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February 4, 2014

‘Disappointing, frustrating’

THOMASVILLE — The 2014 Thomasville City Schools Board of Education (BOE) chairman wants the city school system to schedule playing Thomas County Central High School (TCCHS) again at the earliest opportunity.

John Everett, recently elected BOE chairman, said Thomasville High School (THS) coaches and administration were contacted in December by Thomas County coaches and administration and told TCCHS had elected not to play Thomasville in 2014 in football.

“That news was very disappointing and frustrating to THS and Thomasville City,” Everett said. “We have a great appreciation for the rivalry between the two schools and understand the historical significance of the rivalry and its importance to the entire community. Our players, coaches, students and fans all look forward to competing with TCCHS.”

Everett said the game creates “huge interest” for both fan bases and financially is an important game for both schools.

Said Everett, “ ...  It's one mile down East Jackson Street either way, so travel costs are insignificant for both systems, which with the cost of fuel and budget constraints should be an important consideration for both systems.”

When the city system was notified by TCCHS the school was not going to schedule the game, THS had to proceed with completing the school’s 2014 schedule, Everett explained. Games were scheduled against Valdosta and West Dublin.

“You typically have to commit to two-year scheduling contracts,” the BOE chairman said.

Everett said it appears the earliest opportunity to play TCCHS again would be in the 2016 season unless the other schools canceled, creating an opening.

“I know it is the desire of the board and the Thomasville City Schools administration to continue to compete with TCCHS in basketball, baseball, soccer and other sports as usual and look forward to the opportunity to compete again in football as soon as possible,” Everett said.

City president of Farmers & Merchants Bank, Everett served four years as BOE vice chairman. He is a graduate of Thomasville High School, the University of Mississippi and several banking schools.

A former chairman of the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce, Thomasville YMCA and Thomasville/Thomas County Sports Hall of Fame, Everett is a Rotarian.

He and his wife, Lori, have three children: Harrison, 12, Anderson, 9, and Owen, 7.

Everett said plans for the new THS gymnasium have been completed and will be put to bid soon. The school system is dealing with an infrastructure situation in which a city water line must be relocated.

“The goal is to have the new gymnasium completed and operational by November 2014, in order to accommodate the 2014-15 basketball season. This is a capital need long overdue and significantly needed. Our current gymnasium is over 65 years old and is a converted World War II structure that has been very expensive to maintain,” Everett said.

The board, he said, is pleased with systemwide enrollment growth, creativity and diversity of curriculum and overall performance.

“So far, we've been able to withstand the significant budget cuts and underfunding of public education without a millage rate increase on the local tax base, but fiscal challenges remain a concern,” Everett said.

 He added, “Our teachers have been required to take furlough days for the last several years, and even though our system has been favorably compared to the rest of the state in terms of the number of days, we would like to be able to reduce or eliminate as soon as fiscally possible. The board has a great appreciation and respect for our teachers, employees and administrators as we've navigated very challenging waters in public education, really since 2009.”

 Everett said he is honored to be elected 2014 BOE chairman.

 “We have enjoyed tremendous leadership from (former chairman) Matthew Conyers for the last eight years, and I am very grateful to him personally for his mentoring and guidance during my seven years of service on the board,” Everett said.

 He added Conyers, elected 2014 vice chairman, remains an integral part of the board.

 Thomasville City Schools have enjoyed a renewed enrollment growth, developed creative and rigorous academic curriculum to challenge and develop students, improved and expanded facilities to accommodate the growth and understands the importance of a healthy, strong public education system for the overall benefit and quality of life in the community, Everett said.

  “As a board, we remain focused on meeting the educational needs of our kids, supporting our teachers and having a great respect for what they do in the classrooms and being fiscally responsible with the resources that are provided to support our system,” the chairman explained.

Senior Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.

 

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