Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies

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Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies
1000 North Lombardy Street

Coordinates37°33′28.5″N 77°27′13.5″W / 37.557917°N 77.453750°W / 37.557917; -77.453750Coordinates: 37°33′28.5″N 77°27′13.5″W / 37.557917°N 77.453750°W / 37.557917; -77.453750
School typePublic, magnet high school
Executive DirectorDr. Robert C. Lowerre
Enrollment751[1] (2017-18)
Color(s)Green, Gold and White
Athletics conferenceVirginia High School League
AAA Central Region
AAA Colonial District
MascotGreen Dragon
RivalsThomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
Acceptance rate16-17%
Focus AreasGovernment & International Studies
WebsiteOfficial Site
Maggie L. Walker High School
In 2013
Area12 acres (4.9 ha)
Built1938 (1938)
ArchitectCarneal, Johnston & Wright
Architectural styleArt Deco
NRHP reference No.98001160[2]
VLR No.127-0414
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 9, 1998
Designated VLRJune 17, 1998[3]

The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies (MLWGSGIS) is a public regional magnet high school in Richmond, Virginia.

One of the 18 Virginia Governor's Schools, it draws students from 13 jurisdictions: Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, Prince George, Charles City, King and Queen, and New Kent counties, the cities of Richmond and Petersburg, and West Point, an incorporated town. As the Governor's School for Government and International Studies, it shared space at Thomas Jefferson High School (TJHS) in the city's West End from its 1991 founding until summer 2001, when it moved into Maggie L. Walker High School after massive renovations.[4] Every year since 2006 the school was recognized by Newsweek as one of the twenty-one most elite public schools in America.[5][6][7][8] In 2013, Maggie Walker was ranked 14th in Newsweek's "Best Public High Schools" [9] In 2014, Maggie Walker was ranked 10th in The Daily Beast's "Best High Schools" and 7th in their "25 Best High Schools in the South."[10]


Applicants undergo an application process in which four tests (three tests with three subsections each, one large test) and an essay are administered. A combination of grades, recommendations, and test results determine the applicants' overall score. All applicants must have completed and passed at least Algebra I or equivalent, and are expected if offered (but not necessarily required) to have completed Honors English, as well as Earth and Life Sciences, and at least one year of a foreign language,[11] although it is not uncommon for incoming students to take their third or even fourth year of a language in their freshman year. On the other hand, many students begin language instruction in their freshman year. Overall, about 16-17% of applicants are acceptedA into MLWGSGIS out of a pool of around 1200[12] applicants from all the participating localities, making the freshmen class usually around 190 students. The school grades the applications, but it is the applicant's home school district that decides who is allowed to attend the school based on scores and available funding.


Each city or county that wishes to send students to the Governor's School must fund the school for the students that they send, as well as provide busing to and from the school. While the Governor's School allows allotments for each locality that cannot be exceeded, it is the individual localities that ultimately determine their own limit on how many students can be sent within the parameters of the allotment given and available funding. The Regional School Board of the Governor's School that oversees the administration comprises one school board member from each of the participating localities.[13]


At its 1991 founding, the Governor's School for Government and International Studies was given the Thomas Jefferson High School building to share by Richmond Public Schools. The city school stopped accepting freshmen in 1991, intending to turn the building fully over to GSGIS by 1995. However, parents, students, and alumni of TJHS, as well as city politicians, protested the closing of their school, RPS reversed its decision, and in 1992 TJ started accepting freshmen again and GSGIS started looking for a permanent home.

After several years of false starts and administrative turnover, GSGIS finally obtained the Maggie Walker High School building, an abandoned former Richmond City school, as a permanent home. The original building, Maggie L. Walker High School, was first opened in the 1930s as a school for African-Americans. It was named for Maggie Lena Walker, the first woman and African-American to operate a bank in the United States and was once attended by American civil rights lawyer and politician Henry L. Marsh, African American tennis pro Arthur Ashe,[14] as well as pro football Hall-of-Famer Willie Lanier,[15] and NBA great Bob Dandridge. GSGIS took up occupancy in fall 2001 after several million dollars of renovations and adopted the name Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies, or MLWGSGIS for short, though commonly shortened further to MLWGS.


Today, MLWGSGIS is known for its challenging academic curriculum[16][17] and performance in national and regional academic competitions.[17] Large numbers of graduating seniors at the Governor's School seniors are accepted into highly ranked universities.>[17]

Community service[edit]

To foster community improvement efforts, all Governor's School students are required to complete 140 hours of community service by graduation.[18] School clubs frequently participate in neighborhood cleanup projects. In order to receive a Governor's School diploma, all community service and credits must be completed. The 2008 graduating class completed over 34,500 community service hours.[19]


