"Teachers and Parents in Support of Students" Recognition Program - March 2021

ASHS - March 2021

Teachers and Parents in Support of Students

Sumter County Board of Education

March 11, 2021

Dr. Torrance Choates continues his "Teachers and Parents in Support of Students" recognition program at the monthly Board of Education Meetings. For the month of March, the Americus-Sumter High School’s principal, Mr. Kimothy Hadley recognized Mrs. Sherry Thomas (Support Staff), Mr. Isaac Ballarapu (Teacher), Ja’Kabruan Smith (10th Grade-Student), Mr. Ossie Evans (Parent), and Ms. Evonne Andrews (Custodian)


The Americus-Sumter High School student, Ja’Kabrian Smith, is in the 10th grade and is the son of Ross RoChester and Latoyar Hurley.  He has attended Sumter County Schools his entire academic career, as well as his two siblings, Jy’Tyria and Ja’Mircale Hurley. 

Mr. Hadley stated that, “Ja’Kabrian has shown himself to be driven and motivated as a student this year.  Even with all the changes with this year’s instructional delivery, he has continued to grow.  He has maintained mostly A’s and B’s throughout this school year.  He is present almost every day in class with his camera on and is often one of the first ones to class, even his 1st block at 8:30.  He does not let struggles become an excuse but uses these to help him grow and overcome.  He participates in class discussions and is quick to offer technical assistance to teachers as well as other students in the virtual classroom.

Ja’Kabrian’s teachers and peers describe him as respectful, personable and dependable. 


Ms. Jill Forehand, ELA teacher stated, “Jakabrian Smith is doing great for me in Extended English 2.  He is the first to log in, comment, submit, etc. in the virtual class.  He always has his camera on.  He is diligent in his work.  He reaches out with questions to make sure he is completing assignments correctly.  His eNotebook is complete.  He submits all work promptly.  


Additionally, he has perfect attendance.  He is doing awesome!  He makes virtual instruction look easy!”


Ms. Zara Khan, Science Teacher shared, “He has always demonstrated diligence and empathy towards his work. He always has a respectful tone towards his teachers that identifies his uniqueness.”

Congratulations Ja’Kabrian!  It is evident that you are an excellent example of the students we call our ASHS Panthers!

Mr. Ossie Evans Jr., parent volunteer, is the son of Mary Davis and Ossie Evans Sr. He is a proud graduate of Americus High School Class of 1987. He currently works with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and have done so for the last ten years. Mr. Evans is the proud father of five wonderful young men Quinton Evans, Eric Hall Jr., Cameron Evans, Cason Evans, and Chase Evans. He is a member of Union Tabernacle Baptist Church. Some of Mr. Evans hobbies are reading, watching TV, spending time with his boys, working out, playing basketball, and talking with people. 

Mr. Evans currently serves as the president of the Americus Sumter High School Tip-off Basketball Booster Club. Where he ensures that every student athlete and coach have the resources needed to perform. Mr. Evans serves as a parent representative for Sumter County School’s Cognia Certification Review as well. 

Sherri Harris, Head Girl Basketball Coach stated, “Mr. Evans has done a great job and has really made our jobs easier by generating funds through the concession stand to support our summer camps and equipment needs. He has created a culture where a great group of parents are dependable and enjoy working together.  Job Well Done.”


Mr. Evans said, “My passion is for the children of Sumter County Georgia, not just mine, but every child.”

Mr. Ballarapu, Mathematics teacher, was chosen for this special recognition because of the growth he has demonstrated as both a teacher and a leader. Mr. Hadley stated, “He has always been committed to doing what is best for our students and providing quality instruction, but the circumstances surrounding this school year have required him to step up in more ways than one. He has pushed himself beyond his comfort zone and committed himself to learning and trying new things. He identified areas that he wanted to grow in and immediately sought out strategies and resources to make it happen. Even after 36 years of teaching, he doesn’t limit himself to instructional strategies that are typically used in the traditional classroom and is now a leader in integrating technology and finding different ways to engage his students.”


He has also made a conscious effort to engage his department with his new knowledge as well. He shares what he has learned with his department and offers assistance to those wanting to try new resources. He brings the group together regularly and provides opportunities for them to share ideas and learn new tools for their own pedagogy. He can often be seen modeling some of these strategies and using digital resources during their sessions. He also contributes to the school leadership team by consistently sharing ideas, offering solutions, and participating in the decision making process. 

“Mr. Ballarapu is a valuable asset to our leadership team, our school, and our students.” concluded Mr. Hadley. 

Ms. Evonne Andrews, custodian, was born and raised in Preston, GA. She has three daughters and four granddaughters. Ms. Andrews is full of love for people, especially her family, and this especially includes her ASHS family.

Ms. Andrews is passionate about her job. She always goes above and beyond. She helps organize care packages when a staff member is in need and will even provide meals or pick up groceries for those that can’t do it for themselves. Every morning Ms. Andrews delivers breakfast to the children of staff members here on campus. During the Christmas Holidays, she organized a gift and stocking event for ASHS staff’s children accompanying parents during virtual instruction days.

Mrs. Tamika Sparks, library para professional states, “She is always willing to help in any way possible.  She always has a positive attitude and that smile is worth a million bucks.  One sentence to describe her is: A smile that captures the heart!!!!

Mrs. Sandra Wolcott, counselor said, “Mrs. Andrews has experienced a lot of sickness in her family and she tends to be the caregiver for everyone.  She is like the "mama" of the family. Mrs. Andrews always makes me smile when I'm around her.”

Mrs. Christina Farias, Administrative Assistant mentioned, “Mr. Andrews always made me feel welcome from the moment I started working at ASHS. She is friendly not just to me but to everyone that she is around. She is willing to help others without being asked. ‘We rise by lifting others’ exemplifies Ms. Andrews.”  

Mrs. Kim Barrett shared, “Mrs. Andrews has qualities described by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as having the ‘power of a touch, a smile, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring…[with] the potential to turn life around’. She has a heart of gold and her display of true compassion for everyone (co-workers, students and parents) is the reason we are blessed to have her as a part of 'OUR' family.  

Mrs. Latonya Harvey, Administrative Assistant stated, “Before leaving work every day you will always hear Ms. Andrews say ‘I'll see you all tomorrow, Love You’.”


Pictured left to right:

Dr. Torrance Choates, Superintendent of Sumter County Schools; Mr. Isaac Ballarapu, Mathematics Teacher; Mrs. Sherry Thomas, Support Staff; Ms. Evonne Andrews Custodian; Mr. Ossie Evans, Parent Volunteer; Mr. Kimothy Hadley, ASHS Principal; and Assistant Principals Dr. Marnie Dutcher and Mr. Joseph Moncrief