Thomas County Middle School (TCMS) Associate Principal Jamie Thompson has been appointed principal designee to assume the role effective June 1, following Dr. Kathy Keown’s retirement. The Thomas County Board of Education approved the appointment at its meeting on January 12.
Originally from Ochlocknee, Thompson is a graduate of Thomas County Central High School (TCCHS). After graduating from the University of Georgia, he began teaching English in White County, Georgia, in 2000. His career with the Thomas County School System began in 2003 at TCCHS where he taught English/Language Arts. Thompson furthered his education obtaining degrees in counseling and educational leadership from Valdosta State University. He has completed coursework for his doctoral degree and is currently completing his dissertation.
Thompson has extensive experience in education, serving as a counselor at TCCHS and Hand-In-Hand Primary School, as well as assistant principal at TCCHS and as associate principal at TCMS.
Thompson considers it an honor to be given the opportunity to lead Thomas County Middle School. He said, “TCMS is an excellent campus with great students and teachers. We enjoy the support of a fantastic group of parents and the best community in Georgia. I want to thank Dr. Dusty Kornegay and the Thomas County School Board for trusting me with the position. I’m also grateful to the current and past leaders in the system who have given me instruction and guidance.”
Thompson has been a part of the Thomas County School System for 13 years.
“I hope to continue some of the great traditions of Thomas County Middle School,” Thompson said. “Mr. Earl Williams’ mantra of ‘Hustle and Harmony’ still resonates with me from my time as a student at the middle school. More recently, Mr. Van Cowart, Dr. Debra Knight, and Dr. Kathy Keown have worked to make TCMS one of the best middle schools in Georgia.”
Current TCMS Principal Dr. Kathy Keown believes the Board of Education could not have made a better choice in naming Thompson principal.
“I knew Jamie Thompson as a student going through our school system, and I’ve worked with him as an adult in our schools,” Dr. Keown said. “Jamie is a strong leader and has a love for students and teachers. I’m excited that he will be transitioning into the principal’s job at Thomas County Middle School. Over the years, I’ve seen so much progress and so many good things develop in our schools and especially at the middle school. I know Mr. Thompson will continue that trend as he takes this new leadership role.”
Dr. Keown said that she will miss the everyday involvement with students and staff, but she is looking forward to retirement and having more time with her family as a grandmother and a pastor’s wife.
“There are so many things I could say about my 32 years in education and especially about my 31 years in Thomas County Schools,” said Dr. Keown. “It’s hard to know where to start! I am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, for the students I’ve taught, and for the school staff I’ve worked with during these years. I’m grateful to Dr. Terry Solana and Dr. Earl Williams for hiring me first as a teacher in 1985 and then giving me a chance to work as an assistant principal in 1998. I’m grateful to Dr. Larry Green for giving me more responsibility and the opportunity to work at the system level for ten years. And I’m very grateful to Dr. Dusty Kornegay for allowing me to finish out my career with my ‘dream job’ as principal of Thomas County Middle School.”
Dr. Keown added, “Even though my days as an employee of Thomas County Schools are quickly coming to an end, I will always be loyal to the Thomas County School System and look forward to continuing my support, just in a different capacity.”
Thompson’s wife, Lindsay, is also employed with the Thomas County School System as a math teacher. They have two sons with one currently at Hand-In-Hand as a Pre-K student, and the youngest to become a future Yellow Jacket.
In announcing Thompson’s appointment, Thomas County Superintendent Dusty Kornegay stated, “I want to thank Dr. Keown for her many years of service to Thomas County Schools. I have enjoyed working with her for many years, and I have always respected her work ethic and dedication to our school system. I hope that she will continue to be active in our school system after retirement.”
“I have had the privilege of watching Jamie Thompson grow up and blossom as a young adult and school leader. He is an excellent listener and a compassionate and thoughtful leader. I am excited to see how his leadership will build upon the progress of our previous leaders and take the middle school to even higher levels of achievement. I believe that he will be one of our state’s great school principals,” Kornegay said.
Thomas County Middle School is the area’s leading middle school, providing a comprehensive academic program that offers accelerated academics, a range of high school credit courses, a foreign language program, and exploratory courses in art, band, chorus, computer programming, physical education, agriculture, business education, family and consumer science, robotics, and television broadcasting and comprehensive athletic offerings.