Dr. Sally Hernandez took a select group of her high school string orchestra students to perform at the Governor's Mansion in Atlanta during the Holiday Celebration when tours are available to the public. The students are pictured with Governor Nathan Deal and the First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal.
Thomasville City Scholars Academy 7th grader Gus Novak faced no conundrum when he correctly spelled "conundrum" to clinch 1st place in the championship round of the MacIntyre Park Middle School Spelling Bee. Fellow 7th grader Sydney Jones was named Runner-Up. Both students will represent MPMS at the Thomasville City Schools system-level Spelling Bee on February 1, 2018.
Thirty-eight middle school classroom-level winners competed in the MacIntyre Park Middle School Spelling Bee on Friday, December 15. Spellers journeyed through 19 rounds of words to arrive at a winner. Pictured: (front row) Caleb Haywood, Simon Harper, Anthony Diggs, Destiny Graham, Genesis English, Carter Crocker, Ella Crawford, Timothy Cordista, Annah Brinson, Leah Brady, Kamarius Bradshaw, Parker Beckham (middle row) Gus Novak, Aniyah Morris, Amaryah McKinnie, De'aljah Mills, Sydney Jones, Heaven Lovejoy, Aubrey Kinard, Jayveioun Cody, Brianna June, Amelia Joiner, Jamison Jones (back row) Raven Willis, Valincia Lewis, Autumn Williams, Jocelyn Watson, Zoe Stennis, Will Roberts, Kamirria Small, Karen Sampson, Matthew Slaughter, India Scott, Cole Ridenour, Heer Raste, Jaimari Prophet.
Thomasville High School Key Club members participated in "Toys for Tots," a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and collected 40 new toys for donation. These toys were delivered to the local Georgia State Patrol Office, Post 12 who will deliver those items to the Salvation Army on December 15. The toys will be distributed locally and given to children in need.Congratulations to the Key Club members, teachers, and students who helped to make this toy drive a success.
by Jamiya Coleman
Congratulations to the performance-based problem team members Mathew Whetsell, Bo Miller, Matthew Cline, Erin Quick, Alston Stevenson, Holly Rumble, and Jackson Hodge on their third-place finish at the Odyssey of the Mind 2017 World Finals. Their solution to “Superhero Cliffhanger” involved a sculptured “Monster of Rock” descending from their scenery to do battle with the “Jukebox Hero.” The team put in over 1000 hours of work each to create a technically complicated series of lights and moving parts. This same team wowed the judges at the OM State Finals in April where they received the prestigious Ranatra Fusca Award, which is an automatic ‘ticket’ to World Finals. Although two members graduated in the Class of 2017, the group has revamped by adding Reid Harbin and Ella Millere and is currently working for this year’s round of region competitions in March of 2018.
Thomasville City Scholars Academy Odyssey of the Mind (OM) teams have an ongoing history of success with State winners, World Finals winners, and most recently a third-place winning 2017 World Finals team who are back to work this school year to improve and compete as they inspire their younger counterparts.
But what is OM? Students and supervisors explain the meaning of the class. The class involves two supervisors handling countless creative students.
According to odysseyofthemind.com: Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential.
The students get the chance to engage their creative skills by allowing their ideas to create an exciting and visionary environment. They solve problems that range from having to build to presenting their own expositions.
Marc Cramer and Kimsey Hodge, who offer the program at Scholars Academy explained what OM means to them.
“OM is taking a problem that you have a description of and then visualizing the answer to it and building it, and also learning how to build it,” said Cramer.
Hodge added that OM means the students are following their dreams.
“It means learning new things about yourself. It means accomplishing things you thought you could never accomplish and doing things you thought you could never do. It covers every subject area and curriculum,” said Hodge.
OM students also have an interesting perspective of the program and that includes the competitive aspect.
“OM to me means ‘friendship.’ I’ve come to be friends with a lot of people in the class from places that aren’t Thomasville like other counties, and it’s fun and you wouldn’t think teenagers would like something like this but OM is a huge competition,” says junior Abi Mims.
