Woods arrived quietly without an entourage of staff members and was warmly greeted by Thomasville City Schools Superintendent Sabrina Boykins-Everett, MPMS Principal Tina McBride, Scholars Academy Director Dr. Dale Graham, and a group of middle school student ambassadors. Woods’ down-to-earth demeanor made the students feel immediately comfortable when they met the leader in the top position of the Georgia Department of Education.
Kevin Andrews was initially slightly afraid and overwhelmed to meet such an important person, but says that he will always remember this special experience.
“When I shook his hand, I knew there was nothing to be afraid of,” said Andrews.
Andrews added that he was proud of his school and that he looks forward to representing his student body when other “big” people chose to visit MacIntyre Park Middle School.
After the students had the chance to meet with Woods, he toured classrooms in MacIntyre Park Middle School and Scholars Academy.
Science teacher Meredith Crocker’s classroom was the first stop on the tour, and Woods was treated to the vision of students engaged with their teacher, individual Chrome books, and a large touch-screen television at the front of the room for interactive learning.
“I see the visit from the State School Superintendent as an opportunity to show off our students and the technology they are blessed to use daily, as they come to school to learn new concepts and apply their ideas,” said Crocker.
Eighth Grade Physical Science, AP Physics, and AP Environmental Science teacher Jonathan Ariail received a surprise visit from Superintendent Woods.
“It was wonderful to have a visit from Richard Woods on Friday. It was an excellent opportunity to exhibit our educational efforts and successes!” said Arial.
One student in Ariail’s class, senior Jacob Cone, recognized Woods immediately as he serves on the State Superintendent of School’s Student Advisory Council which is a select group of students in grades 7-12 who discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Georgia.
“At the last meeting Student Advisory Council meeting, I mentioned to Superintendent Woods about coming down to South Georgia. I was so glad that he took the time to allow us showcase our great school,” said Cone.
When Woods visited Dr. Artez Sims’s classroom they were able to discuss the school system’s activities as it relates to Sims being the coach for FIRST LEGO League and the beginning involvement in FIRST Technical Challenge (a high school extension of LEGO League).
“Visiting the school provides a first-hand view of the interesting and exciting dynamics that our school system offers. He was able to see a blend of approaches used by various educators to teach their lessons,” said Dr. Sims.