Message from the CEO

Dear Community Members,

In the beginning, there were 108 community members who participated in the process to develop a new kind of school, centered around community needs and driven by business and industry. A plan was developed, and THINC Academy became a reality, with Kia Motors leading the way.

We opened our doors to students in 2015, and now, we are ready to take it to the next level. Beginning in January 2016, over 50 community members came back together to develop a 3-year strategic plan to guide our work as we move forward to achieve our goals.

Many thanks to all who gave their time, support and ideas to bring this plan to life. Their work is truly appreciated. Please review the plan and know your continued support will be needed. We have big goals, and we expect to be a model of educational transformation and workforce development for Troup County.

We look forward to making a difference in the lives of our students and our community. Please join us in this extraordinary effort and know your support is appreciated.


Gerald Wyatt, CEO

Gerald Wyatt, CEO

THINC College & Career Academy

Strategic Planning Committee

Ashley Adams, TCSS Board Member

Perrin Alford, Provost/COO WGTC

John Asbell, Local Manager, Georgia Power

Monica Barber, Community Dev. Specialist, City of West Point

Bridget Benefield, Guidance Counselor, Troup High School

Jorderias Brown, THINC Student

Sara Ann Bryant, THINC Student

Robby Burch, Director, Customer Care, Interface

Speer Burdette, President/GM, Callaway Foundation

Karen Cagle, Assistant Superintendent, TCSS

Dr. Kathy Carlisle, CEO, THINC

Bobby Carmichael, Executive Director, Downtown Authority

Diane Cousins, Nurse Practitioner, Emory Clark Holder Clinic

Patrick Crews, County Commissioner, Troup County

Steve Daniel, President, West Georgia Technical College

Meghan Duke, Eco. Dev. Director, City of West Point

Cindy Eggebrecht, Director of Marketing Communications, Bretford

Page Estes, President & CEO, LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce

Jane Fryer, COO, Development Authority of LaGrange

Kirk Hancock, candidate, Troup County BOE

Corinne Hodges, Senior Manager, KIA

Opal Hogg, Community Relations, Jindal Films

Randy Jackson, CAO, KIA

Penny Johnson, Principal, LaGrange High School

Byron Jones, CFO, Troup County School System

Nate Jung, General Manager, Sewon

Kim Learnard, Exec. Dir., Dept. Inst. Adv., WGTC

Chris Lee, Business Marketing Instructor, THINC

Scott Malone, President, Dev. Authority of LaGrange

Dianne Matthews, TCSS Board Member

Dennis Chip Medders, Principal, Troup High School

Charity Miller, Math Instructor, THINC

Josh Moon, Chairman, West Point Dev. Authority

Marshall Murray, HOD/Senior Manager, MOBIS

Shawn Newingham, HR, Caterpillar

Leigh Newman, Exec. Director of Econ. Dev., WGTC

Mark Peevy, Exec. Dir., Sec. Ed Initiatives, TCS GA

Lucinda Person, HR, LaGrange College

Chris Petrick, CEO, Bretford

Jennifer Pike, Asst. Principal/ Registrar, THINC

Laura Lee Pike, English Instructor, THINC

Dr. Cole Pugh, Superintendent, TCSS

John Radcliffe, Asst. Superintendent, TCSS

Jason Ransbottom, Div. Mgr., Powertech America

Bob Redding, VP of Sales, Bretford

Holt Redding, Asst., VP & Controller, Calumet Bank

Helen Rice, Board Member, Georgia BOE

Patricia Rogers, Community Relations, WellStar

Dr. Mardi Schauffler, Doctor, WellStar

Yolanda Stephen, Director of Public Relations, TCSS

Toni Striblin, Owner, Rogers BBQ

Julia Stodghill, Asst. Principal, LaGrange High School

Jim Thorton, Mayor, City of LaGrange

Leigh Threadgill, Senior Planner, City of LaGrange

Kathy Tilley, Exec. Director, Troup County Center for Strategic Planning

Chris Turk, SVP Manufacturing & Operations, Interface

Dr. Chris Williams, Director/Principal, THINC

Renae Willis, VP Bus. Dev. & Marketing, LaGrange-Troup County Chamber

Mike Young, Regional Sales Manager, Cox Automotive

Executive Summary

In early 2006, the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and Troup County School System recognized the need to ensure the business community was informed about the connection between education and workforce development, and thus the impact on economic development.

The Workforce Development Committee of the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning developed the idea for a career academy as one strategy to improve recruiting, hiring and retention of highly qualified employees. Such a school topped the list of ideas for economic development, and THINC College & Career Academy became a reality.

THINC’s mission is, “to produce work-savvy graduates in an expert-based charter academy using a down-to-business approach to education with authentic hands-on curriculum extending learning beyond the traditional classroom propelled by a sustained community”.

THINC College & Career Academy develops “work savvy” students to have technical and soft skills when entering the workforce or college. These students are desirable to businesses and colleges because they’ve also developed a strong work ethic and critical thinking skills.

In 2015, THINC first opened its doors, and has been a major success. The CEO, Principal and Board recognized the opportunity to take THINC to the next level, and determined the need to develop a strategic plan to inform and guide the school over the next 3 years.

In January 2016, a large group came together to develop the plan. This group included business leaders, board members, Troup County School System and THINC personnel, students, chamber of commerce leaders, and postsecondary partners. Over a period of 4 months, groups met and hammered out a detailed plan that outlines the strategies, action steps, measurable outcomes, deadlines, responsible parties, and resources needed to meet goals.

The bold plan that follows is designed to ensure goals are met or exceeded:

  • Academic and social-emotional growth and achievement of all students
  • All students participate in a continuum of college and career experiences
  • All students leave with college credit, professional certifications, and completion of a capstone project
  • High quality, real-world teaching, integrating technical, academic and soft skills
  • Quality relationships between the Troup County School System, THINC, and the community
  • Growth and replication of THINC to increase the model across the district

Community Support