OM coaches are allowed to neither express nor share their creative ideas with their students for any Odyssey of the Mind competition. Hodge described it as the most hard and crucial thing of being an adult in OM.
The students explain what life skills they develop from the program.
“You gain leadership skill, and ways to encourage others instead of putting them down. Like if someone gives a good idea and you think it’s not the best, say something like ‘Hey that’s good, but what if we do this?’ and you add onto it.” said Abi Mims.
Freshman, Tion Moore also mentioned gaining leadership skills, even mentioning other life skills you may develop from the class.
“You gain teamwork, cooperation and leadership skills” said Moore.
Although OM is a significant program to the students and teachers, some individuals misinterpret the true meaning and actions that are involved in order to achieve success.
“I think the most mistaken idea is everyone thinks that it’s just the fun class, but they don’t realize how hard everyone works, the hours they put in after school and on the weekends, the hours the coaches put in on the weekend and how hard they really work when they want it to be successful” said Hodge.
Tion Moore proved Hodge’s theory to be accurate.
“I thought it was going be an easy class at first, but then it turned out to be really fun,” said Tion Moore.
Freshman, Seth Welch, mentions how he took interest in the program because of not only being able to build sets for the competition, but “building from your mind” itself.
Cramer explained why he decided to teach the class, mentioning how drama and shop techniques are used in OM.
“As a shop teacher that became a drama teacher who uses classic shop techniques to do drama activities, I can do the same thing in OM. The opportunity to do it with kids that really want to do it is really good,” said Cramer.
Cramer and Hodge suggest to students that have never taken the class, to pay the OM room a visit.
“It is real world learning, hands on, and it is fun. It’s more than you could put in words and it is more than you can describe unless you go to a competition,” said Hodge.
by Rachel Brewer
Thomasville High School and Scholars Academy dancers become a second family to each other by spending countless hours rehearsing in the after school danceline program called Red Hots.
Students of the danceline participate as a team with the THS band at competitions and during half-time at Friday night football games. Red Hots dancers are required to take Scholars Dance as an elective during school and spend their free time after school at danceline practice, some of them going straight to more rehearsal with other private dance companies.
“I dance six days out of every week,” said senior Red Hot, Sophi Sampson.
“It takes about three hours of dance a day for danceline alone,” said second year Red Hot Lauren Renfroe.
Spending so much time together allows for a bond to form as tight between the danceline members as one may be with a sibling.
“I really like that we’re all a family and that I can talk about anything with all of the girls,” said third year Red Hots Brennan Rae.
Danceline is no easy program, and it takes many qualities to become a THS Red Hot in addition to just the obvious time, effort, and talent.
Senior Sophi Sampson said it best, “To be a Red Hot you have to have a number of different things: good grades, flexibility, good work ethic, and be a good role model for your school.”
The dancers learn over 20 routines for Red Hots danceline, in addition to the routines they are perfecting for Scholars Dance class or private dance productions. In order to remember the routines while performing, there are certain actions that the team takes. Most of the Red Hots go over it several times in their heads before they go out onto the field or stage, and they pay attention during practices.
Rae said that while performing on the field or at competitions she is concentrating on having good performance qualities, like smiling, but she is also making sure she is together with everyone else.
“I focus and I listen to our coach when she is helping us fix things, and while I’m doing the performance I remember all the changes we made and I count in my head to make sure I stay with everyone else and do the right thing,” said Rae.
The dancers have each other’s back through life struggles and watch each other during performances to stay together and work in sync as a team.
Thomasville City Scholars Academy Senior Ornament Night on December 6 gave the Class of 2018 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. 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 together 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.
Scholars Academy Director Dr. Dale Graham started the tradition over a decade ago and refers to the sentimental event as "The Beginning of the End" for seniors as they progress through a myriad of activities during the second half of their last year of high school.
by Madyson Whitfield
Thomasville High Scholars Academy Peer Leadership students promoted college awareness and making good decisions during Red Ribbon Week in late October.
