“We strive to help our students reach their greatest potential . . . From the traditional to the non-traditional, we have a place where every student can thrive.”
Thank you for visiting our website to learn more about the Thomas County School System. As you learn more about our system, I hope that you will come to share the passion that I have for our great school system and the many ways that we strive to help our students reach their greatest potential.
My relationship with the Thomas County School System began when I entered Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School as a first grader in 1969. My parents taught me that a good education is the best way to earn a brighter future. Their encouragement along with the love, support, and encouragement that I received from many fine teachers and administrators in this school system instilled in me a calling to make public education my life’s work. I have had the good fortune to be a student, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent in the Thomas County School System. It is my commitment to build a school system, right here in South Georgia, which provides the very best educational opportunities to be found anywhere.
Many people have asked me the question, “What is your vision for the school system?” As I have reflected on that question, I have boiled down the answer to five short sentences:
1. Our system will provide a rigorous, effective educational program designed not just to have all students meet minimum standards but a program that is designed to have every child reach his or her greatest potential.
2. We will have a professional and dedicated staff that is always striving to get better.
3. We will have clean, well-equipped, and well-maintained facilities.
4. We will have an efficient business structure that delivers a great value for the investment that the public makes in our programs; and
5. We will have a respectable governance system that earns the confidence of the public and that instills pride in our students and staff.
We have in place an educational framework that provides rigor in the early grades, ensures strong preparation in reading and math, and gives students the foundation that they need to soar as they advance through the system.
We are implementing an aggressive new adaptive technology program to modernize our technology for special needs students. This is an area where new technology offers great promise for improving the quality of life and academic potential of our special needs students. For the first time ever, we included adaptive technology for special needs students in a SPLOST resolution, ensuring adequate funding for this program. Thomas County Schools will soon be a leader not just in our region but in the state in the use of adaptive technology to help special needs students achieve their potential.
We have redoubled our efforts to challenge our gifted and high achieving students.
In the early grades, we are providing advanced content classes for gifted and high-achieving students. In grades K-2, gifted students will continue to receive enrichment support.
For gifted and high achieving students in grades 5-12, Thomas County Schools has introduced a comprehensive new program known as the MERIT Program: Maximizing Education to Realize Intellectual Transformation. By design, the MERIT program is the area’s most comprehensive program for gifted and high achieving students.
At the high school level, the MERIT program is a program of study that provides incentives and recognitions for students who choose more rigorous courses. Students continue to have access to electives and CTAE courses of their choice. Students have the opportunity to complete associate college degrees by the time that they graduate from high school.
For the mathematically gifted students, we have a pathway that allows students to complete two years of college calculus before they graduate from high school. By the time that our current fifth graders reach high school, we will have the most advanced mathematics program in South Georgia, including all area public and private schools.
I am proud of our system’s comprehensive reading in the content areas program in grades 5-12 for all students. We know that the best way to improve student performance on college admission exams is to have them read a lot. Even more important than improving college admission exam scores, reading in the content area builds critical reading and comprehension skills. The curriculum of all subjects is enriched through the study of biographies and novels.
The support of our community is evident in the support that our citizens have shown in passing three successful E-SPLOST referendums. The most recent E-SPLOST is providing funds for the integration of new technology into our classrooms. Every classroom in the Thomas County School System will soon have the latest instructional technology.
Our school system is the area’s leader in career preparatory programs. Please visit the PREP Academy link on our high school’s website to learn about the career preparatory opportunities available at our high school.
From championship athletics to award winning fine arts programs and a full range of academic competitions and clubs, our system has an array of opportunities for students to become involved in their school and the community. Learn more about these organizations by visiting the school websites.
We have several non-traditional programs for students who learn differently. We offer on-line options and a non-traditional charter school for students who need smaller classes and individualized instruction. From the traditional to the non-traditional, we have a place for every student to thrive.
If you are new to the Thomas County area, I hope that you will choose our system to educate your children.
I welcome any suggestions that you have for making our system better. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 229-225-4380, ext. 105 if you have a suggestion or a concern about our system.
(Dusty) George Kornegay, Jr. , Ed.D.