- Parent Night for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will include information regarding Move On When Ready, Advanced Placement, college credit and how colleges view the MOWR credit vs. AP credit, weighted courses vs. non-weighted, and college entrance exams like SAT and ACT on Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the MacIntyre Auditorium.
- Parent Night for rising freshmen/current 8th graders will include information regarding high school credits vs. grades, which middle school grades will be on the high school transcript, how to figure student Grade Point Average (GPA), courses and End-Of Course assessments required by the Georgia Department of Education for graduation, and Georgia Career Pathways on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room.
- STUDENTS: Registration cards will be given out early to all parents who come to these information sessions. If your parent is unable to attend, registration cards will not be available to you until the Friday, March 31 before Spring Break! All registration cards are due upon returning from Spring Break. So, if you want a jump start on registration, then please make this a priority for a parent/guardian to attend with you!
- Do you need community service hours? Do you want to help the student body succeed? Or even just meet new people? Then peer tutoring may be for you! Peer tutoring will involve Scholars Academy students helping each other in order to succeed academically. Tutoring sessions will most likely be first come first serve, and will happen during lunch in the back area of the Bulldog Café. A sign up sheet for your name and subject area will be posted in the guidance office. Please see Mrs. Oldham if you are interested!
- For just $15 students 6-12 can purchase a baseball season pass and receive a free Bulldog Baseball tshirt!! Students with passes will be entered into a drawing to win Beats by Dr.Dre. by attending a baseball game. Each game attendance equals one more ticket to win headphones. Thanks for your support of Bulldog Baseball!!
- Middle school yearbooks are on sale. Please see Mrs. Bennett at the Scholars Academy or Ms. Williams at MacIntyre Park to purchase your yearbook. Click here for a FORM to order early and save - presale price is $25.00 and price will go up to $30.00 AFTER Spring Break.
- Prom will be April 14 at The Biscuit Company, and information brochures are in the front office. Download your Guest Application and your Prom King and Queen Application on the SA website on the DOCUMENTS page under Special Events Forms.
- FCA weekly meetings will be on TUESDAYS for the rest of the year in the Multipurpose Room.
- Go to CALENDAR for important upcoming events and the newly approved 2017-18 Thomasville City Schools Calendar.
- Go to the DOCUMENTS page in the "Academic Success" area to find a list of dates for high school End-of-Course (EOC) tests and Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
- Go to the ATHLETICS INFORMATION page to get current sports schedules.
- Videos from our September Math Curriculum Night, October English Curriculum Night, and November College Financial Aid Session are available HERE.
- Dr. Graham has set the expectation that each student should sell at least two THANKS tickets to help raise money for the school. This sale will take place through the 7th period classes, so see your 7th period teacher to get information about the businesses included on the discount card.
- Students may bring Box Tops for Education to their 6th period classes as we are starting a competition among the 6th period classes for this simple fundraiser.
- Go to the "Academic Success" area on the DOCUMENTS page to acces information about scholarships and SAT/ACT dates, fees, and locations.
- Students can check email for an opportunity to nominate their favorite teacher for Teacher of the Month.
- Students may take part in our attendance incentive for this year. There will be reward parties in the 4th nine weeks for students who meet the following criteria: 3 or fewer absences for the day (and 3 tardies = 1 absence!) and 80% or higher in each class.
- See Ms. Koch to determine if you have met the required minimum 20 hours per year of attendance at Scholars Academy. Excess hours do not carry over from year-to-year. You must meet this requirement in order to obtain your patch and seal at graduation. All other students should submit hours before the last day of school. Go to the COMMUNITY SERVICE page for more information.
- Please take a moment and read an important letter about setting up your preferences for Alert Solutions. Click HERE to download the letter and instructions.
- Please remember our PAWS guidelines for Scholars Academy behavior as you go about your day:
- Promote respect, Accept responsibility, Walk with purpose, and Show self-control.
Thomasville City Schools Rose City Strings Program middle school students traveled to Florida State University campus in the College of Music on Saturday, February 4, 2017 under the direction of Dr. Sally Hernandez and Colleen Manseau to compete in the American String Teacher Association North Florida String Festival. Twenty-five students attended, forming 8 groups and all were awarded Gold, the highest rating. Students performed duets, trios, and quartets in chamber groups for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards. The adjudicators were complimentary of each group and spent several minutes with each group as a coach to help them improve. Rose City Strings Program “gold-winning” entries were as follows: “Mairie’s Wedding/Romanza” - Armani Miller (violin), Amber Booker (violin), Logan Delarber (viola), and Aubrey Sawyer (cello); “The Skye Boat Song” - Azariah Hooks (violin), Clara Clifton, (viola), Alivia Corker (cello), and Carly House (violin); “America the Beautiful” - Sarah Harper (violin) and Sydney Jackson (violin); “Sagebrush Overture” - Hannah Robinson (violin), Jaron King (cello), and Ja’Lycia Ware (viola); “Swallowtail Jig” - Allie Bellamy (violin) and Patricia Robinson (violin); “La Russe” - Anne Martin Lutes (violin), Leah Brady (violin), Zachary Meeks (cello), and Nyriannah Forbes (viola); “Simple Gifts” - Karis Lane (violin) and Katey Harwood (violin); “William Tell Overture” - Will Cone (cello), Kameron Wallace (violin), and Macy Taylor (violin).
Jarrett Daniel, Peyton Miller, Thomas Butler, and the THS AFJROTC cadets dedicated a new flag at Thomasville City Scholars Academy at an early morning ceremony. Miller read the poem, "Old Glory," and THS trumpet player, Samuel Watts played "To the Colors" while members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes looked on. Also in attendance were Lt. Col. Stann McLeod, M. Sgt. Chad Smith, and Scholars Academy Director Dr. Dale Graham. The flag was provided by Woodmen of the World representative Judy Lane.
Thomasville City Scholars Academy and AIMS programs advanced 43 first place winners from their school-wide Thomasville Science and Engineering Fair to compete at the regional fair on February 10 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) resulting in their projects capturing 8 of the 22 slots for the state level competition.
The following regional winners Andrew Cannon Sam Carter, Winston Cornish, Clarke Finger, Addie Rinehart, Braxton Sizemore, Jocelyn Watson, Julianna Watson, and three alternates Clara Clifton, Mallory Fletcher, and Macy Taylor will travel to the University of Georgia in Athens on March 30-April 1 to compete in the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.
