Thomasville City Schools Spelling Bee Champion Sydney Jones represented our school system at the Region 9 Spelling Bee in Bainbridge on February 24. Jones came in 4th place out of 20 spellers from school systems all over Southwest Georgia. Congratulations, Sydney!
Thomasville Scholars Academy Science Olympiad B team, consisting of 7th through 9th grade students, competed at the region tournament held at South Georgia State College in Douglas, GA, on Friday, February 23. The Scholars Academy team competed against 7 other teams from around the state and placed 4th overall.
The team competed in twenty-three different events that cover the areas of physics, earth science, biology, engineering, technology, chemistry and scientific inquiry. The competition involved a wide range of activities from identifying rock samples, designing a roller, and building a battery-powered vehicle.
Scholars Academy has a B team for grades 6 through 9, and C team for grades 9 through 12. Both teams are coached by Scholars Academy teacher Christie Ariail. This year’s team members are Abby Jones, Karley Jenkins, Evan Lovvorn, Ella Millere, Thomas Wilson, Nicholas Hall, Sam Carter, Garrett Ledford, Brian Sumler, John Isaac Fromkin, Morgan Hiers, Logan Carraway, Will Cone, and McKenna Connery.
Medals are awarded for 1st through 4th places. 1st place medals were awarded to Ella Millere and Thomas Wilson for Microbe Mission, and Abby Jones and Karley Jenkins for Crime Busters. 2nd place medals were awarded to Abby Jones and Karley Jenkins for Write It Do It, and McKenna Connery, Nicholas Hall, and Will Cone for Experimental Design. 3rd place medals were awarded to Sam Carter and Garrett Ledford for Battery Buggy and Towers, and Ella Millere and Thomas Wilson for Disease Detectives. 4th place medals were awarded to Abby Jones and Karley Jenkins for Potions and Poisons, Ella Millere and Thomas Wilson for Fast Facts, Brian Sumler and John Isaac Fromkin for Mystery Architecture and Hovercraft, Evan Lovvorn and Will Cone for Dynamic Planet, and Morgan Hiers and Logan Carraway for Road Scholar.
Ribbons are awarded for 5th through 10th places. 5th place ribbons were awarded to McKenna Connery and Nicholas Hall for Wright Stuff and Herpetology. 6th place ribbons were awarded to Morgan Hiers and Logan Carraway for Roller Coaster and Solar System, Ella Millere and Evan Lovvorn for Anatomy & Physiology, and Abby Jones and Karley Jenkins for Meteorology. 7th place ribbons were awarded to Evan Lovvorn and Will Cone for Ecology, Garrett Ledford and Sam Carter for Rocks & Minerals, and McKenna Connery and Nicholas Hall for Thermodynamics. 8th place ribbons were awarded to Brian Sumler and John Isaac Fromkin for Optics.
Ariail explained that Science Olympiad gives the students an opportunity to become experts in a topic, and then compete against their peers from around the state. Ariail is thrilled with her team’s success.
“This was the first time most of the students on this team had participated in Science Olympiad, so I am excited at how well they did. I am proud that each student won at least medal in an event that they did; their hard work has definitely paid off.” she said. "I can’t wait to see what they achieve next year after this year’s experience!”
Thomasville High School Scholars Academy Academic Team competed at Andrew College on February 7, 2018; and brought home quite a bit of hardware. THS is an AA classified school for enrollment, but he Academic Team chose to compete in the AAAAA – AAAAAAA classification in the Andrew College competition. With a 1st and 2nd place award given in each category, THS Scholars Academy won the following: Math - 1st place Thomas Wilson (9th grade), 1st place Kaitlyn Kasper (10th grade), and 1st place Mason Wilson (11th grade); Social Studies - 1st place Emma Szwarc (9th grade), 2nd place Ella Millere (9th grade), 1st place Max White (10th grade), 2nd place Jack Edge (10th grade), 1st place Claudia-Michelle White (11th grade), 2nd place Ben Dozier (11th grade), and 1st place Jackson Singletary (12th grade); Science - 1st place Caroline Hiers (9th grade), 1st place Emily Dixon (11th grade), and 2nd place John Carpenter (11th grade); Personal Essay - 2nd place Roderick Elzy (across all grade levels); and Dramatic Monologue - 1st place Matthew Cline, 2nd place Carl Blackmore (across all grade levels).
