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Reese announces retirement from Thomson High

Next year, Thomson High School will have a new leader at the helm.


Thomson High School Principal Bill Reese signs a form for a student after school.
Jason B. Smith
THS Principal Bill Reese announced to the faculty on Wednesday Jan. 14 that he would retire at the end of the school year. His request was approved by the Board of Education the following day.

According to Mr. Reese, the time for him to retire was right.

"It's just getting to the point where it's time to go," he said.

Mr. Reese has been in education 33 years. He spent 27 of those years in the McDuffie County School system. He was the assistant principal at THS for 10 years and was promoted to the job of principal when former THS Principal Bob Smith retired four years ago.

"He has done an outstanding job providing leadership for Thomson High school, the faculty and staff," Mr. Smith said. "Through the years having worked with him I knew that he would make an excellent leader for Thomson High School. ... As far as I'm concerned he's done that.

"Him being a very moral and Christian man, and him having the kids' best interests at heart, I think that is a quality that every principal should have."


Mr. Reese reads afternoon announcements.
Jason B. Smith
Mr. Reese has many fond memories of his time at THS. From his years coaching football up to his time as principal, the source of happiness from his job has been simple.

"I enjoy seeing kids improve and get better," Mr. Reese said. "I enjoy working with teachers, hopefully giving them what they need to get their job done."

Mr. Reese hopes his strongest legacy will be the relationships he has helped build throughout the years.

"Those kinds of things will help them be successful in the classroom, at work, and with interpersonal skill development," Mr. Reese said. "That's what I feel like I've hopefully helped them with."

Teachers, students and co-workers alike had praise for Mr. Reese. Some even expressed concern over who would replace him.

"Having that history of employment and knowledge of the school and knowledge of the system, it's going to be a tremendous task (to replace him)," said McDuffie County Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Gwen Rountree.


Mr. Reese stands among students after school Friday.
Jason B. Smith
"We're very traditional, and we're set in our ways, the high school as a whole. We are usually wary of any change," said Stacey Amerson, a special education teacher at THS who was a student there during Mr. Reese's time as assistant principal. "He's a good person to work for. ... He's a good guy. We like him."

Mr. Reese isn't quite sure what he will be doing after his last day at THS, but he is sure he will be doing something. He listed work on his farm as a possible way to keep boredom at bay.

He said he will continue to support the school as well as THS athletics. He also said that maybe his dream trip to Alaska will be on the agenda as well.

"I'm going to find something to do and stay busy," he said, "at least for the next five or six years."

Web posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004

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