April 2018
Greetings!

With only three weeks left, the 2017-2018 school year is nearly done. Our parents and grandparents were right when they said each year would go by more quickly than the last. We would like to thank all of our staff members and the families of our students for all of their dedication and support throughout this year. We would like to congratulate our students on completing one more step in their educational career. We wish the Class of 2018 the best and look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come.
Reconfiguration Update
Pictured above is an aerial view of the addition to Tift County High School. This project will wrap up this summer, just in time for the 2018-2019 school year.


We've been planning and working for several years to transition our system to the new grade configuration which will be in effect this fall. We are coming down to the wire and are gearing up for the major undertaking of physically moving contents of classrooms and schools this summer. You will soon be seeing moving trucks constantly up and down the roads. Our students' families will also be seeing letters in their mailboxes very soon confirming which school they will be attending in August.
This Month's Video
Some folks think because we live below the Gnat Line, we must be living in the last century. We're here to tell them that RURAL does not equal BACKWARDS.
Special Olympics
Special Olympics is one of the most rewarding days of the school year. It is wonderful to watch our students, staff and community come together to serve at this event. Tift County Schools serves more than 800 students through our Special Education Department. Click HERE to see more photos from the day.
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
Pictured is Omega School about 1915 (shoes optional).


If you have any historical photos or memorabilia you would be willing to share with us, please email us at info@tiftschools.com.
Ask the Superintendent
When are you going to retire?

"Some people have been asking that question for a long time, and probably not always with a smile. The answer is now officially June 2019. I have submitted my letter to the Board letting them know I intend to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. I didn’t want to leave any sooner because I didn’t think it would be fair for the new superintendent to have to deal with the massive number of changes and initiatives that will be occurring during the upcoming school year.

The Board has chosen the Georgia School Boards Association to assist them with the nation-wide superintendent search.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the more than 40 years I’ve been a part of Tift County Schools, first as a student and then as an employee. I started my career as an educator teaching at J.T. Reddick in 1991 and continued to serve in various roles before becoming superintendent in 2007. I personally feel the end of the next school year will be a good time for new leadership to take over, begin building more relationships and oversee the exciting opportunities coming our way."

What do you want to ask the superintendent? Send your questions to  info@tiftschools.com.
Outside the Classroom
Students at Tift County High School delivered one of their best shows ever with "The Little Mermaid". Everyone involved, from those at center stage to those working behind the scenes, clearly showed the extraordinary level of talent possessed by our staff and students. Check out other photos from the play HERE.
Employee Recognition
Our staff members, especially our retirees pictured above, had a great night at our Employee Recognition Banquet held last week.Teachers of the Year and True Blue Award winners for the upcoming year were honored. Marisol Griffis was named Tift County's Overall Teacher of the Year, while Janida Graydon won the overall True Blue Award. Be sure to congratulate these folks next time you see them.
Teachers of the Year
Linda Giroux, Pre-K Center
Caitlyn McFarland, Annie Belle Clark
Marisol Griffis, G.O. Bailey Primary
Robert Bullington, Len Lastinger Primary
Allison Latham, Northside Primary
Kristy Stone, Omega Elementary
Terri Bee, Charles Spencer Elementary
Ashley May, Matt Wilson Elementary
Julie Gunn, J.T. Reddick
Julie Cristello, Eighth Street Middle 
Lori Hamby, Northeast Campus
Belinda Coleman, Tift County High School
Earl Parker, Sixth Street Academy
True Blue Award Winners
Mary Howard, Pre-K Center
Sharon Matthews, Annie Belle Clark
Amber Sauls, G.O. Bailey Primary
Melissa Wells, Len Lastinger Primary
Algenard Bryant, Northside Primary
Lisa Green, Omega Elementary
Janida Graydon Charles Spencer
Tiffany Kennedy, Matt Wilson Elementary
Geneva McWhorter, J.T. Reddick
Pernell Bee, Eighth Street Middle 
Traci Hill, Northeast Campus
Denise Weeks, Tift County High 
Justin Joyner, Sixth Street Academy
Larry Howard, Central Office 
Standout Students
Erynn Allison is an eighth grader at ESMS and currently serves as the ESMS FFA President. She has excelled in various FFA Career Development Events on the local, area and state level in events such as Land Judging, Poultry Judging, Vet Science, Parliamentary Procedure and Environmental Natural Resources. Erynn also applied for and received a $500 grant from the Middle Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Service to install fruit trees on the ESMS campus. In addition to her FFA and Agriculture Education accomplishments, Erynn is also an Honor Student and already enrolled in several high school credit courses. She is a natural leader who works well with her peers and is constantly encouraging others to do their best. 
Board Meeting Highlights
There were several recognitions at the April Board meeting:
  • Ja'Leya Edmonds, from G.O. Bailey Primary School, was the first place winner for Tift County for the Destination Ag Art and Writing Contest. She won $100 and her teacher, Savannah Harvin, won $500 to spend on class materials.
  • Craig Matthews and Dr. Tom Mark thanked American Textiles for its $35,000 contribution to the Tift College and Career Academy.
  • Tift County was recognized for being one of two counties that received an award from Georgia Education Workers' Compensation Trust for having the lowest loss ratio for Workers Compensation. Tift County's loss ratio was 13 percent.
  • Mr. Atwater presented a letter to the Board of his intent to retire. His intended retirement date is June 30, 2019.
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.

"We all know body function humor is especially funny to many children . We were having 'circle time' and as everyone sat criss-cross, applesauce on the floor, someone passed gas. Lots of giggles ensued so I said, 'If you accidentally toot, you’re supposed to say ‘Excuse me.' One little darling chimed in, 'When my Daddy toots he says, ‘Ready, aim, FIRE!!!!' I had to walk outside the door and compose myself."

If you have a funny story, please share it with us at info@tiftschools.com.
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.

 Matt Wilson Elementary recently added a Rachio irrigation system to its raised bed gardening project. The Rachio device is an internet controlled, wireless, scheduling and controlling irrigation system. Using a Smartphone, a user can set watering cycles and control irrigation. UGA-Tifton staff members assisted in the installation.
Pictured from left to right are Kyle Nixon, Katie Folsom, Joshua Mathews, Eli Pate (Matt Wilson Student Council Officers), Penny Peters (Master Gardener and Parent Volunteer), Jason Clark (Matt Wilson Elem. Principal), and UGA Tifton staff members, Dr. Craig Kvien (Crop Scientist), Michelle Cooper (IT Professional) and Brad Buchanan (UGA Staff Member).

We appreciate all that you do!

If your business would like to become a Partner in Education,
please email us at info@tiftschools.com .
Recognizing Achievement
This time of year is filled with banquets, ceremonies and honors nights.Two of the biggest events are the CTAE Pathway Ceremony and the TCHS Honors Night. M ore than 500 students received their certificates and graduation cords for completing 794 pathways. CTAE provides students with the opportunity to select at least three sequenced electives in a career pathway, along with recommended academic course work, to prepare them to continue their education at any level or enter the workforce.
Hundreds of TCHS students were recognized for making top grades and for their volunteer hours. To see more photos from TCHS's Honors Night, click HERE .
Tift County Schools
207 N. Ridge Avenue
Tifton, Georgia 31794  
(229) 387-2400