THOMASVILLE — Employment with Thomas County Central High School means coming home for educator Doug Cain.
A former Thomas County Schools student, Cain is TCCHS’ new Coordinated Career Academic Education teacher. Students call Cain a good teacher who is intelligent, funny and has a great personality.
“He makes sure that we get what he is saying,” MaKayla Rogers, 16, said. “And he is a person who can uplift your spirit when you come into his class.”
CCAE is a course designed to educate teenagers with the skills needed to make a smooth transition from school to the workplace. It increases skills such as organization, character building and leadership.
One reason Cain is prepared to take on this role is his years spent in the Marine Corps. He was active for four years, stationed in 29 Palms, California, and deployed to places such as Japan, Korea, Kuwait and Iraq. There, he was a member of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a corporal and served as a platoon leader.
To him, the USMC is the essential branch of the military because it is the first sent to fight in wartime. Marines also have the longest and most challenging boot camp of all branches, 13 weeks of recruit training.
“The Marines made me respect myself, others and life in a way that I can never replace,” Cain said. “To serve my country is the most honorable thing I have ever accomplished in my life.”
Cain acquired a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education from Valdosta State University. Also, he’s certified in special education and career technologies.
Before coming to TCCHS, he worked for school systems in Brooks and Taylor counties. At both, he acted in the position of strength and conditioning coach. Also, he was the physical education teacher in Taylor County and coached football in both Brooks and Taylor counties.
Athletics are important to Cain. He understands the ups and downs an athlete faces because he was once one. He played linebacker in football and an outfielder in baseball during his middle and high school years. Cain also played outside linebacker at VSU.
As a result of the impact his coaches had on him growing up, Cain is now coaching the TCCHS outside linebackers. He hopes to be a part of creating responsible people as his coaches did for him.
“I love to help others and coach the game of football, and education gives me the opportunity to do both,” he said. “I love being able to help young men grow and see themselves transform into a responsible, successful individual and know that God blessed me with this opportunity. The changes and discipline that takes place on the football field help mold a young person for life!”
In the classroom, his goal is for the students to leave his class prepared to make their mark on society and turn into successful, leading adults in their community.
“The best lessons I have learned from Mr. Cain, so far, are hard work and never give up on your dream or yourself, even when you feel like you are about to lose,” Rogers said.
Being given the opportunity to help the development of future generations is what Cain enjoys most about being an educator.
“I approach each lesson with an open door to allow for input, active learning and an optimistic environment because everyone at some point and time in life becomes an employee or employer and needs the skills appropriate to be successful,” Cain said.
His experience in the classroom has opened his eyes to the way teenage minds engage in daily situations. For example, he tasked his students with choosing a job that interests them and creating a résumé. One student gave the response of environmental engineer.
“This stood out because, out of any job able to be picked, this student decided to pick something that helps our well-being,” Cain said. “This is just proof of the caring type of students we have here at Central.”
Sophomore Hannah Ansley, 15, says the most beneficial lesson Cain’s taught her thus far is success skills.
“They’ve shown me that it is important to do what I can to be successful for the betterment of my education,” she said.
Cain is unmarried and has no children. However, he has two nephews (his younger brother’s children) who are enrolled in the county school system.
Outside of school, Cain is a co-trainer at Children of Godly Inheritance, a local gym run by Central alumnus and NFL Super Bowl champion Danny Copeland.
Besides teaching, training and coaching, Cain enjoys hunting game such as deer, dove, duck and quail. He also enjoys saltwater fishing and catching bream and bass. He hooked his biggest fish to date at age 17 when fishing at his aunt’s house.
“…I landed an 11 pounds, 6-ounce bass she mounted for me,” he said. “I have yet to match it in my years of fishing.”
But TCCHS and Cain are a right match, he says, and returning to the Jackets’ Nest means honor and pride.
“I grew up watching TCCHS succeed athletically and educate a lot of my family and friends,” he said. “I am thankful to be able to say I am part of continuing such a great academic and athletic tradition.”