District News

Instructional coaches enhance elementary schools Barnhart and Nelms

Thomas County Schools has added two Elementary School Instructional Coach positions for the 2022-23 academic year.  

Jordan Nelms will serve grades pre-kindergarten through first grade and Tanishia Barnhart will serve second grade through fourth grade.  The coaches aim to bridge communication as they connect three schools in the district:  Hand-In-Hand Primary (pre-K & K), Garrison-Pilcher Elementary (1st & 2nd), and Cross Creek Elementary (3rd & 4th).  

Garrison-Pilcher Principal Amy Tyson said that the addition of two Instructional Coaches was prompted by discerning the needs of classroom teachers for curriculum support, lesson planning assistance, and help in delivering data-driven instruction.  

Nelms and Barnhart met with curriculum teams over the summer to get linked with the teachers who serve as leaders in curriculum development.  The coaches are meeting directly with all elementary school teachers on a weekly basis now that the school year has begun.
Tyson was delighted with the selection of Nelms and Barnhart for the two positions.  

GP & CC Performing Arts Experiences Broaden Horizons Strings concert

Thomas County students at Garrison-Pilcher and Cross Creek Elementary Schools are the lucky beneficiaries of a series of music outreach concerts made possible through a Title IV Student Support and Academic Achievement grant.  The first of four concerts took place on August 31, 2022.

Dr. Boyan Bonev, strings teacher at Cross Creek and Thomas County Middle School, oversees the project that includes a pre and post quiz to assess the knowledge the students glean from each program and to hone how the musicians can improve the delivery of the content. Topics of the first presentation included the label given to a group of string instruments playing together and the identification of individual string instruments.

Dr. Bonev brought a professional orchestral group to play for the students. Students listened to the instruments they possibly have never heard before. The musicians introduced the instruments (violin, viola, cello and double bass) and discussed how they are played and how they sound. Students asked questions and were given an opportunity to hold and play instruments.

“My colleagues and I had a great time playing for the students,” Bonev said.  “This was the first outreach program of our project to expose and engage the students with the performing arts. We are planning on three more featuring chamber music, opera, and ballet/dance in October, February and March.”