In McDuffie County, we are fortunate indeed to have a community which places a quality education at a high premium. Evidence of this was shown again at Thomson High School this week in the new "Are You Platinum?" program instituted this year and in the "Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way" Renaissance initiative.
Stokes-Hodges GM, led by owner Jan Hodges Burch and General Manager Mark Boyd, answered the call this past July to donate a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am to a lucky student in our "Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way" recognition program. Pupils worked steadily all year to amass tickets in the program, which rewarded punctuality, attendance, exemplary behavior, good grades, and extracurricular involvement. To say the students (and staff) were excited was an understatement! Without the support of such a civic-minded organization, it would have been impossible to offer such an opportunity to the THS students. We salute Stokes-Hodges for its generous donation and its commitment to our community and school system.
Additional gratitude is due to those who have maintained the Renaissance spirit at THS all year. The Renaissance Leadership class, led by Tammy Kay Brunson, has worked tirelessly all year to promote the Renaissance program at THS. We would also like to thank our Balfour supplier, H & R Smith of Atlanta, for donating two class rings for rising juniors and two sets of invitations for rising seniors as a part of our Renaissance program, and Danny Rhea of Appalachian Insurance has supported the Teacher of the Month program. Finally, we appreciate the donations of Arby's, sponsor of the Student of the Month program, and Coca-Cola, which has sponsored our Thirsty Thursday and Student of the Month programs and which donated drinks again for our junior class cookout, rewarding students who passed four of the five graduation tests on the first attempt.
Additionally, our platinum card program, begun this March, flourished with benefits for students because of other patrons of education. We sincerely appreciate the following businesses for sponsoring the program this year and for donating cash, products and privileges: Wal-mart, McDonald's, Burger King, Movie Gallery, Captain D's, Zaxby's, Dee Ann's Photography, Ivery's Restaurant, Chick-Fil-A at Augusta Exchange, Amigo's, Checkers, H & H Signs, Kent's, Abigail's on Main, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Stephanie's Stylon, Brunswick Bowling Lanes, G. Smith Dry Cleaners, Bi-Lo, and Jostens. Appreciation is due to the THS school council member Deborah Bell who organized the donations and contributed to the program.
By supporting these endeavors, the McDuffie County area signals to students the importance of diligence, determination, and achievement. Let us continue to work together for the benefit of all of our students and to maintain our focus on excellence in education in McDuffie County and at Thomson High School, where tradition never graduates.