The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) is pleased to announce that Dr. Hector Flores will be formally installed as the School’s third president during the Convocation Ceremony on Thursday, September 8 at 2 p.m. at the Center Theater in Hartsville.
Dr. Flores was selected by GSSM’s Board of Trustees after an extended national search last spring. Prior to arriving at GSSM, he was Dean of Graduate Programs at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, where he led the university through a comprehensive strategic planning and improvement process focused on building upon the university’s strengths and commitment to service.
Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington welcomed Dr. Flores, saying, “I’m excited about the caliber of leadership Dr. Flores brings to the school. His management experience is combined with an incredibly strong academic background that I believe will help move GSSM to the next level.”
Flores said that the town’s energy was one of the things that attracted him to the job. “Having benefited as a child from a school and community that profoundly shaped my interests and abilities, I am excited to be at a place like GSSM, since it provides those same opportunities, and more, to our extremely capable students. The support we receive from Hartsville is fantastic and so important to our students and families.”
GSSM’s new president plans to launch a strategic planning process at GSSM modeled on the process that he used at RIT, “…because we can only do truly innovative things if we involve the whole community in imagining our future. Building on the school’s successes, we will create the strongest programs fostering student-centered excellence.” He expects to present recommendations from the strategic plan to GSSM’s Board of Trustees next year, defining the major era that he calls, “GSSM 3.0.”
"The SCGSSM Board Is pleased to have Dr. Flores, an experienced academic administrator and scholar, serve as the school's third president,” said Dr. Leroy Davis, chairman of the GSSM Board of Trustees. “We will work with and support him in the formulation of a vision that expands the excellence that is the hallmark of GSSM. We are excited about the future!"
In his installation address, GSSM’s new president will outline his challenge for the school, “GSSM is a beacon of academic excellence for the State, but as it evolves, it may also be redefining what it means to be a STEM school that prepares students for careers in science, engineering, and biomedicine, but can, with equal skill, prepare students for studies in, say, computational finance, history of science, entrepreneurial development, creative writing, and, most exciting, careers yet to be imagined.”
Flores, a native of Peru, lives in Hartsville. Prior to RIT, he served as Professor at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos; as Professor and Dean at Texas State University; as Professor and Dean at Arkansas State University; and as Professor at Pennsylvania State University. He has also served as a visiting scientist at the National Science Foundation.
GSSM’s Convocation is a traditional calling together of the entire school to recognize the achievements of students who have completed their junior year and a summer of collegiate research. Seniors receive academic letters and the class of 2017 will be officially welcomed as Governor’s School students, known locally as Govies.
GSSM is one of only 12 public, residential high schools in the country serving a uniquely challenging, curriculum to high-achieving students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.