Tickets for the Wednesday, February 28 GHSA Quarterfinal Basketball Game in Columbus against Spencer High School will go on sale today beginning at 1:00 pm at Thomasville High School and continue until 2:00 pm on Wednesday. Interested fans can see Mr. Ricky Duncan to purchase a ticket for $7.00. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm. The tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. We have 300 pre-sale tickets. Once those are sold out, fans will have to purchase a ticket at the game.
Thomasville City Schools sent 41 middle and high school students to compete in the region science fair held at ABAC in Tifton on Friday, February 16. They earned 9 of the slots for state competition and 14 first place projects overall. Congratulations to all!
Mackenzie Easler (going to state)
Abby Gerleman (alternate to state)
Xavier Green (going to state)
Nicholas Hall (going to state)
Caroline Hiers (going to state)
Chip Hunt (going to state)
Anika Imhof (going to state)
Katelyn Newman (going to state)
Colin Szwarc (alternate to state)
Julianna Watson (going to state)
Adelyne Welch (going to state)
Katie Beth Young
Carter Grace Crocker
by Savannah Jackson
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is a club where students come together at Thomasville High School on Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. and at Scholars Academy on Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. to talk about God.
FCA meetings taking place in the morning helps students start their day off right. It clears their minds of all negativity that may occur later in the day.
Junior Marc Davis says, “When I struggle during the school day, I think back to what was talked about in FCA that morning and it helps me in the situation I am struggling in.”
Nathan Espy, Scholars Academy FCA Sponsor hopes that students realize that God has an awesome plan for their lives.
“In order to realize this plan, they must surrender to God's will daily and trust that he always is working for our good, even during the most difficult times,” said Espy.
Keith Gwaltney, Thomasville High FCA Sponsor explained that FCA is a student-lead organization for kids that are interested in being Christ followers on campus.
“Its main goal is to make the gospel available to everyone on campus. We want to bring kids into a fellowship with other believers, see kids get saved, and see lives transformed,” said Gwaltney.
The topics of the messages that are discussed in the meetings are not just about God; they are also about how to act toward others, how to tackle a difficult situation, or just everyday life. At the end of each meeting, the students think about what was discussed and how they can relate it to the Bible.
Junior Margo Rainey has been in FCA for six years and loves the positive mood it gives her in the mornings.
“I’ve learned to not be afraid to share my faith with at school and to teach others,” said Rainey.
FCA went on a field trip to an FSU football game in the fall, with the purpose of getting students to go on a fun outing and a chance to hear the gospel at a gathering prior to the football game.
“[The FSU trip] gives me a chance to get to know some of the kids on a different level,” said Gwaltney.
The great thing about FCA is that students do not have to be an athlete to join and new members are accepted and can walk in at any time. All students have to do is show up to the FCA meetings at either THS on Thursdays or Scholars Academy on Tuesdays.
by Grace Herrin
Thomasville High School…home of the red and gold, the Bulldogs, talented students, and devoted teachers. Our school. All of us serve a purpose in our role here as we, the students, come to learn and teachers come to teach us vital information we need to face the world at the end of our twelve school years.
At the end of the day, students take away numbers, equations, formulas, punctuation, a piling homework to-do list, laughs from friends, anger from a bad grade, and a smile from a good one. Little do we know that as we trudge to our cars to go home at the end our day, we take away the positivity of the warm smiles and the hard-working mindset of the people who truly make our school a wonderful place.
The cafeteria staff helps to make our school environment more enjoyable each day. However, despite all they do for us, we don’t really seem to know them as well as we thought. The staff cares very deeply for all of the students by always being ready to aid them in any way that they can.
Cassandra Henderson has worked for two years in the Thomasville High School cafeteria.
“I love them! They are like my children, and I am ‘Mom’,” said Henderson.
Brenda Wilson started as a sub and got hired full time last year as assistant manager of the THS cafeteria.
