WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) – Burke County High School has been around since 1987 and is a great place to be if you’re a Burke County Bear.

From it’s top-of-the-line football stadium to some of the schools other features, the school has a lot to be proud of, including the programs made to help its students.

“Burke County High School is set apart, in my humble opinion, based on their committed effort and to provide academics in the educational programs to the whole child. Meaning that we’re providing not only instructional programs to our students, but we’re also providing a nutritional program, but we’re also having students understand how these things can be applied once they leave the walls of Burke County High School,” said Principal Walter Seabrooks.

For the school’s nutritional program, students are not only fed breakfast and lunch. Students in after-school programs are fed dinner.

They also help with students’ transportation.

“The transportation department has been one of the God sends, I think, of this county just because it allows kids to be able to participate in after-school activities and sports and not have to worry about how they’re going to get home. Burke County is a huge county, geographically, so we cover a lot of miles when you talk about going from one end of this county to the others; and because of that kids that live twenty miles or so away from school. So, in order to play after-school sports or be involved with other activities, sometimes – depending on the bus system – it’s the only way they’d be able to participate,” said Coach Eric Parker.

Burke County High School is also looking to address the achievement gap for some of the school’s readers.

“We’ve been collaborating with HMH. We have coaches that come in and help us work with our students to increase their literacy and, so, what we’ve been doing with them is students are taking some growth measures to check their reading throughout the course of the school year and we are checking to see how we are closing those achievement gaps for our readers” said English teacher, Leigh Lovett.

“The literacy program here is built to help students improve literacy not just in the school but throughout the community. We are servicing a community in which a lot of people don’t have access to books and different things that would help with literacy. So, here we try to provide them with those things to help increase literacy in the community,” said English teacher, Tasha Brihm.

“In the program, we are teaching students how to analyze text, we are teaching them how to close read a text, and understand what the author means by that and we are also teaching students critical thinking skills,” said Lovett.

“During a time when we had COVID a lot of students fell behind in their reading level and Lexia levels dropped and, so, without reading you only become a better reader by reading more. So, we try to give them interesting reading materials so they’ll get that love for reading back again,” said Brihm.
It’s clear Burke County High School truly cares about its students.

“This is my 16th year here and I can tell you one of the considerations that’s always going to be made in every decision that we deal with is what’s going to be best for our students,” said Parker.

“All we want here is for our students to achieve and I think all these programs help prepare them for their future and to be a better person,” said Brihm.

“Our goal is to help students become their best selves and help them prepare for their best future. Whether if that is for them to go into the work force or to go to college, we want to prepare them for their best future,” said Lovett.