Red Ribbon Week is a drug and violence prevention campaign that is observed every October across the United States. Peer Leadership teacher Farran Burnette guided the Peer Leadership students who handmade red ribbons, hung college posters, made and placed brochures on lunch tables, and made a slide show for teachers to show during their classes in order to promote good decision making. By helping out with Red Ribbon Week, Peer Leadership students are setting an example for other students.
“My ideal goal is to set a positive example for other students and give them someone to look up to in their future,” said senior Peer Leadership student Jared Smith.
Teachers wore college T-shirts and shared a little bit about where they went to college and why college is so important for a successful future. There were posters hung all around campus displaying the different options students have for college, including the acceptance rate, GPA, and SAT requirements for each displayed college.
“College is important because there is a very high relation with education and standard of living. I also think college is important to an individual's growth,” said Burnette.
“We wanted to get the college information out during October for the early admission applicants,” said Burnette.
On Friday, first responders came to the Scholars Academy campus to interact with students at stations during lunch. The stations included a fire truck and an ambulance. There were ‘impairment goggles” at a station, and the students could put them on to experience some of the effects of being under the influence. The first responders also shared stories with the students to help them see the consequences of bad decisions.
Burnette’s hope was that the students would interact with first responders, hear real life stories, and be influenced to make good decisions.
“I also hope students become unintimidated by them,” said Burnette.
by Amber Sarabia
Thomasville City Schools Key Club members serve at the annual Thomas County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet: Emma Cooper, Muriel Sarabia, Ben Dozier, Krista Pike, Meta Ughetto, Kinsey Kelley, Colin Renfroe, and Peyton Owens.
Scholars Academy Key Club teacher sponsor Gina Bennett and members shed light upon the importance of community service programs and its benefits through Key Club.
Nearly 20 years ago, Bennett was asked to charter the Builders’ Club and Key Club, the latter had not been active prior to her arrival. Key Club’s sole purpose is helping students experience what community service is all about by giving aid to others.
Kiwanis International is the head organization that not only leads Scholars Academy’s Key Club, but also clubs in other states and in 80 other nations. The Kiwanis Club has raised millions to support communities. They are responsible for the events at which Key Club members volunteer. Key Club allows students a new path to participate in if they are not involved in a sport or fine art or academic competition.
Key Club gathers once a month, a flexible schedule for a majority of the members, to discuss important upcoming events and to decide which members will attend those events on behalf of Key Club. Not only do the students benefit through community service hours, they themselves feel the impact of their good actions throughout their volunteer works.
Benjamin Dozier feels that helping the community makes him feel like he’s made a difference.
“Even if it’s something as simple as participating in a neighborhood clean-up, volunteering makes you a better person,” said Dozier.
“To be able to give back to our community is such a great feeling. I love to help our small community in any way I get the chance to. By doing just one service project makes me feel like I've made a positive impact on our community,” said Haley Bennett.
Key Club’s sponsored events range from something as simple as filling up rose vases for the annual Thomasville Rose Show to serving at barbecue and pancake suppers and the Thomas County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.
Bennett expands on how students are introduced a new path through Key Club.
“Sports are good and I recommend sports, but I also encourage students to be a part of a service-type club, whether it’s Rotary or Key Club or another area.”
She also elaborated on the benefits of Key Club on each member’s futures.
“A service club gives students a different avenue to go down where they can do different things. When students get ready to apply for colleges or scholarships, participation in a service club is an asset to include.”
Two Scholars Academy middle school teams competed in the FIRST LEGO League competition hosted in Columbus, Georgia on Saturday, December 2. The competition features three components that focus on project presentation, demonstration of the organization's core values, and of course LEGO competition. The teams will find out if they advanced to the Super-Regional round by December 11. In attendance were Madison Galloway, Sydney Jones, Jon-Henry Ellis, Roman Drury, Logan Haka, Brantley Taylor, Eva Ridenour, Justin Althoff, Cole Ridenour, Senmiyon Mincey, Evan Ariail, Charlie Smith, Colter Hill, and Hogan Watson.