The school-level first place finalists who competed at the regional fair were as follows: 6th grade: Jon-Henry Ellis, Faith Fitzgerald, Andrew Cannon, Adelyne Welch, Katelyn Poole, Katherine Jones, Sofia Jimenez, Macy Taylor, Anne Martin, and Harris Jackson; 7th grade: Nicholas Hall, Matthew Lewis, Sam Carter, Andrew Geyer, Clarke Finger, Ben Yentzer, Sydney Deutsch, Austin Chastain, Jocelyn Watson and J.J. Williams; 8th grade: Juliana Watson, Reid Harbin, Carsyn Kelley, Mallory Fletcher, McKena Willis, William Rainey, David Lee Jordan, Christian Sadler, Maddie Rome and Clara Clifton; and 9th grade: Braxton Sizemore, Winston Cornish, Addie Rinehart, S.Welch & Felicity Tipton, Emily Dixon, Ryan Jones, Spear Celaya & Meta Ughetto, Jett Kiminas, Makayla Weeks, Haleigh Bass, and Eli Harbin.
Thomasville City Schools held their annual Science Fair on December 5th. Two Thomas County Central High School science teachers, two Thomas County Central Middle School science teachers, and three Thomas University professors were called upon to objectively judge the students’ work. The judges use a rubric that consists of five topics; creativity, scientific thought, thoroughness, skills, clarity of exhibit and display. Each topic has a description of what would earn a good grade on that section, and also what wouldn’t make as such a good of grade. All of the topics have grade points that range anywhere from 3 points, to 25 points in each section.
“Most winners who move on to regionals average about a 90 or higher on the rubric, because that makes it seem like an A test grade,” said science teacher Jonathan Ariail.
The Scholars Academy requires that a science fair project be completed once a year from every student, in grades 6th through the 9th.
“Doing science fair projects from the 6th to the 9th grade really taught me to think outside the box and look at world problems to choose a topic and when I chose a topic it taught me how to work efficiently for an accurate answer,” said student Peyton Wright.
The students have been working very diligently on this project since the beginning of the school year. Every so often the students would have to turn in checkpoint work to their teachers, to make sure that they were on the right track to finishing. The process was divided by five checkpoints throughout the semester.
“I think doing science fair helps students learn how to take more time on projects when they get older because science fair is such a long term project. A lot of projects these days are very short term and students do them very quickly without putting too much effort into them, but we hope science fair changes that,” said middle school and high school science teacher Christie Ariail.
by Peyton Wright
Thomasville City Scholars Academy middle school students won top honors in the regional and state Junior American Citizens’ “Our National Parks: 100 Years of Service to America” art and creative expression contest. Some state winners were also Southeast United States winners who will advance to the national level of competition.
In the Junior American Citizens contest, students can choose if they want to do art which includes: posters, stamp design, photo essay, or banner. Also they can do creative expression, which is a poem or short story, or community service.
Scholars Academy had the following regional contest winners: 6th grade Group 1 - (Stamp) Gus Novak, 1st place and Abbey Bennett, 2nd place; (Poem) Ella Grace Williams, 1st place; (Short Story) Jaidyn Wood, 1st place; and (Poster) Brantley Taylor, Honorable Mention. 6th grade Group 2 - (Poster) Jayden Singletary, 1st place; (Stamp) Carter Grace Crocker, 1st place and Leah Brady, 2nd place; (Poem) Benjamin Bundrick, 3rd place. 7th grade Group 1 - (Poster) Jocelyn Watson,1st place. 7th Grade Group 2 - (Banner) Ben Yentzer/Walt Moore, 1st place; (Poster) Skyy Stanley, 1st place and Arlisha Madison, 2nd place; (Stamp) Nicholas Hall, 1st place and Ethan Oberding, 2nd place; and (Poem) Emma Butler, 2nd place. 8th grade Group 1 - (Poster) Julianne Watson, 1st place; (Stamp) David Lee Jordan, 1st place; (Short Story) Karli Icard, 1st place and Lawson Brinkley, 2nd place; and (Poem) Clara Clifton, 1st place. 8th grade Group 2 - (Stamp) Maggie May, 1st place and Max Nicholson, 2nd place and Malorie Turnbull, 3rd place; (Poem) Caroline Hiers, 1st place and Jordan Bonar, 2nd place; (Short Story) Faith Ridley, 1st place; and (Short Story) Thomas Wilson, 2nd place.
First place regional winners went on to compete at the state level which resulted in the following state-level winners: (Banner) Ben Yentzer and Walt Moore; (Poster) Jayden Singletary, Jocelyn Watson, and Julianne Watson; (Stamp) Joseph Novak, Carter Grace Crocker, Nicholas Hall, David Lee Jordan, and Maggie May; (Poetry) Ella Grace Williams, Timothy Cordista, Clara Clifton, and Caroline Hiers; and (Short Story) Jaidyn Wood, Karli Icard, and Faith Ridley.
Five of these state winners were Southeastern United States winners who will advance to the National Junior American Citizen DAR Contest: (Banner) Ben Yentzer and Walt Moore, (Poster) Jayden Singletary and Jocelyn Watson, and (Poetry) Timothy Cordista and Caroline Hiers.
Compared to previous years when the JAC contest with divisions like poems, short stories, posters, stamps, and banners was only open to elementary students, Thomasville City Schools middle school students had the chance to win many awards.
“Since the students weren’t limited to only the essay contest, the amount of winners has increased a lot,” said social studies teacher Djuana Rinehart.
The teachers of these students are excited and proud of their winners.
“I’m very pleased with all my middle school students that won this contest,” said Rinehart.
Thomasville City Scholars Academy Science Olympiad high school team place 8th overall as they competed against 18 other teams at the region tournament held at Middle Georgia State University in Macon on Saturday, February 18.
Science Olympiad competitions consist of twenty-three different events that cover the areas of physics, earth science, biology, engineering, technology, chemistry and scientific inquiry. The competition involves a wide range of activities from identifying rock samples, to designing a computer game, to planning and running an experiment on the spot.
Christie Ariail has been coaching the middle and high school teams for the past six years at Scholars Academy. This year’s high school team was a mix of freshman and sophomore students, most of who had been competing for several years on the middle school team. Freshman team members are Winston Cornish, Emma Humphries, Cayden Hunt, Molly Novak, and Braxton Sizemore. Sophomore team members are Emily Dixon, LaTatyana Hadley, Keisha Patel, Olivia Sawyer, Claudia White, and Mason Wilson. The faculty members that ran the competition at MGSU were impressed with the abilities, performance, and success of the team since most of the other teams were made mostly up juniors and seniors.
“The students were thrilled with their success this year. They know that in the next few years, they will be a force to be reckoned with at this region competition!” said Ariail.
Ariail also said that the team knows that all of the work they put into competing at the middle school level the past 4 or 5 years really contributed to their success at the high school level.
Medals were awarded for 1st through 4th places: Keisha Patel and Olivia Sawyer won 1st place in Forensics, Emily Dixon and Molly Novak won 3rd place in Astronomy, and Claudia White and Mason Wilson won 4th place in Remote Sensing.
