March 2018

The school year is racing along, and we are sure all of students and staff members are very much looking forward to Spring Break. When we return, we will quickly move into the testing season before wrapping up another year. Thank you all for your continued support of our system.
Reconfiguration Update
Pictured above: The open green space in front of the Performing Arts Center at TCHS has been surveyed and marked in preparation for the addition of new multi-purpose athletic fields.

Our school reconfiguration will be in place for the next school year which begins Aug. 13, 2018. One of the big areas we are getting lots of questions about is athletics. We do have a plan ready, but it is a plan. While we feel sure what we have in place will work, we do have to be flexible during the transition. Here's how we plan to divide the teams:

Football: In 2018, one sixth grade team, one seventh grade, one eighth grade. Each team will be made up of students from Eighth Street Middle School and Northeast Middle School. In 2019, we HOPE to have two sixth grade teams, two seventh grade teams and two eight grade teams (one from each grade at both ESMS and Northeast). The high school will have ninth grade, JV and varsity teams.

Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Softball and Baseball: One sixth/seventh grade team at ESMS, one sixth/seventh grade team at Northeast, one eighth grade team at ESMS and one eighth grade team at Northeast. TCHS will have ninth grade, JV and varsity teams.

Wrestling: In 2018, one middle school team and one varsity team. In 2019, we hope to add a second middle school team so that both ESMS and Northeast will each have one.

Girls Track and Boys Track: one middle school team at ESMS and one at Northeast, one at TCHS.

Girls Volleyball: one middle school team at ESMS and one at Northeast; JV and varsity at TCHS.

Girls Gymnastics, Girls Tennis, Boys Tennis, Girls Cross Country, Boys Cross Country, Girls Swimming, Boys Swimming, Girls Golf and Boys Golf: one middle school team and one high school team.

Air Rifle, Fishing and Archery: These co-ed sports will each have one team at the high school.

Cheerleading: There will be one middle school competition team and one high school competition team. Sideline cheer is still being discussed.
Student Athletes Video
Think student athletes are just dumb jocks? Think again. Check out this video about our student athletes.
Chorus Shows Off for Younger Students
Younger Tift County students were treated to amazing performances at TCHS by many of our chorus students. Click HERE to see more photos, including some behind-the-scenes images.
New Technology Improves Access
Tift County Schools is moving a little deeper into the digital age. All staff members can now manage their personal documents (tax withholding forms, direct deposit form, demographic information update and more) via Etrieve. Employees can click HERE to access the log-in page along with instructions on how to set up the portal.
Back in the Day
Finding a way to pay for the construction of schools has also been an important issue. While things are done electronically now, these beautiful paper bonds were once the currency of construction.

If you have any historical photos or memorabilia you would be willing to share with us, please email us at
Meet the Board Member
Melanie Roberson has been a Tift County supporter from the start. She was raised in Tifton and attended Tift County Schools for 12 years. Her parents are still in Tifton (Ed and Jean Moore). Her husband Sid went to  Tift County Schools and played football. Their children, Syndee and Thom, also attended Tift County. Thom was part of the football team and was the center when Tift County won the region and went to the Dome. Mrs. Roberson went to college to be a scrub tech and worked at Tift Regional Medical Center until her children were born and then she began working at Roberson Farms.

She said many people would be surprised to know how much continuing education is required to be a part of the Board. 

She joined the Board of Education in 2011, representing District 6.
Outside the Classroom
TCHS students went head to head with the best from across the state at the SkillsUSA Competition. TCHS walked away with the following awards:
  • First Place in metal working  
  • First Place in Construction Technology
  • First Place in Automotive Brakes  
  • Second Place in Drywall  
  • Second Place in robotics 
  • Third Place in Action Skills  

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in the classroom.

Click HERE to more photos from the competition.
A Dream Come True!
A third nine weeks celebration took a fantastic turn for Omega Elementary students. After recognizing top students, some of the teachers got a pie in the face. Principal Dr. Victoria Melton even joined in! Check out all of the fun photos from the event HERE.
Standout Students
Dana Wells is a ninth grader at Northeast Campus. She is an incredibly involved student, participating in Beta Club, 4-H, FFA and student council. She is also a peer tutor, Superior Honor student and plays tennis for the Blue Devils. She is pursuing an agriculture pathway in high school. Dana is one of the kindest and most helpful students you could ever meet. Her genuineness and pleasant demeanor is easily noticed and often complimented on by her teachers. She works hard and puts forth her best effort in the classroom and in her extracurricular activities. NEC is extremely proud of Dana!
Board Meeting Highlights
  • Policies JBC - School Admissions and IHDA - School Admissions Policy updates included defining additional individuals who were able to enroll students into a school and consolidating affidavits. IHDA was simply adding "Technical System of Georgia" to accepted accredited institutions. 
  • Valedictorian/Salutatorian requirements were brought to the board for first readings (updates).
  • Director of Operations Robby Dasher informed the board of the TCHS Auxiliary Gym time extension request from Barber Construction of 117 days, which they approved. The renovations at the high school are continuing to progress. Project 1 will meet the original completion deadline, with exception to the auxiliary gym. 
  • BOE Member Marian Richbourg was appointed Delegate and BOE Member Marilyn Burks was appointed Alternate for the GSBA Delegate Assembly in Savannah.
  • Superintendent Patrick Atwater recapped legislative bills that were being watched as well as those that had made it to Crossover Day.
They said WHAT?
"Out of the mouths of babes" is an iconic saying for a good reason. Children generally have no filter, so what they think usually comes out, and it's usually the truth. And much of what they say is hilarious. Educators get a front-row seat for this on a daily basis.

"A child overheard his mom talking about his teacher having a heart condition. He quickly responded with his medical diagnosis. He said, 'Mama, I know what is wrong with the teacher. It's all that chocolate she ate during nap time!'"

If you have a funny story, please share it with us at
It Takes a Village
Operating a school system of nearly 8,000 students takes a lot of work, and we couldn't do it without the amazing contributions of our community. This month, we want to thank Mims' Kids. They regularly host events to benefit our students, including the most recent Fifth Annual Egg Hunt at Annie Belle Clark Primary School. We appreciate all that you do!

If your business would like to become a Partner in Education,
please email us at .

Community Activism
Fighting to make our community a better place for children is a cause close to the hearts of our employees. Pictured above is School Nutrition Director Vanessa Hayes participating in a panel discussion with Rep. Austin Scott and Rep. Sanford Bishop about rural hunger. The group discussed improvements that could be made as well as adjustments to laws that could be made to make it easier to get food to people in our county who need it.

Superintendent Patrick Atwater spoke at the Pinwheel Ceremony held to bring awareness to the issue of child abuse and neglect in our community. There are 586 pinwheels on display to represent the 586 cases of abuse and neglect in Tift County last year.
Tift County Schools
207 N. Ridge Avenue
Tifton, Georgia 31794  
(229) 387-2400