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Region Honor Band Region repped

Twenty-three Thomas County Central High School Bands program members represented their school at the South Georgia Region Honor Band in Valdosta April 11-13. TCCHS had more youth musicians participate than any school in its region, which consists of all high schools from Alabama to the East Coast and as far north as Jones County. First chair trumpeter Teddy Cone delivered several solos. Other TCCHS first-chair earners were Jaclyn Maxwell (bass clarinet) and Tyler Laidman (bass trombone).

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GP Read-a-Thon Five thousand books read during Garrison-Pilcher Read-A-Thon

Thomas County first and second graders at Garrison Pilcher Elementary School celebrated Read Across America week with a culminating Read-A-Thon that included community guest readers, 5000 books read, and administrators paying the price for it!

Teachers picked a time frame where students could read books to truly enjoy, and not test on through Accelerated Reader or a classroom assessment. Students used flashlights for reading in the dark, blankets and stuffed animals to snuggle up with a good book, reading books brought from home, and having guest readers in their classrooms. For every book read, the students placed a tally under the picture of the person they wanted to see get “a pie in the face.”  Principal Robin Binion, Assistant Principal Chad Parkerson, and Media Specialist Elexis Griffin were the candidates who eventually tied and all got pies in their faces via live stream the following week.

Local authors like Jeff Lovett shared with various classes in the library his writings that he completed for his granddaughter. He talked to the students about why he chose to write and draw pictures. Lovett then started a story out loud and had the students add to it to create an even bigger story.

Over 60 community members volunteered to read at the school including local radio personalities, members of the 2023 State Champion Thomas County Central High School Yellow Jacket football team, TC Masquers Drama Club students, local business people, parents, and the one and only “Papa D” TCCHS Dean of Students Frank Delaney.

"To see the involvement of our community within our school on this day was such a fun experience for us all,” said Griffin. “The students enjoyed just getting to read and enjoy it.”

Sturrup award TCMS Sturrup wins state writing competition

Thomas County Middle School fifth-grade student Simeon Sturrup has been named the first-place 5th-grade winner at the state level for the 2024 Georgia National Fair Bear Creative Writing Competition.

The annual competition asks students to write a story about an American black bear who lived from 1980-1993 in Middle Georgia near the Georgia National Fairgrounds. The bear’s path often involved crossing 1-75 where it met its tragic death in 1993. It was immortalized as the Georgia National Fair’s mascot and has been the subject of their writing competition since 1994.

This year’s topic was “Fair Bear Visits the Fire Department” where students were asked to write a story about Fair Bear's day as a firefighter. Fair Bear was so excited to find out that he was able to visit his local fire department and spend a day in the life of a firefighter since this is something that he has always wanted to do! Students were to write about his experience and the exciting things that he learned from the firefighters as well as what he did during a typical day as a firefighter.

Sturrup, who is a student in Rena Crew’s language arts class, will receive $100.00 and tickets to The Georgia National Fair where he will be recognized. All grade-level first-place winners will compete for the Grand Prize, which will be announced at the fair during the ceremony. Crew will receive $150 to be used towards educational items in her classroom.

The winning essays can be found on the Georgia National Fair’s website at



FBLA TCCHS FBLA members advance to nationals; chapter performs well at state

Three Thomas County Central High School Future Business Leaders of America chapter members will showcase their skills in a national competition this summer.

Dev Patel, Manthan Patel and Kayla Carr won first place in their respective categories at the recent 2024 Georgia FBLA State Leadership Conference & Competition in Atlanta. Their first-place wins qualify them for the 2024 FBLA National Leadership Competition & Conference.

TCCHS FBLA Head Adviser Nick Haskin said the competition is fierce at the state level because the chapter competes against others with hundreds of members.

“For those chapters, FBLA is their ‘sport,’ FBLA is their ‘band,’ and they compete as such,” he said. “For Kayla Carr, Dev Patel, and Mann Patel to become state champions in such hard events, I am honored to be their adviser. What made them stand out was their preparedness. They were absolutely ‘locked in.’ There was a calm and confidence that spoke volumes to how prepared they were.”

Dev Patel, 17, and Manthan Patel, 16, brought home first place in the Website Coding and Development category. They designed a job application website for a local restaurant, St. James. The Patels surpassed the requirements: they discussed their plan with the restaurant’s owner and built a full website. 

They had to present a PowerPoint presentation at state, but nothing went as expected. The night before their event, the laptop with their presentation stopped working. The duo had to borrow a laptop and stay up most of the night to make another one.

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