has an academic focus, several of its students have earned sports scholarships to N.C.A.A. schools. Such institutions as Cornell University, Austin Peay, and Illinois College have chosen Governor French Academy athletes.
Lunch at Governor French Academy
Pizza orders are sent out every month. On Mondays and Fridays students are able to order pizza. Choices are pepperoni and cheese at $2.00 per slice. This price includes a bottled water and fruit cup. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays students must bring their lunch. Microwaves are available for student use.