Ribbons are awarded for 5th through 10th places. Molly Novak and Claudia White won 5th place in Ecology. Braxton Sizemore and Winston Cornish won 7th place in Rocks and Minerals. Emily Dixon and Keisha Patel won 7th place in Write It / Do It. Olivia Sawyer and Mason Wilson won 8th place in Chemistry Lab. LaTatyana Hadley and Claudia White won 8th place in Materials Science. Molly Novak and Mason Wilson won 9th place in Disease Detectives. Emma Humphries and Braxton Sizemore won 9th place in Invasive Species. Emma Humphries and Cayden Hunt won 9th place in Optics. Emma Humphries and Cayden Hunt won 9th place in Wind Power. LaTatyana Hadley, Molly Novak, and Braxton Sizemore won 10th place in Experimental Design. And, LaTatyana Hadley and Claudia White won 10th place in Hydrogeology.
“We entered 18 events this year, and we placed in 14 of them. I cannot wait to see what this team does next year!” Ariail said. For more information about Thomasville Science Olympiad, visit her school webpage at cariail841.weebly.com.
by Pilar Jones
Edward Freeman, Thomasville High School 2017 Senior Class President, is keeping his successful streak flowing as he has been accepted to join the Disney Dreamers Academy held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida with Steve Harvey and sponsored by Essence Magazine.
Freeman received the news in early December through a package sent by the Disney Dreamers Academy which is an organization which inspires high school students to dream big and helps them earn the opportunity to give those dreams a head start. One hundred of the selected high school seniors will be attending a four day event where they will interact with multiple actors and speakers such as Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, Terrence J, and many more!
Freeman decided to apply for this program after several of his older peers told him about it and insisted that it's something that he should look into for his senior year. The application included writing a 600 word essay. In the application, the readers look for intellectually curious minds and compassionate, courageous young leaders. They feel that whoever is selected has a positive outlook on life, dreams about his or her future, and takes advantage of available resources while remaining grateful and humble, which are all qualities that Freeman has.
After receiving the news that he was accepted out of several thousand applicants, he cherished that moment as a great one.
“It was a great moment. I thank God because it was surreal that I was chosen as one of the top 100 essayists,” expressed Freeman.
From this experience, he is pretty excited to be meeting many new students like himself that are inspired to be successful and flourish in society. He hopes to create new friendships and a better understanding of being successful during and after his college years.
Freeman continued, “I think that it will be an awesome opportunity for me to meet with top leaders in the nation and just meeting like-minded individuals that are leaders and go-getters and want to inspire others to be better. It’s truly a great opportunity and I’ll be meeting people that are okay with their uniqueness and what makes us dreamers and leaders. I hope to get a greater inspiration and a greater focus for me to achieve my dreams and most importantly dreaming big. I think that it will cause me to dream bigger when I attend the program.”
Freeman has proven himself to be a true scholar after receiving several college offers and also ended his high school career by being named Thomasville High School Homecoming King of 2016-2017.
Student Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 Scholarship
Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue announced that Thomasville City Scholars Academy senior Jacob Cone is one of two students who have been selected as delegates to the 55th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 4 — 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Cone was chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 55th annual Washington Week.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is "to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world."
Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.
Jacob Cone attends Thomasville High Scholars Academy has served as the School Council president. Jacob has attended the state of Georgia's Center for Civic Engagement’s Youth Assembly Conference each of his years in high school, and is a member of Georgia’s Superintendent Student Advisory Council. He is an Eagle Scout and has been the huddle leader of his high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 2013. Jacob plans to pursue an undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs. He hopes to attend law school and pursue his interest in lobbying for veterans' affairs and agriculture, and eventually represent rural Southern Georgia in the political arena.
Delegates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The Chief State School Officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Georgia delegates and alternates were designated by Mr. Richard Woods, Georgia's School Superintendent.
While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,500 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are Senator Susan Collins, the first delegate to be elected to the Senate; Senator Cory Gardner, the first delegate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the second to be elected to the Senate; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, and former presidential advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, former President of the Progressive Policy Institute Robert Shapiro, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.
Members of the U. S. Senate Youth Program 2017 annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Senator Roger F. Wicker of Mississippi, Republican Co-Chair; Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Democratic Co-Chair; Bipartisan Senate Advisory Members: Senators Bill Cassidy MD (R-LA), Joni K. Ernst (R-IA), James M. Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT) and Jon Tester (D-MT). Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders.
by Emma Bosman
Thomasville City Scholars Academy Senior Ornament Night on December 7th gave the Class of 2017 a chance to share with their fellow classmates a representation of themselves by decorating an ornament and putting it on the tree in the Bulldog Café.
Seniors look forward to this every year. It’s one of the big moments just for them. They plan their ornament carefully making sure it's exactly what they want. Even though some are very extravagant, all of them stand out and show the students’ uniqueness.
Some leaned to the comical side by deciding to make an ornament that related to their funny personality. Others created something beautiful and artistic, and still others bought an ornament and added a few things to it that still expressed a serious symbol of themselves.
Senior Ornament Night helps the seniors come togeher in one room to celebrate each other and learn more about their peers. It is a chance for them to have their own little Christmas celebration and share their creativity with their classmates before they graduate.
One of the ornaments that was very unique was one of a snowflake with 12 points and each one had a picture from that year that the student had been in school. Another student had a passport, but inside it was herself photoshopped into the places she wanted to go. One senior decorated a tiny hand mirror and explained how his years at Scholars Academy helped him to see his “real” self.
Another featured a clear ornament filled with the student’s favorite snack (goldfish) complete with a tiny hammer to break the glass in case of a snack emergency. Depictions of favorite sports, cars, hobbies, and memories filled the tree as the parents took in the bittersweet site of their children and classmates growing up before their eyes.
While presenting his or her ornament, each student answered the same question: Where will you be in 10 years? Answers ranged from specific career paths in medicine, law, and communication to funny answers that embraced the unknown ahead of them.
Senior Guidance Counselor Karen Bryan has been involved in Senior Ornament Night since it since it was suggested by Director Dr. Dale Graham during the second year of the Scholars Academy. Bryan always looks forward to picking the students out of the crowd to put their ornament on the tree. She hopes that the students get a sense of tradition. She loves the ornaments that people have put a lot of thought into and show their individuality.
“The friendly atmosphere and good laughs make it a great thing to do at the seniors’ start of the leaving process,” said Bryan.
Dr. Graham loves tradition especially at Christmas time, and this one is perfect to kick off all the senior activities. Even though the plan is the same every year, the one thing Dr. Graham can't control is how the students react. Some laugh and others cry; it's always different. In years past she has loved seeing the artistic ones but has also loved the student who used a 7Up can filled with tardy notes to make his mark. Dr. Graham hopes the students have good memories and had a fun time.
“It's a good chance for them to reflect on today, yesterday, and tomorrow,” added Dr. Graham.