MLWGS competes in the AAA East in AAA Conference 33 of the Virginia High School League.[20] Previously the school was in the AA Colonial District, but at the end of the 2019 season was moved up to AAA due to a growing student population. The school fields teams in basketball, dance, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, tennis, golf, swimming, field hockey, cross-country, indoor and outdoor track and field, baseball, and softball; only football is omitted from the offerings of a traditional public high school.[21] The school mascot is the Green Dragon, adopted from the former Maggie L. Walker High School. In 2001, the boys' cross country team won the state AAA championship, led to victory by head coach Jim Holdren.[22] In 2010, the Maggie Walker girls' cross country team became the state runner-up in the AAA championship.[23] In 2019, the Maggie Walker Cross country boys team placed third while the girls team won the 2019 cross country AAA State Competition in their respective groups. In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 the field hockey team won the colonial district championship. In 2008 the team was the central region runner-up to rival Thomas Dale, which qualified the team to go to states for the first time in 3 years. In 2010 and 2011 the team won the Central Region Championship and once again played in the State Tournament. In 2013-14 The Boys' and Girls' Cross Country Teams won first place in their respective AA sections and so did the Boys' and Girls' indoor Track teams. The Boys' Outdoor Track team also won First in that season. Also, the Girls' Swim team won their section in 2013–14. In 2015–2016, the Baseball team finished in 3rd at the AA state tournament to go along with a team record 17 wins, while the Girls' Soccer team finished 2nd.[24] Swim team again won VHSL championships in 2017, this time both in the Boys' and Girls' categories. In 2017, the Baseball team captured the AA state crown, defeating rival Goochland 3–1.[25] In 2017, Boys' soccer won the school's first VHSL 2A Boys' Soccer State Championship, ending the season on a dominant 9 game winning streak that firmly asserted the program's spot in the top-tier of the Richmond area soccer.[26]

Dual enrollment[edit]

MLWGSGIS is in a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), meaning that students can earn college credit for certain "dual enrollment" high school classes. This also allows MLWGSGIS students access to VCU's library system.


See also[edit]


A This number is calculated by dividing the 2017-2018 enrollment of 751[1] by 4 for an average class size of about 188, then dividing that number into the same year's applicant pool of 1160[45] to get a percentage between 16 and 17 percent.


  1. ^ a b "Why choose MLWGS?" Maggie Walker Governor's School. Retrieved on 2017-09-03.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies". National Trust for Historic Preservation. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  5. ^ Newsweek (May 8, 2006) The Public Elites. Archived November 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Newsweek Magazine. Retrieved on 2006-11-17.
  6. ^ Newsweek (May 28, 2007) The Public Elites. Archived June 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Newsweek Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-08-07.
  7. ^ Newsweek (June 8, 2009) The Public Elites
  8. ^ Newsweek (June 13, 2010) America's Best High Schools: The Elites. Newsweek Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-11-16.
  9. ^ "The Daily Beast". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  10. ^ "25 Best High Schools in the South". 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  11. ^ Maggie Walker Governor's School (June 5, 2010) Admissions Process Retrieved on 2010-09-05.
  12. ^ "Admissions" Maggie Walker Governor's School. Retrieved on 2017-05-18.
  13. ^ Maggie Walker Governor's School: Overview. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  14. ^ "Ashe Returns to His Home : He Left a Segregated Richmond in 1960, and Later Wrought Change". Los Angeles Times. 1993-02-10. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  15. ^ Reid, Zachary. "Willie Lanier unveils Hall of Fame plaque at Maggie Walker". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ Jay Mathews, Top-performing schools with elite students, Washington Post (April 19, 2015).
  17. ^ a b c Nancy Nusser, Maggie Walker Turns 20, Richmond (February 2, 2011).
  18. ^ Maggie Walker Governor's School: Diploma Requirements. Retrieved on 2010-09-05.
  19. ^ Maggie Walker Governor's School: Graduates Information & Statistics. Retrieved on 2010-09-05.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Athletics". Maggie L Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  22. ^ VHSL. "Boys' Cross Country" (PDF). Virginia High School League. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  23. ^ VHSL. "Girls' Cross Country" (PDF). Virginia High School League. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Fellin, Billy. "Maggie Walker baseball wins first state championship". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  26. ^ "Late goal gives Maggie Walker 2A boys soccer title". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  27. ^ Anderson, Chad (2013-01-02). "Sara Schaefer Is Obsessed With Making You Laugh". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  28. ^ Kleiner, Sarah. "Richmond's Maggie Walker governor's school might produce an actual governor on Nov. 8 - just not in Virginia". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  29. ^ DiStaso, John (2018-03-14). "WMUR first: Van Ostern to challenge Gardner for NH Secretary of State". WMUR. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  30. ^ Sheppard, Whit (2017-10-16). "For the Love of the Game". Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  31. ^ "Jenny Han". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  32. ^ Kroll, Justin (2018-03-21). "Netflix Acquires Rights to Adaptation of YA Novel 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  33. ^ "Durham Mayor Schewel's 'progressive beacon' era begins". heraldsun. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  34. ^ Blackwell, John Reid. "Chesterfield native raises $1.8 million in Kickstarter campaign for new board game". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  35. ^ Zimmerman, Aaron (2016-07-30). "Scythe review: The most-hyped board game of 2016 delivers". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  36. ^ "Richmond native to sing at game". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  37. ^ Lorge, Abigail (2017-01-12). ""The Joy of Doing What I Love Most"". Runner's World. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  38. ^ Anderson, Chad (2017-01-18). "Q&A: Marguerite Bennett". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  39. ^ Silverman, Riley (2017-06-15). "Bombshells and Batwomen: An interview with Marguerite Bennett". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  40. ^ "Will Roberts Stats, Fantasy & News". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  41. ^ "Former Maggie Walker standout Cheta Emba named alternate on US women's Olympic rugby team". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  42. ^ "Cheta Emba '15 | Sports | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  43. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (2018-02-15). "How an Indie-Rock Star Is Made in 2018". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  44. ^ Baldwin, Brent. "From Maggie Walker to National Indie Darling, Richmond's Lucy Dacus Makes an Early Mark". Style Weekly. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  45. ^ "MINUTES" (PDF). Maggie Walker Governor's School. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2017-09-03.

External links[edit]