Thomas County School Superintendent Dr. Lisa Williams has appointed Dr. Lauren Duplantis to serve as the district’s health and wellness coordinator.
Duplantis will chair the system’s wellness committee and will help market the school-based health center as an option for parents who do not have a primary-care provider.
Duplantis holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Utah, a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a doctorate degree in human performance and recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi.
As a former graduate assistant in the University of Southern Mississippi’s Golden Eagle athletic department, Duplantis used her experiences in game-day operations to develop her dissertation research, “A System for Evaluating Emergency Response Capabilities at a University Sporting Venue.”
After completing her graduate work, she spent six and a half years as a health and physical education teacher, coach and athletic director in the Forsyth County School System in Cumming, Georgia. In 2014, she transitioned into higher education, acting as Assistant Professor of Sport Management for Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, for five years. While at Shorter, Duplantis helped revise and develop curriculum for the Bachelor of Business Administration Sport Management program and their newly created Master of Business Administration in Sport Management offering. She has also taught adjunct classes for Concordia University Irvine’s Masters of Coaching and Athletic Administration program and within Valdosta State University’s Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education.
Following her family’s move to Thomasville last year, Duplantis served as a Physical Education teacher and girls’ basketball coach at Thomas County Middle School.
“In her new role of health and wellness coordinator, Dr. Duplantis will promote health and wellness activities to teach and support healthy lifestyles for students, staff, and the families served by the district,” said Dr. Williams.
Duplantis plans to develop an intramural sports program at Thomas County Middle School and Thomas County Central High School to promote participation in recreational sports for students who are not involved in competitive athletics as a way to promote physical activity for non-athletes.
“I am so pleased to assume this new role and to develop a comprehensive health and wellness program for our district,” said Duplantis. “The hope and challenge is that we implement a whole-body approach to wellness that will impact our students, our staff, and will spill over into our community at large.”
Duplantis plans to offer learning and growing opportunities for staff and students that address not only physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. “We are acutely aware of the devastating effects of poor mental and emotional health within our society, and want to proactively approach this issue.”
She will also serve as the physical education curriculum coordinator for the district and will ensure that state standards are implemented in health and physical education classes.
“Dr. Duplantis will develop programs to increase the amount of physical activity among our students by developing programs for physical activity to be implemented into school routines, and she will provide staff development training opportunities for teachers,” Williams said.
Duplantis will also assist the school nurses in implementing and monitoring immunization requirements and develop and implement an education program on immunizations for parents.