Once their ornaments have been hung on the tree for the rest of the school to see, the other students love finding their older friends’ ornaments and they learn how other people see themselves. The last student brought forth a rolled up piece of paper, but inside there was a simple and beautiful poem about being a senior and finding the right fit at Scholars Academy that brought a close to the night.
by Johanna Wegner
Thomasville City Scholars Academy students learned about the workings of the Georgia state government at the Youth Assembly (YA) from November 13-15 in Atlanta with discussing current state issues with state administrators, elected officials, and students from other high schools.
Each year, YA is led by students elected the previous year to office by the delegates. Volunteers and State YMCA staff help guide the students through committee meetings and procedures. Students debate and vote on the bills that their delegates have written and presented. Bills that pass in committee are then taken to the floor of the House or Senate for full debate and vote.
Thirty-five Scholars Academy students participated with assistance of Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History, AP World History, and AP Psychology teacher Erin White. They learned more about government beyond their 9th grade American Government classes, and they met and worked together with students from across the state.
Senior Jacob Cone said, “I always learn more about the government and how awesome the people and students across the state are as they write bills.”
Scholars Academy delegates participated and competed successfully. Claudia White won an award for Best Bill, John West was elected Speaker of the House for the 2017 Youth Assembly, and Jacob Cone won Outstanding Statesman for being the best debater and for having the outstanding bill.
Cone and West want to be involved in politics when they grow up, and for them YA is a great opportunity.
Cone said, “It showed me how much I love doing YA and being able to debate and write legislation.”
Junior Alexa Hernandez also thinks that the experiences from the YA will have an impact on her future.
“It gives me a better understanding of how government works and how I can contribute to it and not just be a bystander and let things happen,” said Hernandez.
White thinks that the experiences from YA help students to focus their ideas, to do some research about a position, to list pros and cons, and to practice speaking in front of people.
“These kids are interviewing for scholarships, appointments, and jobs. At YA they have to explain what they think about something and talk about it logically in a way to get their idea across to someone else so that they can understand it,” said White.
But besides all the good memories, there are also controversial topics during the debates. Students learn to listen to the arguments of others.
West said, “A bad memory is whenever you say something that people don't agree with and they have facts to back up their opinion and they discredit you…because you are wrong.”
West is really excited about being Speaker of the House at the Youth Assembly 2017.
“Next fall is going to be my favorite year at Youth Assembly ever,” said West.
Cone said, “The Youth Assembly is a great opportunity for every high school student that wants to go, it is always a great opportunity to learn more about government and just to have a lot of fun.”
by Meta Ughetto
Thomasville Scholars Academy 9th graders in Jamie Gammel’s class went beyond merely labeling the parts of a cell and elevated their thinking by connecting cell parts and functions with real-life, non-scientific organizations.
Students were to come up with a three dimensional analogy to demonstrate their understanding of the parts of a eukaryotic cell, its functions, and ways the parts work together to sustain the cell’s life process by choosing a system to which they compared the eukaryotic cell. An example would be a restaurant. As an analogy, it would look like the cook makes the food and ribosomes make the proteins; so the cook would be labeled as a ribosome.
Addie Rinehart and Kelsey Harper chose to do a farm.
“A farm analogy stood out to me because different parts of a cell work together like animals on a farm work together to get things done and make food,” said Rinehart.
Cells are the basic units of life and life forms that we are most familiar with. The most basic characteristic a cell can contain is DNA and ribosomes inside of a semipermeable cell membrane. In addition, there are two major divisions of cell types: prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus while prokaryotic cells do not.
Muriel Sarabia and Kaitlyn Jackson did a beehive for their analogy,
“We chose a beehive because just like a cell, bees work together to carry out a task they all benefit from,” said Sarabia.
Students were expected to include the nucleus, cell membrane, rough endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus, ribosomes, mitochondria, protein, nucleolus, cell wall, and central vacuole.
Nik von Hellens included these cell parts in his analogy of the Dallas Cowboys football team.
“I believe a cell works like a football team with different people doing different tasks so that something can be produced. For a football team that is a win and for a cell it is protein,” von Hellens said.
“The project helped me to get a better understanding of the cell because focusing on the cell’s functions and addressing it in a 3D project gave me a better hands-on perspective of how a cell works and carries out its tasks,” said Sarabia.
In 7th grade at Scholars Academy, Life Science students do a similar but simpler project where they create a 3D cell which teaches them only the structure and function of a cell.
Gammel said, “In 9th grade we took it a step further by doing an analogy so that they have to actually demonstrate their understanding about what parts of the cell do and what it does in the system.”
by Pilar Jones
Thomasville City Scholars Academy faculty and students are ready to spread joy with their second annual “A Visit With Santa” from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 10 in the MacIntyre Park Auditorium.
The event is a fundraiser for the multitude of arts and academic activities that are an integral part of the dynamic offerings of the school system. The talents of the students will be showcased from the strings and drama departments to the Key Club and Builders Club and science project achievements. Academic teachers will offer their time by educating students on how Christmas is celebrated around the world and by assisting children in writing letters to Santa.
Desirée Celaya, Scholars Academy teacher, explains how parents will have the opportunity to purchase homemade cakes from the Scholars Boosters Bake Sale.
“The cakes are for purchase and can be enjoyed or frozen for later in the holidays and represent the families’ grassroots commitment to their children’s education,” said Celaya.
Other activities include stencil printing with the art teachers, mixing bags of reindeer food, and coloring pages for the younger visitors. Lego League has a new activity table and the Peer Leadership students have come up with new games for visitors to enjoy: Candy Cane Fishing, Pin the Nose on the Snowman, and Snowball Fight!
Along with the interactive activities, there has been a new addition called “Christmas Around the World.” This table will highlight how Christmas is celebrated internationally through middle school students’ designs of unique ornaments that reflect customs and traditions around the world.
Seventh grade social studies teacher Susanne Boykins-Rome discussed how the cultural display makes this visit more exceptional.
“It’s a special time of the year for love and to celebrate each other's unique ways,” said Boykins-Rome.
Visitors will also be able to view a full display of judged science projects at the Thomasville City Schools Science and Engineering Fair in the Multipurpose Room.
Science Fair Coordinator Jonathan Ariail contends that having science fair projects on display for the community allows visitors to see students’ real, hands-on science experiments.
“Displaying the projects also showcases the wide range of interests and talents of our students,” said Ariail.
As children enter the auditorium to visit Santa, the Rose City Strings classes will be playing from the balcony dressed in their favorite Christmas fashions. Their music will fill the auditorium with classic Christmas carols such as “Wizards in Winter,” “Carol of the Bells/ Greensleeves,” and “Sleigh Ride.” Not only will they be playing their strings instruments, but the 6th grade part of the department will be singing along to the music being played by the older students. Director Dr. Sally Hernandez was thrilled about the compliments of last year’s performance and feels that it will be more successful this year.
“We all had a lot of fun on the balcony and were pleased to hear that the people thought it was a recording playing!” expressed Dr. Hernandez.
