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Mark and JoAnn Herbert of Herbert Homes presented a $10,000  check to the McDuffie County Board of Education to benefit the construction program at Thomson High School. Pictured are Trevor Roberson, THS principal; Andy Knox, board chairman; Mychele Rhodes, superintendent of schools; and Jarvis McNair, board vice chairman.

A local developer showed his commitment to education by donating $10,000 to the construction program at Thomson High School.

Mark and JoAnn Herbert, of Herbert Homes, and the developers turning the former 1810 winery in Thomson into a multifaceted residential and commercial entity, presented the check for the construction program to the McDuffie County Board of Education Aug. 15.

In making the donation, he said the money is to be used for supplies and training materials for the multiple pathways offered within the construction career cluster at the high school.

Herbert said with the building of the new community, he is going to need people in construction and skilled tradesmen and is looking to find students from the construction pathway to hire.  He said CTAE education is important and allows skilled trades people to start right out of high school earning more than $30,000 with the potential to earn more throughout their career.  

In presenting the check, Herbert challenged the businesses in the community to help them help the students. “We don’t just want your money. We want your expertise. We want you to step up and help theses kids in the school programs. We want your time.”

Herbert assured the board that more money would be forthcoming.

“I am not going to stop here,” he said. “We are going to continue and do some other things.”

McDuffie County Schools Superintendent Mychele Rhodes accepted the check on behalf of the children of McDuffie County schools. “Our purpose every day is to ensure that we are preparing children for college and careers. We recognize that for the sustainability of this community, the development of those careers is essential for us to have a strong workforce,” she said. “Your commitment and dedication to that tonight is most appreciative and we will ensure that these students use this to the benefit of their futures and this community.”

In addition, the board of education:

•Approved a millage rate for maintenance and operations of 19.69, which is a continuation of the current millage rate;

•Approved a revised no tobacco use policy for students, employees, visitors and school facilities to include electronic cigarettes, vapor products, and products with cannabis or hemp.

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