Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School News

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Thomas County School System Names BEE Partner of the Year BEE Partner of the Year

Thomasville Toyota was named Thomas County School System’s BEE Partner of the Year for 2022-2023.  This is the second time Thomasville Toyota has been chosen as BEE Partner of the Year. The first time was in 2020.

The Business and Education Exchange (BEE) Partner of the Year is chosen from the outstanding BEE Partners who work with Thomas County Schools to strengthen the link among schools, businesses/industries, and the community.  

The partnership between Thomasville Toyota and Thomas County Schools is strengthened by the support of Brad Ramsey, Thomasville Toyota’s Service and Parts Director.

“It is a true honor to be selected as the BEE Partner of the Year,” Ramsey said. “Thomasville Toyota is committed to providing resources to help the staff and students at Thomas County Schools. We are happy to be a part of their mission to educate students and help young people become productive members of society.”

GP Character Kids April - Wisdom GP23AprilCK

Thomas County first and second graders at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School are recognized for outstanding behavior attributes on a monthly basis.  Homeroom teachers selected one child per class that exemplified the character trait for April:  wisdom.  These April Character Kids represent what “wisdom” looks like each and every day.  Pictured:  (first row) Aubrey Shelton, Charlotte Broome, Mark Rush, Matthew Phelps, Preston Clayton, Octavian Williams, Ellie Johnson, Ada Bland, Tristan Oliver; (second row) Nathaniel Twyman, Ellie Scott, Kamaiya Wilds, Ky-Mani Bryant, Zaniyah Johnson, Savannah Braswell, Alice Singletary, Ansley Bunn, Kelis McGraw, Gracen Rose Warren, Jazmin Mejia Zunun, and John Hinds; (third row) Anna Redfern, Elias Roberts, Khloe Hudgins, Memphis White, Meyah Walker, Harper Cray, Daniel Bryant, Jayden Mediate, Ledger Best, Sean Sullivan, and Bre’Anna Davis.  Not pictured:  Ma’laisha Dukes, Emmitt Harrell, Saylor Hurst, Nautica McDonald, and Alanah White.   

GP Morning Mile morningmile

Thomas County first and second graders get a jump start on their days with Garrison Pilcher Elementary School’s Morning Mile organized by physical education and health teacher Lisa Guyton. 

“One of our goals this year is to increase physical activity of the students by 30 minutes each day,” said Guyton.  

Guyton applied for a grant and received $1000 and used part of the money to purchase fitness trackers.

“Not knowing how many students would participate, I purchased 30,” said Guyton.  “Ninety-five kids showed up on day one!”

Guyton says that they are averaging 75 kids per day on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:10 a.m. to 7:35 a.m.  Since the program only had 30 fitness trackers, Guyton quickly created a way to measure the distance each student walks.  Those without a tracker get a cup, and for each lap he or she walks a coin is put in their cup. At the end of the time, the student counts their coins or steps and it is written down.  2000 steps or 23 coins = 1 mile.


Enthusiastic students wait in line to pick up their tracking method: a pedometer or a token system. Garrison Pilcher faculty Blair Hubbard, Rosalie Wilson, Jessica Duncan, and Tami Thompson are some of the generous volunteers who help man the sessions.

Early risers Conner McMullen using the token tracking system, and Ward Hayes showing off his digital tracker join the Morning Mile fun.   


GP DAR Winners camwooddar

Thomas County first and second graders at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School created stamps, poster, and banner to win top honors in the Georgia, Southeastern United States, and United States Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Junior Citizens Contest themed: “The 200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail:  Moving Stars and Stripes Westward.”  

Thomas County School System Names Melissa O’Neal Teacher of the Year Melissa O'Neal

Thomas County School System officials have named Melissa O’Neal, third grade teacher at Cross Creek Elementary, as the District Teacher of the Year. O’Neal has worked for Thomas County Schools for 21 years.

Upon being named Teacher of the Year for the system, O’Neal said, “What an incredible honor! I am beyond thrilled and deeply grateful to be recognized as the Teacher of the Year for Thomas County. Teaching has been my true calling and passion in life, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of my students every day. This award is not only a recognition of my passion for teaching, but also a celebration of the collective efforts of our entire educational community.”

O’Neal currently teaches 3rd grade, having previously taught pre-kindergarten, 1st grade, 4th grade and 3rd grade. She has taught various academic levels such as special education inclusion, ESOL, and gifted students.

Cross Creek Elementary School Principal Ashley Lane said that O'Neal is deeply committed to the field of education and to the noble profession of teaching.

Lane said, “Ms. O'Neal has a true heart for teaching.  She embraces the profession and dedicates her time and attention to the needs of her students.  She often states that her students are her heart.”

O’Neal said that from the moment she stepped into the classroom, she knew that teaching was her true passion.


Thomas County first grader Madalyn Morris won 1st place for the Southwest Georgia Region in the Young Georgia Authors writing competition for her story entitled "My Dog Island Adventure." The purpose of the Young Georgia Authors (YGA) writing competition is to encourage students to develop enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing, to provide a context to celebrate their writing successes, and to recognize student achievement in arts and academics.