Other musical guests include a student-formed independent band called “Stringonometry.”
Students from the drama and dance classes will offer photo opportunities and fun interactions with the characters from Frozen, The Grinch, magical sugarplum fairies, and lively reindeer.
Just as last year, children can enjoy ‘Storytime with Mrs. Claus’ and ‘Letters to Santa’ with English teacher Dawn Hunnewell -- with a special reminder that the letters to Santa must be taken home by each child so that Santa will receive them from the correct address.
The Scholars Academy faculty and staff are excited to show what they have to offer for the community and hope that the turnout will be even bigger and better.
“We hope that there will be even more people from of our community participating so that they can see that our volunteers enjoy the event as much as the visitors,” expressed Celaya.
“It’s nice seeing the kids all excited as they come in ready to visit Santa. I feel like this year will be even better knowing that we’ll have more to offer and that will be a plus for the children,” added Gina Bennett, Key Club Sponsor.
Admission is $10 per child and $5 for each additional child. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
by Hallie Turner
Students at Scholars Academy and THS took the initiative to make space in their closets by donating their used, but clean, winter clothing items to those in need through the Scholars Academy Peer Leadership class through from November 10 - December 2.
A whopping 700 pieces of clothing were donated to the Salvation Army.
The group accepted all sizes: babies-adults. Contributions were dropped in the donation boxes around Scholars Academy and THS. Items that were donated included: coats, gloves, jackets, socks, hats, pants, scarves, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and blankets.
Sophomore Louis Carter and Alexis Gresham coordinated the Winter Clothing Drive.
“We came up with the idea of a clothing drive because we knew it was going to be getting cold soon and some dont have the access to clothing like others do. Helping the community is extremely important to me so I wanted to help by giving back,” said Gresham
Through his initial study of leadership in the the class, Carter has learned about perseverance, determination, and kindness.
“I love supporting my community and being able to give to those who are not as fourtinuate as others,” said Carter.
Peer Leadership consists of 20 students under the supervision of Farran Burnette, who also teaches World History, U.S. History, and Advanced Placement Government. The students create and execute their own projects with the guidance of their teacher.
“This workshop class stems from the belief that there is a need to provide high school students with training in becoming proficient in human relations and leadership skills,” said Burnette.
Senior Jacob Cone said, “It takes someone to go to the back of the line, serve, and do the dirty work in order for people to see what they’re doing and follow them.”
The Peer Leadership skills include but are not limited to interpersonal and intrapersonal communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, group facilitation, and understanding diversity.
The purpose of this class is to provide a variety of school and community services which will increase students’ self-awareness, improve their ability to communicate effectively, and encourage exploration of their leadership potential.
by Parker Zolt
A head to head battle of flag football between Thomasville High School students and faculty on Friday, October 21 at Veterans Memorial Stadium was organized and carried out by the Scholars Academy Peer Leadership class.
The game consisted of two, twenty minute halves with a continuous clock that never stopped except for touchdowns and the two minute warnings. A fifteen minute halftime was allowed to help the players regroup and refocus. The halftime show also housed a competition between teachers and students as they participated in a relay race.
In order to allow equal and fair playing time for both genders, 5 girls and 4 boys had to take a stand on the field. As expected, the game was full of laughs and friendly trash talk between the opposing players. Having girls participate was a game changer since there had to be more girls on the field than boys.
“To be completely honest, I’m a girl and don't know much about football, but, I just love to watch it, so now that I’ve played flag football I now have a better understanding of the individual roles of each player,” said senior Hallie Turner.
The girls were given the opportunity to play a game that is better known as a “man’s sport” and showed them something new. Although adding girls changed the perspective, having teachers relive their glory days also had a major role in this game.
“At the end of the day, win or lose, I just hope to hear my ball players tell me that I still have it,” laughed THS Baseball Head Coach Erik McDougald.
The teachers took the W home, crushing their students’ egos, with the final score of 14-6. Both of the faculty touchdowns were scored by PE teacher and Assistant Baseball Coach Brice Warner and a two point conversion was scored by social studies and Peer Leadership teacher, Farran Burnette.
“I had a lot of fun! Even though we lost, it was still fun to be out there with my teachers and to watch them play,” said junior Jared Smith.
Spectators paid $5 to get into the game helping to raise over $800 to help a greater cause: Christmas toys for kids at Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Toys bought will depend on the age group of the kids and will be hand-delivered by a few members of the Peer Leadership class during the Christmas season.
The student/faculty game was just a preview to the student-only Powder Puff game, coming later this school year. The Powder Puff game is a roles-reversed football game where the girls get to show off their athletic talent while the boys are on the sidelines cheering them on.
Congratulations to the 2016 Sadie Hawkins representatives: 6th grade, Myla Still and Austin Willis; 7th grade, Sadie Norman and John Murphy Singletary; and 8th grade, Logan Delarber and Max Nicholson. Ms Rinehart would like to say a huge thank you to all the parents, faculty, and students who pitched in to make the Sadie Hawkins Night a wonderful success. After the middle schoolers danced 'under the oak,' the setting changed as Scholars Academy high school students gathered for karaoke, s'mores, and corn hole as they longed to reminisce about their Sadie Hawkins years in middle school.
by Johanna Wegner
Scholars Academy students with an appreciation for our earth are taking action by helping the environment and fellow human beings in their creation of E.A.R.T.H. Club.
Seniors Malyce Collins and Cherie Pace, with the help of Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher Jonathan Ariail, are the two students who felt that the school and community were in need of such type of club.
“I felt that maybe starting a club would be able to raise awareness that the environment and other people need help,” said Collins.
E.A.R.T.H. stands for Environmental Awareness and Relief Touching Humanity.
The E.A.R.T.H. Club is planning ways to put their ideas into practice with involvement in projects that are environmentally focused and one focused on more humanitarian issues.
For now, their main focus is a project called “Operation Christmas Child.” Members of E.A.R.T.H Club and Rotary Interact Club have partnered with each other to bring, fill and wrap boxes with toys for children in Africa, who don't have the privilege to get Christmas presents. To raise money for the shipping, the E.A.R.T.H Club members will host a bake sale.
Another project is called “Hands and Hearts for Horses.” This is a therapeutic riding program aimed at helping people with mental and physical disabilities through horseback riding. E.A.R.T.H Club has decided to volunteer there. On October 29, they attended a training session, where they learned how to properly lead horses, help the riders get on and off the horse, as well as how to stabilize the rider.
In addition to participating in existing charitable organizations, the E.A.R.T.H. Club will initiate some of their own projects to advance their cause. They are planning on doing one special activity each day of the week of Earth Day in April dedicated to helping the environment. At the end of the week, the club would like to host an entire fair to highlight Earth Day.
To help the environment, the club is planning also to plant at least one tree Thomasville City Schools campuses, but they are still searching for a fundraiser in order to purchase the trees.