“I try to know everyone personally; I try to get their vibe. I don’t know how the students’ lives are at the house, but I can affect their lives positively at school… with love,” said Wilson.
Although we know the faces, few of us actually know the individual interests of these remarkable people. They all have places they dream to go to, hobbies and sports they played as kids, movies they like, and of course, three wishes they could have come true.
Toby Lamica has been working at the MacIntyre Park cafeteria at Scholars Academy since 2007.
“If I had three wishes, I would want a chauffeur, another dog, and to retire,” said Lamica.
“My favorite hobby as a kid was kickball,” said Henderson.
“The coolest place I’ve ever been to was Myrtle Beach on my bike. There were over 20,000 bikes that cruised the streets,” said Wilson.
"My favorite kind of movie is romance; I’m a romantic. I love watching the Hallmark channel,” said Lamica.
These staff members have the best ideas on how to improve our school since they interact with students every day during the week.
“All of the adults really need to learn more about the kids,’” said Wilson.
“We need more togetherness between faculty staff and nutrition staff. When everybody works together you can't lose!” said Henderson.
These are only a few of the many inspiring people who work behind the scenes to improve our school in the smallest but most effective ways possible.
So if you meet the friendly smile of the cafeteria staff while you type in your lunch number, give them a friendly “Thank you for all you do,” or “Hope your day is going well,” so we can show how much we really appreciate what they do for us and our amazing school. In the words of Henderson…“Go Bulldogs!”
by Rachel Brewer
Thomasville City Scholars Academy Mathletes won 1st place in their division at the Georgia Southwestern State University Mathematics Tournament on February 9, 2018.
Mason Wilson received an individual, 1st place overall award and Tori Cordista received an individual, 2nd place overall award at the competition.
Mathletes is the perfect opportunity for high schoolers to practice math with fellow classmates and learn new ways to perform math problems at area competitions against other schools.
They meet every other week to improve their math skills and learn new techniques from each other. The skills that Mathletes members obtain by participating on the team benefit the students in ways that a regular math class doesn’t.
“I like reinforcing all the math that I learned before...I know people that have taken Calculus before can teach others how to do it, so it’s really cool that I can learn some of the stuff I didn’t know,” said Mathletes President Tori Cordista.
Mathletes members go to competitions where various individuals can compete depending on who the competitions are open to.
Coridista said, “Different people go to different competitions because sometimes the requirements are really specific for who can compete. Sometimes they’re for all girls or all one grade. It kind of varies.”
Mathletes confirm that the program is educational and beneficial, yet it can still be fun by doing it with friends and having fun competing with fellow classmates. They not only go to competitions together, but the team bonds by taking field trips to places such as Wild Adventures.
The members prepare for competitions by completing practice packets full of old problems and challenging their teammates.
“We do our packets on the bus on the way and go over commonly asked questions to prepare,” said Mathletes member, Emily Dixon.
Mathletes is not only beneficial to one’s education, but can also be helpful with future careers.
“It looks really good on college applications and things like that, and I think it gives you a good appreciation for math outside of the classroom,” said Dixon.
Amanda Nelson, the team’s coach, has been involved with the team since it first began two years ago, but this is the first year she has led it by herself. According to Nelson, Mathletes is open to any high school student that is interested, and there are students of all math levels on the team.
“I really like going to competitions with my team because even though I don’t compete myself, it’s fun seeing them get excited about competing and when they win something it’s like all the hard work paid off,” said Nelson.
by Kianna Ross
Thomasville High School students experience the other side of the classroom by mentoring younger kids at Harper and Jerger Elementary Schools through the Mentorship Program led by Farran Burnette.
The Mentorship Program consists of Burnette’s Peer Leadership class that is offered at Scholars Academy as an elective. The course provides opportunities for students to become self-aware of their peers and the ability to communicate effectively.
The mentors of the program prepare a lesson plan at the beginning of every other week that elaborates on a specific moral concept such as ‘honesty’ or ‘loyalty,’ which has already been taught to the mentees. The mentors start the lesson with a group activity that involves all of the mentees. After stating the word that will be focused on, the mentors and mentees are paired up, and these pairs stay connected until the end of the school year.
