Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 15, 2014

Eyeing excellence

Rev. Arthur L. Jones III

THOMASVILLE — MacIntyre Park Middle School (MPMS) boasts new technology, a new leader and a renewed focus on academic achievement and school safety.

Now at the midway point of its first year under the leadership of Principal Keith Hose, MacIntyre Park’s new school slogan is: “Excellence is the only option.”

Hose is no stranger to academic excellence. As an honors graduate of Colquitt County High School, he earned a full academic scholarship to attend Albany State University, where he earned many scholarships, awards and recognitions for his leadership. He has earned three degrees in Educational Leadership and is working on a doctoral degree at ASU.

Hose credits several exceptional teachers as being mentors to him while he was growing up. He quickly points out that his parents — Mr. and Mrs. Ron Keys — remain his greatest inspirations.

“I am well aware of the great advantages in life which can come about because of a quality education. And I want every MPMS student to experience what I’ve experienced through good choices and performance in the classroom.”

Hose has been the recognized for Who's Who Among Teachers and Young Professionals, an MLK Dream Award recipient, a top 40 under 40 recipient, an Achievement Award recipient through his fraternity, The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He is an active member of the Georgia Association of Educators, the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals, the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals.

MacIntyre Park, the only middle school in the Thomasville City School System, has an enrollment of about 600 students in grades 6, 7 and 8.

Home of the (Baby) Bulldogs, MPMS serves as the base school, with Scholar’s Academy being a magnet school within a school. Students of Scholar’s Academy are being actively prepared for an accelerated academic program intended for entry into a college, a university or a technical school upon graduation. In 2009, MacIntyre Park was one of only 13 middle schools statewide to earn its way off Georgia’s “Needs Improvement” list. MPMS is a Title I school.

Family is important to Hose. He is married to Deatrice M. Hose, an educator, who works in the Thomas County School System. They are the parents of a son, Kalan. Hose greatly values his church family — and considers the staff and student body of MPMS to be his extended family.

MPMS is the first and only school in Georgia to employ the full-time use of smart TVs in every classroom. The new building at MacIntyre Park Middle School has desks specially designed to house laptop PCs quickly and securely within themselves. The eighth-grade building has security cameras integrated into every hallway, classroom, office and stairwell on both floors.

The media center is state-of-the-art, featuring plush chairs equipped with power outlets and USB ports for students and faculty. The eighth-grade building was engineered to allow an abundance of natural light. Meanwhile, security protocols are in place to ensure the safety of all school personnel and all students.

Of parental support and participation, Hose said, “The parents are very excited about the new things happening this school year. We’ve had several events so far and initially expected a low turnout, but the turnout was actually high. We have an excellent Parent-Teacher Organization. We work hard, yes, but we also play hard the right way. We’re always eager to incorporate more parental involvement here. The Bulldog Press has been instrumental in keeping our parents informed and active.”

Hose attributes the smooth transition of his tenure thus far to his administrative staff.

“There are many great things happening here — both inside and outside of these buildings. I am new to the school, but I’m not new to Thomasville,” he said. “I am aware of certain perceptions. We are trying hard to address the school’s image with the community so that people can view our school as a viable option for their children. I share my vision with these highly trained professionals, and they make it happen. I thank them constantly, because I know that when I ask them to do something, it will be done with fidelity. My ‘Dream Team’ consists of Ishia Dawson, assistant principal; Tiffany Oldham, guidance counselor; and Marcie West, instructional coach. They all play very pivotal roles in terms of driving academics, minimizing discipline problems and nurturing our students.”

Said Dawson, “Every year, I want to see more self-pride and ownership from everyone — students, faculty and staff. We must all accept the challenges given daily — and work 100 percent to achieve them daily. We don’t want to assume anything. We want people who genuinely want to be here and once you’re here, you’re vested in being a part of something great. We encourage teamwork. And we expect performance.”

Oldham said, “I think the greatest asset we have to offer the community is our size. We’re a small school. We know our children personally. We know their name, and we can ask them about something which happened to them on yesterday. Get to be a mom here at the school. I would love to have a waiting list as big as our enrollment list. I want us to be the school of choice. And I think we’re going to get there.”

Of the future, West said, “I would love to see us make AYP (adequate yearly progress) in consecutive years. I want us to be a school of excellence academically and relationally. My job is to take the initiatives put forth by (Mr.) Hose to the staff, ensure that standards are taught effectively, facilitate that we take on the cutting edge of instruction, and monitor the proper use of our technology for the maximum benefit of our students. In the future, I want us to continue raising the bar in all we do here. It’s incredible to watch God work from my vantage point.”

“If you’re going to be a Bulldog, you might as well be the top dog,” opined Hose. “I do thank God for this opportunity. I thank the school board and the superintendent for trusting me and believing in me to make things happen. I thank the Bulldog faithful who have donated their time and their services to MacIntyre Park Middle School. Brand-new mentoring initiatives are being implemented this month. The Project Excel Youth Mentoring Group Inc. and the 100 Black Men of Brooks-Grady-Thomas Counties Inc. have joined the Thomas County Ministerial Alliance as active partners within the school. We have active and retired role models from all walks of life who have pledged to encourage and support our kids. MPMS is moving forward in the right direction. It’s been an excellent school year so far — and it gets better each and every day.”

Tours of MPMS are free and available upon request. Anyone who has questions can call the school office at 225-2628 or schedule an appointment in person at the school.