Pace stated that the major goal of the E.A.R.T.H. Club is to look beyond the present and to see how actions today affect everyone on Earth in the future.
“So by participating in these projects and helping out, we are raising that awareness and creating a legacy that will continue hopefully after we are gone,” said Cherie Pace.
Collins and Pace also learned that creating a club, getting people together, and planning things to do is not easy.
“This is a lot of work, but it is worth it,” said Collins.
To participate in the E.A.R.T.H. Club it is important to have dedication to people and to the environment and to be motivated to help.
Collins added, “It is important to not just do things for getting a reward for it, but doing it to be able to help people and make a difference in the lives of others.”
Students interested in participating in the E.A.R.T.H. Club should go to an E.A.R.T.H. Club meeting on Thursdays after school in Ariail’s classroom.
by Emma Bosman - Student Wtriter
Thomasville City Schools Drama Program students have been named One Act Play Region 1-AA Champions for the fourth time in six years under the direction of Scholars Academy drama teacher Casey Dyksterhouse. After a community performance on November 10 at 7:00 p.m in the MacIntyre Auditorium, they will return to Milledgeville, Georgia where they aim to capture back-to-back State Champion titles at the GHSA One Act Play Competition.
The cast of “Peter/Wendy” produced an amazing ensemble performance and also racked up individual acting awards. Morgan Savatgy won Best Actress, Matthew Cline won Best Actor. And Mathew Whetsell won Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
“Peter/Wendy is a part of your childhood in that we all read or were read the story of Peter Pan when we were little. So it's a touch of childhood with a modern twist,” said Dyksterhouse.
When most people hear the names Peter or Wendy, they think of Disney's version of it: happy endings, fun, and adventure. Author Jeremy Bloom’s amazing and exciting version of the story is different. This show for starters is modeled more from the character originally created by Scottish playwright and novelist J.M. Barrie instead of Disney's. It’s darker and more abstract. It shows another side of Peter Pan and how it is unsettling that a person can't or even won't grow up.
Dyksterhouse was inspired to choose the play by Scholars Academy graduate India Jane Grimsley who now goes to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and is pursuing a degree in theatre. Grimsley did the show at Northwestern University over the summer at a camp, and she thought it would be perfect for the drama program. Dyksterhouse read it and saw all the potential in it. Grimsley even found the time to come back to teach them “how to fly” and do big stunts.
The lead roles are be played by sophomores Zack Artz (Peter Pan) and Morgan Savatgy (Wendy). Both agree that being in a lead role in the 10th grade can be scary at times, but they're excited to try to go and get another win for their school. Peter and Wendy’s characters are required to simulate flying and “walking the plank” only with the assistance of their fellow cast members’ lifts and movement. Savatgy knows that the success of the show depends on her overcoming her fears of being dropped by her fellow cast members.
“There are things you have to do in theater even if you don't want to, but you do it because of the love of theater,” said Savatgy.
Aside from their obvious goal to win, there are many small goals that they hope to accomplish for themselves and each other.
“My goal for the cast is for each and every one of them to learn to truly work as an ensemble, to learn how to trust one another, and to learn how to put differences aside to feel like one,” said Dyksterhouse.
The group has been in full swing with practices every weekend and most school days since the first few weeks of the school year. They have been constantly working on teamwork and trust. They do teamwork games and exercises before rehearsal to help with that.
There are a few big stunts that involve everyone being one and working together.
In addition to goals for themselves, they also have intentions for their audience. They hope that it will bring them joy and laughter but also make them think. They hope to make their school proud and to show them what they can do and how much work they put into the show.
Some seniors have taken on leadership roles. On the account of this show being a very physical one, Meredith Pearce helps with warm ups to make sure they don't get hurt.
”I try to help everyone be active and focus on what they need to be doing,” said Pearce.
Allison Wheeler helps with warming up their voices with small vocal exercises and doing tongue twisters. Kelly Long is the stage manager in the show and is always ready to help with what is needed. She does the Lost Boys’ hair, helps the crew, and times the show every run through. Finally they help with setting a good example backstage and in life being by someone the others can look up to.
After their big win as 2015 GHSA One Act State Champions with their performance of “Into the Woods,” they are under an immense amount of pressure to win again.
“After achieving something that great, it is almost expected from everyone which can be scary,” said Dyksterhouse.
Even if they don't win Dyksterhouse says as long as they have a lot of energy and have a thrilling performance she will still be proud of them. They want to prove that they are continuing the tradition of theatrical excellence even though some extremely talented actors graduated last year. This year they will be stepping into that same competition, and they want to leave with a State Championship trophy.
Drama Assistant Jessica Lewis hopes that the actors learn to take constructive criticism and turn it into a positive thing. Lewis shares Dyksterhouse’s positive priority that surpasses any trophy or title.
“No matter what I hope they have a good time and enjoy it; this is the time for them to have the time of their lives,”said Lewis.
There are some students who set the bar. They work harder, show more passion and lead by example—in the classroom, on the field and within the community. Today, Wendy’s High School Heisman recognizes Maggie Davis and Ryan Owens from Thomasville City Scholars Academy and their dedication to never cutting corners by naming them School Winners.
“These students are known by their teachers and friends for their commitment to excellence. We are excited and honored that a program like Wendy’s High School Heisman is also recognizing their hard work,” said Dr. Dale Graham, Scholars Academy Director.
Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have been running the same play to perfection: honoring more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed students. This year, Wendy’s will celebrate the accomplishments of thousands of the best high school seniors, awarding winners in five phases.
School Winners will receive a School Winner certificate and a Wendy’s High School Heisman Patch.
For more information or to track a student’s progress through the competition, please visit www.WendysHeisman.com.
The Wendy's High School Heisman was created by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Dave Thomas dropped out of high school when he was 15 years old in order to work full-time and went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. While this nontraditional path led to his prosperity, it always worried Dave that others would follow in his footsteps and expect to achieve similar fame and wealth by not finishing high school or attending college.
Faced with this dilemma, at 61 years old, Dave enrolled at Coconut Creek High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and received his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Inspired by this moment and with a desire to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, he launched the Wendy's High School Heisman program.
Twenty-two years later, Wendy's High School Heisman has honored more than 600,000 of the nation's most esteemed high school seniors who share Wendy's values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.
The Wendy's High School Heisman is a joint program between Wendy's and the Heisman Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy®.
Thomasville City Schools and the City of Thomasville will host a tailgate in MacIntyre Park to give community members a chance to experience the park and express their ideas for the park’s redesign. A tailgate dinner and activities will take place from 5:30-7 pm on Friday, Oct. 28, just before the Bulldogs play Brooks County at the adjacent Thomasville High School Stadium.
Students have designed fun and educational activities for the kids, such as Plant Identification Bingo, boat races in the creek, and a challenge course around the playground. A $5 per plate hotdog dinner will support Scholars Academy Peer Leadership program and the Odyssey of the Mind teams.