“We wanted to work with kids that were middle of the road students, not kids that were at-risk nor kids that were gifted but kids who were in the middle and might not receive a lot of attention,” said Burnette.
Burnette was motivated to start the program by her research in education and found that mentorship had a significant impact on younger students.
“Students with mentors were more likely to go down a positive road, so the idea is to get older students paired up with younger kids to try to help more kids go down that positive track,” said Burnette.
Burnette sees that her students come back excited and she knows that they learn so much through teaching.
Seniors Jourdan Fowler and Jenna Long enjoy spending time with the younger students, which allows them to reminisce about their younger selves.
“I enjoy getting to interact with and teach the younger children. It’s funny to think that this used to be me making jokes, and that I was ‘this’ tall. I was also the one waiting for recess to start,” said Fowler.
Long said, “I really enjoy getting to be with the little kids and just seeing how we use to be that little growing up.”
The older students benefit from the experience just as much as the younger students. Senior Tori Cordista explains what she has gotten out of the Mentorship Program.
“I’ve learned that whenever you are going to teach somebody, you have to really think about your lesson and think about how you are going to come up with something to elaborate on,” said Cordista.
Junior Dane Dyksterhouse is learning the importance of students having role models in their lives.
“Younger kids don’t always have an older brother or an older sister in their life to look up to, so we’re kinda like their role models and that’s something that we don’t realize,” said Dyksterhouse.
The future for the Mentorship Program shines bright as Burnette is trying to expand the program so that all elementary schools within Thomasville City Schools are participating.
“This year our goals was to get two schools participating and then hopefully next year we can expand to the third elementary school, but our overall goal is to get as many kids as we can impacted by the experience,” said Burnette.
by Ionica Jackson
Thomasville High School’s Helen M. Fortney Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 60 new members and awarded pins to 44 seniors in good standing on Sunday, February 11, 2018.
THS National Honor Society students are recognized as academic scholars and partake in various actions around their community all year round.
When Scholars Academy Honors English teacher Rebecca Ramsey and mathematics teacher Amanda Nelson weren’t actively teaching, they were planning and supervising numerous service opportunities for members of National Honor Society to participate in.
National Honor Society is an academic club for which students can qualify where they perform community service work and serve as role models for their peers. NHS strives to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.
To qualify for NHS induction each winter, a student has to have at least a cumulative average of an 85 in the first half of the year, good attendance, teacher recommendation, no disciplinary issues, and approval from a council of officers. To stay in NHS after induction, students must attend monthly meetings, maintain at least an 85 cumulative average, and do at least four community service projects.
Jamiya Coleman attests that the qualities of someone in NHS have to be positive.
“It’s a great platform to be placed on and it’s a huge responsibility to take on. To be in NHS you just have to have a genuine attitude. It’s not for everyone,” said Coleman.
NHS not only recognizes students for their academic accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.
“Being a member of NHS, we’re required to do exceptionally well in school and in our society. You can’t have one without the other,” said Heaven Robinson.
NHS offers a multitude of opportunities for recognition for academic achievement and financial reward.
“Being in NHS offers a lot of scholarship money and opportunities for a student. It looks good on college and job applications as well,” said Amber Sarabia.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that I was one of the people chosen to lead my peers. It broadcasts my accomplishments and hard work as a student,” said Veruanikka Newsome.
NHS also provides members with soft skills that will not only help them now, but also later on in life.
“As a part of NHS I have to interact with others and be especially kind to people because not only am I representing my school and my parents, I’m also representing my own character,” said Newsome.
“I’m glad that I am involved in NHS because not only do I get a good feeling about giving back, I know that practicing such manners and respect are going to prepare me in every aspect of my future,” said Robinson.
Often, students find that NHS introduces them to new things.
“Being in NHS is a great thing to be involved in because I get to actually help people and do things that I wouldn't normally do,” said Sarabia.
NHS participants are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. There’s a very broad range of members.
