RVA students get extra slots at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School

Did you know RVA has the 16th best high school in the nation? Now four additional Richmond students can attend it beginning next school year.

Mayor Dwight Jones and City Council President Charles Samuels recently announced that four additional slots will be available for Richmond City students at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies in the upcoming 2013 year.

“Maggie Walker Governor’s School was ranked as the #16-best public high school in the nation in 2012,” Jones said. He added “when slots are available at this great school, I want to make sure that we offer them to Richmond students.”

Founded in 1991, Maggie Walker1 is a public high school that develops a better understanding of global cultures and languages for gifted students in the region. The school apportions slots to rising freshman among 12 school districts:

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School snapshot:

  • 718 total student enrollment
  • 177 graduates (2012)
  • 2095 Average total SAT score (national average: 1498)
  • 77 total faculty

Student gender:

  • Female: 55%
  • Male: 45%

Student ethnicity:

  • White: 70.6%
  • Asian-American: 15.9%
  • African-American: 6.7%
  • Hispanic: 2.9%
  • Native American:.4%
  • Unspecified: 3.5%


  • City of Richmond
  • Charles City County
  • Chesterfield County
  • Goochland County
  • Hanover County
  • Henrico County
  • Hopewell City2
  • King and Queen
  • New Kent County
  • City of Petersburg
  • Powhatan County
  • Prince George County

The organizing body of the high school is the Regional School Board, represented by one school board member from each participating school district. Board members and their respective district Superintendents mutually decide how many freshman slots each school district receives, which can vary year-to-year.3

Nearly 1,200 eighth-grade students applied for admission to Maggie Walker last year, of which approximately 180 were accepted. Maggie Walker Governor’s School doesn’t admit incoming students itself; each school district decides which students it sends.

The total number of Richmond students at Maggie Walker is expected to be 201 of approximately 720 total student enrollment–after Hanover County reduced their slot allotment for the upcoming year. Each of the four additional slots will cost the City roughly $7,500, taken from the Fiscal Year 2014 budget currently under review by City Council.

Richmond School Board Chair Jeffrey Bourne thinks the school is a vital asset to the City’s public education.

“Maggie Walker Governor’s School is one of the most important educational pillars of not only the city of Richmond, but the entire region,” Bourne said. “Anytime we can expand this type of opportunity for Richmond residents, we need to jump at the chance.”

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  1. Here are additional facts and statistics about the school
  2. Hopewell returns as a participating school district after not participating last year. 
  3. For instance, if a junior leaves the school because his or her family moves out of the region, the student’s slot would then be added to the number of available slots offered to incoming freshman in the upcoming school year. 
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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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