Over 170 students in the schools have participated in a comprehensive park study and park awareness campaign. An exhibit called “The Park Is Our Classroom” will feature student work on a big yellow school bus in the park during the tailgate. Professional designers from the Citizens’ Institute for Rural Design team will also display their preliminary sketches and ideas for a redesign of the park.
Scholars Academy science teacher Jamie Gammel and English teacher Dawn Hunnewell have been involved in the MacIntyre Park project for the past three years. This year, their fifth grade Enriching Gifted and Talented Students (EGATS) have researched the history and studied the ecology of the park in preparation for naming the creeks running through the park.
“Fascinated during the presentation of Amelia Gallo of the Thomasville Historical Society, the students learned about the history of Bruce’s Branch-- the only named creek in the park-- and the tragic death of Dr. Bruce as he crossed the creek,” said Jamie Gammel. “They used that history as an impetus to research other aspects of Thomas County history and propose names for the creek.”
One group proposed the name “Hero’s Creek” after researching the deaths of some of our city’s war heroes, including Thomasville natives US Navy Senior Chief David McLendon and US Army Spc. Shannon Chihuahua who died combat in Afghanistan in 2010. The class also proposed a memorial for local fallen soldiers.
Georgia History teacher Djuana Rinehart’s class have also taken up the challenge to name the creeks. Her classes have made videos to promote their proposed creek names.
“We now have the largest collection of information on the MacIntyre family in the city. We dug deep and went just about everywhere-- from the genealogical library, the Thomas County Historical Society, the Internet-- to get a full history of our city and the park,” Rinehart said.
The public will have a chance to vote on students’ proposed creek names at the Tailgate, as well as the wrap-up event on Saturday, Oct. 29.
“We are fortunate to have the park right next door to us. Both history and science classes, along with some of our arts classes, use it and this project showed how we can all come together to improve the places we love,” Rinehart said.
-Written with reporting assistance by Hallie Turner, a senior at Scholars Academy
The THS Marching Bulldogs CLEANED HOUSE on Saturday, October 15 at the Battle on the Border competition in Valdosta, GA. Not only did they receive Best in Class, but also Best in Division (over 8 other bands from across 3 different states). They also earned Superior ratings and Best in Class for percussion, the THS Twirlers, and the Red Hots dance line.
Thomasville High School Marching Band is combining five years’ philosophies to perform in various settings as Director Joe Regina adds a pregame show to the traditional halftime show agenda as well as more exhibitions, competitions, and parade appearances.
Regina and band members intend to positively influence the entire crowd and football team with their pregame performances of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“We are playing more pregame music to get the audience pumped prior to kickoff, which also helps get the football team pumped up,” said Regina.
Five years of experience and relationships with Regina and band members account for expansion and diversity in every performance the band plans to execute this year. Regina commented that one benefit of his five year tenure as the band’s director is that he has developed great relationships with students.
In previous years, the band has chosen an “either/or” path when referring to a focus on exhibition or parade performances. Instead, this year the band relies on experience to dominate on field performances so that they can participate in both parades and exhibition events to a balanced extent.
Exhibitions and competitions in Cairo and Valdosta along with THS Homecoming, Thomasville Christmas, and Cairo Christmas parades are just some of their engagements beyond weekly football games.
The traditional football halftime show excites the crowd this year as “The Sound of the Pound” plays “A Tribute to Stevie Wonder” and adds a unique twist with a bass guitar player.
Stevie Wonder songs including “Sir Duke,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” “Superstition,” and “Higher Ground” are followed up by the THS fight song “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Since 2012 Regina and the marching band have featured current hits from Rhianna and Lady Gaga, a tribute to Motown, the music of jazz greats like Nina Simone and Cab Calloway, and the Broadway hit The Lion King. He feels confident about his annual choices.
“As time goes on they begin to know the composer or music I choose … they always love the music I choose,” commented Regina on the band’s interest in the halftime show theme.
In addition to the music and movement from the band, twirlers and dance line members finish out the action-packed performance.
Twirling Captain LaTatyna Hadley emphasized the importance of the fire-twirling during halftime shows to retain the audience’s attention. Hadley added that the Red Hots dance line helps motivate the twirlers to perform to the best of their abilities. The two groups combine their talents on some of the numbers to create a synchronized extravaganza.
The dance line has also evolved over the past five years by adding a younger “Dance Dawgs” team as they build on the experienced dancers in leadership positions.
“I try to look back on the past years and see what the leaders have done right or maybe not so well, trying to make changes and focus on the team being a family rather than merely the dance aspect,” reflected senior Sydney Ellen Rawlings, one of the Red Hots Captains.
Rawlings added that after learning the fundamentals of a particular craft, experience and relationships push the entire unit beyond its potential.
“It’s been really fun and I’m sad to see that it’s almost over,” added Rawlings.
Senior Band Co-Captain Robert Gloster has also enjoyed his leadership role, “I learned some valuable leadership skills from certain students and learned to lead by example.”
Thomasville High School Scholars Academy senior Asa Harbin has been named as a Semifinalist in the 62nd, 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program presenting him with an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.
Harbin has spent the last six years of his life working hard in the rigorous Scholars Academy curriculum and likes being successful in anything that he attempts. He attributes that success to his peer group.
“I tend to surround myself with people who try their hardest at all of the things that they do, so being successful is just a by-product of that,” said Harbin.
The nationwide pool of 16,000 Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in each state. About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Harbin also acknowledged that he is fortunate to enjoy learning.
“I know everyone doesn’t. Sitting in class isn’t always fun, but adding to the things that you know because of what you learned in those classes is a neat process,” said Harbin.
Harbin has also learned some things about the value of hard work and that a little preparation goes a long way.
“You reach a point when success can’t just stem from your natural abilities. A hard worker goes past those abilities that they have been given,” said Harbin.
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
With the majority of Harbin’s high school resume-building experiences behind him, he offered advice to younger students just entering the formative years of middle and high school.
“Pick a few things that matter and focus on those. Even though you’re supposed to try lots of things when you are in middle and high school, you might end up with not much to show for it,” added Harbin.
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2017 will be announced in nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. The scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.
Peer Leadership has been working on designing a shirt for our "Pink Out" football game on Friday, October 7. Since raising awareness for breast cancer is something the students feel strongly about, they have also scheduled a "Pink Out" day for October 21. This way there is an opportunity to wear the shirt to the game next Friday and to work/school on the 21st. The design is simple with the idea that purchasers can wear it every year. A percentage of the proceeds will go to those fighting breast cancer. The cost of the shirt is $10.
