Troup alumni host BBQ lunch

Published 8:29 pm Friday, May 10, 2019

On Friday, faculty and staff at Troup High School were recognized for their hard work with a barbecue lunch catered by the Troup High Alumni Association.

This is the fifth year that the alumni association has provided lunch during Teacher Appreciation Week, and teachers said they look forward to the lunch every year.

“It is something that we look forward to every year, without a doubt,” said Chance Giddens, Troup County STAR teacher. “Teacher appreciation week is something that all teachers can enjoy. [It is nice] anytime we get an ‘atta boy’ or a pat on the back or a little piece of chocolate — it really doesn’t take much — but when these guys come and cook us lunch every year, it is something that everyone looks forward to throughout the year.”

Troup High Principal Niki Watts, who is a Troup alumna, thanked the alumni association. She said that the group’s commitment to supporting the school is indicative of the impact THS has had on students over the years.

“It is a testament to the kind of personal investment these folks have made into Troup High well beyond their time here and their willingness to give of their time, their money, their efforts to support us, to support our students,” Watts said. “This is an annual event that the staff really looks forward to. This is the highlight of teacher appreciation week, so the alumni really put the icing on the cake for all the little things we do for the staff all week.”

Many of the same alumni come back year after year to assist with the event, with some arriving at 4 a.m. to fire up the barbecue.

“We put time and effort into where we actually began,” said Ellis Cadenhead, former president of the Troup High Alumni Association.

“Troup High School made us, and that is what brings me back here to help others.”

Watts said that the school is thankful for everything that its alumni do to support students, faculty and staff throughout the year, including the scholarships the alumni association awarded to two students earlier in the day.

“It is a very special day because we were able to recognize two seniors for our scholarship, the Walter Earl Thompson Scholarship,” said Shane Frailey, Troup High Alumni Association president. “They went to Maggie Railey and Harrison Lawson. We were able to give those $2,000 scholarships today, so it has been a great day for our staff and the children.”

The alumni raised funds for the scholarship through ticket sales to see “The Sock Hops” live at the Troup High Fine Arts Auditorium, and Watts said that the scholarships are great for students.

“It is a huge, huge benefit to our students,” Watts said. “Anytime you can eliminate some of the financial burden of higher education, it is a blessing to those families, so their reach is even beyond just the things that happen here on our campus. They impact what students take with them once they graduate, so we are very grateful for that.”

She said she hopes students learn to be civic minded and take with them a desire to be involved in the community, following in the footsteps of the members of the alumni association.

“We want to produce people who are assets to our community, and our alumni association is a big part of that with their message,” Watts said.