“I don’t see NHS as being in a competition with other members around the globe because we’re all involved in the same club. We’re united,” said Coleman.
by Anne Clifton
Thomasville High School’s yearbook staff is excited to create and produce the 100th volume, ‘Centennial Edition,’ of The Pines this year.
While gathering inspiration from decades of previous yearbook publications as well as current professional magazines, staff members are learning to critique and analyze layout and design techniques in order to bring this centennial celebration to life. With the preparation and dedication of staff, this book will be a testament to the century of previous students’ work and a guide to the future.
Through careful study of past works, the best features of all will be combined in brilliant, full color that was unavailable to previous generations. Most of the students on the staff are new to yearbook and they offer a fresh perspective to a classic tradition.
Clubs Editor Kianna Ross wants this book to have a grand feeling.
“I want it to be not just good, but out-of-the park good,” said Ross.
As a group, the class traveled to the Thomas County Public Library to pore over early THS and Douglas High School volumes dating as far back as 1917. Although it will include references to the past, the 2017-18 book will highlight and focus on current students. The Centennial Edition will include pages with student-based polls, activities, and articles all revolving around the centennial theme.
Current THS yearbook staff adviser, Desirée Celaya is intent on remembering the huge responsibility it is to chronicle the events of a particular school year.
“I remind the students that we can essentially ‘choose’ the things that people will remember by the photos we include and the features we write,” said Celaya.
Lynn Stowers, who currently teaches American Literature and Advanced Placement Literature at Scholars Academy, was the THS yearbook staff adviser for 37 years. She says the biggest change has been the shift to digital designing and availability of color printing. “It was a lot more complicated when we did it than it seems to be now...I’m a bit jealous,” said Stowers. “Every photo had to be labeled with the job number...it was just a nightmare.”
One of the books Stowers worked on was for a big anniversary year. She and her team also pulled inspiration from old copies of The Pines and Douglas High School’s The Lion. They worked extremely hard on the contents of the book but unfortunately the publisher did not send a mock-up of the cover that year. The final print resembled, “ketchup and mustard.”
According to Stowers, “It just broke my heart.”
One of her prettiest books had a silver cover with an embossed arrow. A page featuring student surveys with questions like, “What excuse did you give to your parents when your grades were bad?” made one yearbook particularly funny and successful.
This year’s cover will be classic and simple with a touch of sophistication. Gold lettering with red script accents on a matte black background embossed with pine trees will bind this masterpiece and represent the timeless elegance of The Pines.
In the hundred year history, the various staffs that have contributed to the book have dealt with changing times and technology. At one time, there were as many as three separate staff groups to handle the work of selling ads, selling the books, taking photos, and putting everything together into one cohesive piece. The current staff handles all of the responsibilities with enthusiasm.
Academics Editor Rachel Brewer said that she joined yearbook because she thought it would a fun thing to participate in.
“I wanted to be able to have a say in how the book looks,” said Brewer.
The Pines is in its final days of sales before the ordering deadline of March 12, 2018. Go to ybpay.com and enter Yearbook ID Code 12981518 or see Celaya to order your yearbook in person.
We are so thankful that Thomasville City Schools Superintendent Laine Reichert offered to use her 23 years of chemistry teaching experience to help us out on a winter, substitute teacher-filled Friday! She spent the day teaching lessons on stoichiometry while getting some hands-on experience with the kids and teachers in her school system.
Scholars Academy seventh grader Sydney Jones won first place in the Thomasville City Schools Spelling Bee by correctly spelling 'vociferous.' Jones will represent the school system at the Regional Spelling Bee on February 24, 2018 in Bainbridge. Second place finalist Gus Novak and Jones battled back and forth through several rounds before a winner was decided.
Thomasville City Schools Spelling Bee Contestants Pictured: Nicholas Connell and Julia Sharpe of Jerger Elementary, Lucas Butler and Demontae Baker of Harper Elementary, Sydney Jones and Gus Novak of MacIntyre Park Middle School & Scholars Academy, and Benjamin Slaughter and Kaci Collins of Scott Elementary.
Director of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Carla DuBose awarded all of the contestants before the system-level competition with medals for their wins at their school-level spelling bees held in December.