There are limited quantities, so please email Mrs. Burnette (email@example.com) to tell her that you would like one and what size. Checks should be made payable to Scholars Academy PL. The shirts will arrive during Fall Break, so Mrs. Burnette and some Peer Leadership students will set up in front of the fieldhouse from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7 for those who would like their t-shirt for the game that night. If you are not buying the shirt specifically for the game, then your shirt will be available when we return from Fall Break. You can pay before the game, the Monday after Fall Break, or you can go ahead and pay Mrs. Burnette now. Either way is fine. Anyone is welcome to purchase a shirt! These are not just for students and staff.
Thomasville City Scholars Academy students learned the value of exercising their right to vote in a school-wide mock election called “Your Voice = Your Vote” hosted by the social studies department and the Peer Leadership seniors on Friday, September 23.
Scholars Academy Director Dr. Dale Graham kicked off the events of the day at the morning assembly for seventh through twelfth grader and introduced Farran Burnette Scholars Academy Advanced Placement American Government teacher who stressed the importance of voting and explained the format of the mock election. In addition to casting a Republican, Democrat, or Independent ballot on an actual voting machine with their social studies classes in the Multipurpose Room; students traveled through educational stations that explained the Secretary of State’s website and the steps necessary to register to vote.
Dr. Graham introduced the three speakers and wisely added, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain!”
The variety of speakers included: Jacob Cone, Scholars Academy senior and Secretary of State Student Ambassador; Michael Bryan, representative from Congressman Sanford Bishop’s office; and Frank Scoggins, Thomas County Elections Supervisor.
Cone began his address by expressing his excitement about the school-wide event and his own impending ability as an 18-year-old to vote in the general election this year. He mentioned the times before he turned 18 that people asked him why he cares because he couldn’t vote anyway. He reiterated that he cares deeply and that he has looked forward to his 18th birthday to exercise his right to vote.
Cone quoted Lyndon B. Johnson when he said, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”
Cone listed several reasons why one should exercise his or her right to vote such as: voting in honor of those who do not have the right, voting to prove wrong those who may think that the youth of today are lazy and apathetic, and voting so that other people are not making choices for them.
Lastly, Cone asked the students to imagine what our forefathers would think about ignoring the right to vote after they fought the control of a monarchy, what Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton would think if they saw millennial women staying home on election day, or what African American leaders of the 1940’s would think of eligible citizens missing their opportunity to have a voice.
Bryant started his speech by conveying the importance of voting to the youth by saying, “We need you! We want you!”
Bryant gave the students a memorable way to think about the importance of voting: Victory Of The Election. Candidates or referendums will lose and others will win, but there is still victory in the process of election. He also charged students to respond to those who came before us whose “blood, sweat, and tears” were shed to gain the right to vote.
The importance of electing officials at various levels of government was highlighted by Bryant through his discussion of practical outcomes like which roads get paved, or which companies are restricted from forming monopolies, or which projects will clean up polluted water or prevent the spread of the Zika virus.
Scoggins followed up by explaining that there are 15 different ways to register to vote, the ease of Early Voting, and the number of precincts in Thomas County. He explained Absentee Ballot voting for overseas military personnel and for college students living temporarily in a college town.
Scoggins ended his address by reinforcing the “Your Voice = Your Vote” theme as he told the students a story about an election in a northeastern Georgia county where the winner of a probate court judge position was decided by one vote.
Monday - C day for review
Tuesday - B day English, science, and electives
Wednesday - A day English, science, and electives
Thursday - B day math, social studies, and foreign language
Friday - A day math, social studies, and foreign language
Thomasville High Scholars Academy students are taking the reins when it comes to planning school events and boosting student awareness through Peer Leadership, an elective offered by new social studies teacher, Farran Burnette.
“This workshop class stems from the belief that there is a need to provide high school students with training in becoming proficient in human relations and leadership skills,” said Burnette.
The skills include but are not limited to interpersonal and intrapersonal communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, group facilitation, and understanding diversity.
The purpose of this class is to provide a variety of school and community services which will increase students’ self-awareness, improve their ability to communicate effectively, and encourage exploration of their leadership potential.
“I enjoy giving the kids freedom. They can express what they think and how things should be changed with either the outside world or the school while embracing their confidence and creativity,” said Burnette.
Senior Jacob Cone is inspired by the workshop environment in the classroom.
“Mrs. Burnette leaves it very open and expects projects to be done by the deadline which builds leadership in class every day to see who pushes everyone to get the job done,” said Cone.
The three components of the class significantly enhance the students’ role as school leaders and citizens of their community: school involvement, community involvement, and individual growth.
Senior Aubrey Brinkley sees the sense of unity that results from school involvement.
“We are trying to get everyone on the same page, making things like big poster-sized calendars to show everyone what is going on,” said Brinkley.
When the school played Pelham in a pre-season scrimmage, students hashtagged postings “#poundpelham” on social media to create a trend to make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content.
The class conducted a school-wide survey and found out that students are craving more school-sponsored events like “powder-puff” football, weekend bonfires, movie nights, faculty vs. student sporting events, and exciting pep rallies.
Sophomore Christian Pyle said, “We plan to have a fun, healthy, and encouraging atmosphere at these events.”
Other activities to help unify the campuses of THS and Scholars Academy are month-long themes such as College Awareness Month featuring college information on teachers’ doors to show the requirements like admissions rates, application deadlines, and average GPA/ACT/SAT scores. Themes for later months include bullying, breast cancer awareness, and gratitude.
“We learned that students want more school unity,” said junior John West.
They are learning that qualities essential to being a great leader are listening to others and building relationships to accomplish the best outcome.
“Being organized is important, and working together is also a big thing,” said senior Morgan Dance.
Senior Logan Metcalf reported that Peer Leadership students are going to nursing homes and engaging in activities like reading books and just spending time with Thomasville City elementary-age students.
Other community activities will involve law enforcement awareness, veterans affairs, and local volunteer organizations.
Cone has learned that it takes someone to go to the back of the line, serve, and do the dirty work in order for people to see what they’re doing and follow them.
“You have to show what it takes to get the job done in order to lead people to do the right thing,” said Cone.
Sophomore Louis Carter has learned about perseverance, determination, and kindness.
“Even if everything doesn't always work out, a good leader has to keep going,” said Carter.
“I see how effective students are with creating plans and ideas and actually going through the process to get it approved to see their idea come to life,” said Burnette.
The Class of 2017 wanted to assert their “seniority” with a parking lot design concept. Seniors will be able to reserve a numbered parking spot in the stadium parking until they graduate, and they will be allowed to personalize their spots at a “parking lot party” on the Monday after Fall Break.
Burnette loves building a relationship with each student and watching a transformation that comes from each student after they have completed this course.
“I have seen kids go from being completely insecure about themselves to being able to give a speech and talk confidently in front of a big crowd of people,” said Burnette.
Burnette recalls a former student who never said a word at the beginning of of the year and was terrified to voice her opinion on anything. At the end of the year, she took a four-week service trip to South Africa to help with the orphans.
For more information on what is happening with THS Peer Leadership, check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sites.
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