Irwin Participates in School Bus Safety Program

School Bus InspectionsIrwin County participated in the Georgia School Bus Safety Program this week. This program is designed to record and report the annual safety inspections of each school bus operating in Georgia. Each Irwin County bus was thoroughly inspected by the GA Dept of Public Safety. Senator Tyler Harper stopped by during the inspection. Senator Harper's grandmother, Mrs. Shelvy Jean Harper, has been a bus driver for Irwin County School System for many years.

Pictured along with Georgia Public Safety and DOT personnel are Kerry Billingsley, Assistant Superintendent, John Hudson, School Bus Shop Supervisor, Mrs. Shelvy Jean Harper, Senator Tyler Harper, and Jessica Sirmans, Title Programs.

Rolling Study Halls Initiative Presented at ICMS

rshgoogle2Governor Brian Kemp and state lawmakers Tyler Harper and Clay Pirkle were on hand with Irwin County School District administrators, board members, and students on Thursday, April 18, as Google representatives presented their "Rolling Study Halls" initiative at Irwin County Middle School. Rolling Study Halls provide devices and wireless Internet access to students who ride the bus for 55 to 75 minutes each day, thus helping combat the "homework gap" for students who may not have Internet access at home to complete homework each day.

Irwin County is the first county in Georgia and one of only 16 other counties in the nation to have this initiative.

For more information on Rolling Study Halls, visit


Goodman Named ICHS STAR Student

Goodman, SpellIrwin County High School senior Montana Goodman has been named the school’s 2019 PAGE STAR Student. David Martin, Energy Services Adviser of Irwin EMC in Ocilla, and Cathy Stott, President/CEO of the Ocilla/Irwin Chamber of Commerce, the local STAR program sponsors, announced the honor on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Goodman selected Terry Spell, English teacher at Irwin County High School, as her STAR Teacher.

Montana, the daughter of Michael and Pam Goodman, earned the recognition for academic achievement and performance on the SAT. Montana has been in the Top 10 every school year and excels academically, being the top in her class. In addition to academics, Montana is a valued member of the ICHS tennis team. Montana chose Mrs. Spell as her STAR Teacher because “she has always been more than just a teacher to me. She pushed me to my limits and showed me that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought I was able to achieve.” Even after Montana stopped being in her classes, Mrs. Spell continued to be a mentor and supporter and Montana knew exactly who she wanted to choose as her STAR Teacher when given the opportunity.

Nate Phillips Wins System Spelling Bee

spell1 2     Congratulations to the system spelling bee champion Nate Phillips and runner-up Shelby Barbee. Both are 7th grade students.  Nate will represent Irwin County in the upcoming district spelling bee to be held in Bainbridge on February 23. 
     Participants to the 2018-2019 system-wide spelling bee were: ICES--Hunter Holcombe, Jeremiah Smith, Keon Slacks, Olicia Peacock, Ellie Willingham, Peyton Reeves, Rhiana Escobar, Brooklyn Gordon, Laci Smitgh Henry Purvis, and Alternates Cemorra Gaskins and Laila Martin. ICMS--Blake Blanchett, Louis Christie, Mona Eady Reid Houston, Darius Lake, Leslie Merritt, Runner-up Shelby Barbee, Ben Cook, Champion Nate Phillips, Sonny Terrell, and alternates Ziaya Robinson and Hannah Lake. 
     Coordinators of the annual spelling bee are Maria Johnson and Christie Copeland.

Lockett Retires from Board of Education

Board of Education(L to R) Kurt Wilmot, Lamar Purvis, Mrs. Lockett, Dr. Thad Clayton, Paige Wynn, Gary Paulk

On Monday, December 17, during the regular meeting of the Irwin County Board of Education, Mrs. Sylvia Lockett officially retired from the board after 24 years' service. She was presented a plaque by her fellow board members and board staff with the quote, "By word and deed, your presence has enriched the lives of many and served as an example for all." We thank Mrs. Lockett for her faithful service to the citizens of Irwin County.

lockettfamilyMrs. Sylvia Lockett and family


Toll-Free School Safety Hotline

The 1-877-SAY-STOP toll-free hotline was created by the Georgia Department of Education. Students can anonymously report anyone who has a weapon, has threatened to bring a weapon to school, or has violated any other school safety rules. The hotline hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; after 5 p.m. all calls will be forwarded to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Callers will not be asked to reveal their identities. Make the call; you can make a difference!