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Most of Georgia's public school systems are accredited by Cognia, a nonprofit organization tasked with setting educational standards that prepare students for life after the classroom. Cognia will be conducting an accreditation review for the Thomas County School System during the school year. As part of the accreditation process, schools submit their educational environment to a rigorous process of analysis and evaluation. This parent survey will allow you to respond to questions about Cognia standards and how Thomas County includes families in the education of their students. Please complete this survey by September 22, 2023. If you have children in two or more schools, please take a moment to complete a survey for each school.

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TCCHS receives FFA grant to start grooming service FFA Grant

Helping furry friends look and feel fabulous while learning standards and practicing skills is on the class schedule for Thomas County Central High School Veterinary Science students.

The TCCHS FFA chapter recently received an FFA Grant for Growing totaling $4,692 to start an animal grooming service tied to the school’s CTAE Veterinary Science Pathway.

Dr. Nikki Smith, instructor and TCCHS FFA adviser said this grant helps make a dream reality.

“This has been a goal of mine since starting the Veterinary Science course/pathway in August 2017 and gaining industry certification in 2021,” she said. “I feel that my students will not only gain knowledge of veterinary science but gain confidence, learn teamwork skills, employability skills, and hopefully find joy in working with these animals.”

TCCHS CTAE Director Dr. Beth Adams said Nikki Smith is the perfect teacher for the school’s vet science pathway.

“She is always looking for ways to improve the program and provide students opportunities to participate in hands-on instruction,” Adams said.

Students like senior EmmaRae Smith, 18, are excited at the prospect of this firsthand option. 

Garrison-Pilcher Students Win in State Postcard Contest Plains Peanut Festival Winners

Thomas County first and second graders at Garrison Pilcher Elementary School are Plains Festival Postcard Contest Winners among 2,263 entries from students all over the state. Each winner will visit Plains, Georgia on the weekend of September 23 along with their families where they will receive an award and walk down Main Street as a participant in the 25th Annual Plains Peanut Festival Parade. Principal Robin Binion and Assistant Principal Chad Parkerson are pictured with the winners: First Grade 1st place Pierce Shaver, 2nd place Willa Gilligan, and 3rd place Steele Dean; and Second Grade 2nd place J.B. Palacios and 3rd place Charlotte Broome.  

Creating Comets at TCMS Creating Comets

Students in Renee Brooks' classes recently blasted off into space in their 6th-grade year by learning about galaxies, planets, and now various space rocks. Through hands-on learning experiences and classroom discussions, students have been super-engaged in their own learning. During a recent lab activity, students had the opportunity to experience a fun and tangible way of learning about comets, which are known to scientists as dirty snowballs. Students used dry ice, coal, and various soil particles to represent the basic foundations of a comet. Students then applied heat in two ways; by breathing and from the heat of the sun. The project made it possible for the students to witness the gas tail that comes off of a comet as it moves closer to the sun.

Jackson wins region, state WBL student of the year titles Bishop Jackson Brandi Miranda

A Thomas County Central High School Class of 2023 graduate’s exceptional skills within the workplace recently promoted him to a state title. 

Bishop Jackson earned the Southwest Region Work-Based Learning Student of the Year and the Georgia WBL Student of the Year awards. He received these honors during the annual Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education summer conference.

Jackson knew about the region award but was genuinely surprised to collect the state title, too. He garnered various academic accolades during high school – including salutatorian, National AP Scholar, and acceptance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – but said awards like those for WBL have special significance.

“The recognition truly means a lot,” Jackson said. “During my four years in high school, I received lots of tangible awards for my academic achievements. However, there is nowhere near the same amount of recognition for students who take traditional course loads or place more emphasis on CTAE.”

TCCHS WBL Coordinator Brandi Miranda nominated Jackson for the region award and expressed pride in his state accomplishment. According to Miranda, what sets Jackson apart from other WBL students is his ability to adapt and excel in real-world environments.

TCCHS AP program earns record number of AP scholars AP Scholars

Thomas County Central High School Advanced Placement program and its students continue to exceed and raise their high bar. 

The College Board recently announced the 2022-2023 AP Scholars. TCCHS bested its all-time high total of 64 last year to 86 this year, including four AP Capstone Scholars. 

“Our students have earned these accolades through their willingness to accept the challenge of AP classes, which represent the highest level of academic rigor,” TCCHS AP Coordinator Erin White said. “ They consistently perform well across the AP curriculum, and their achievements are proof of the strength of our entire academic program.”

Levels include AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Honor and AP Scholar with Distinction. There’s also the now locally-recognized AP National level for students who earn at least a four or higher on at least eight AP exams and an average of at least a four on all exams taken.

“We are proud of our AP course offerings at TCCHS and happy to see our students recognized for their commitment to excellence,” TCCHS Assistant Principal Dr. Erin Rehberg said. “These students – and their teachers – work hard to achieve at the highest level, and it is always rewarding to see that hard work pay off.  AP classes set students up for success in college and beyond, and we cannot wait to see how this distinction will lead to future accomplishments.”

Bishop Hall student's selfless act selfless act

Bishop Hall Charter School ninth grader Zyannah Gosier recently asked Principal Dr. Verna Wiggins for permission to do something kind and generous for a fellow student. Dr. Wiggins set out to find someone who was worthy to receive a memorable gift.

Dr. Wiggins chose an outstanding young man who represents the great qualities of a Bishop Hall student. Jacameron Samuel, an eighth grader, was the lucky one chosen to receive two Wild Adventures tickets from his classmate. Gosier believes that giving to others is more important than receiving. As an employee of Wild Adventures, Gosier was thrilled to be able to do something special for someone.

Samuel was in shock when he found out. He was overwhelmed with excitement and shared his news with other students. The two students did not know each other, yet they shook hands and were very happy. 

Dr. Wiggins said, "We are a family and even students realize that. Jacameron was very appreciative and continued to thank me for selecting him as the deserving student of the month.”

Bishop Hall teacher Dr. Retha Lee was there to witness the transaction and was brought to tears by the simple kindness of others.

“Bishop Hall is truly a family,” Lee said. “The smiles say it all.”