GMC News

First day goes smoothly

First day of school at GMC goes smoothly
By Payton Towns III – The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE – Cloudy skies and a threat of rain did not delay nor stop the first formation of the year at Georgia Military College Prep as students in the sixth through eighth grade and high school reported for the first day of school Monday.

Interim principal Col. John Thornton watched as students were dropped off in front of Jenkins Hall around 7:30 a.m. Monday.

\”So far everything is going good,\” he said. \”It\’s like a well-oiled machine out here. The traffic flow has not been much of a problem. There have been no traffic back-ups, which we welcome and I know the citizens of Milledgeville welcome that, also. We\’ve had so many new parents who have arrived this morning to see formation for the first time.

\”We\’re excited about the new year,\” Thornton added. \”It was time to get started. The entire staff and faculty have worked hard all summer preparing, not only for day one, but all the 180 days we have. It comes to the point in time where you are ready to get the kids in here and get things started.\”

Col. Pam Grant, assistant principal, also was excited about the first day.

\”We had a great week last week getting ready,\” she said. \”I\’m excited about the opportunity to serve as the first female assistant principal and we\’re looking forward to a wonderful year. The students look great out there this morning. We\’re definitely off to a good start.\”

Parents, with cameras in hand, watched as their children got into formation for the first time. This is when attendance is taken, uniforms inspected and the flags are raised.

\”We raise our nation\’s colors, we say our three words to live by (duty, honor, country) we have \’Reveille,\’ we have a moment of silence and then there is a very simple inspection that takes place with the cadets,\” Thornton said. \”We\’ll then read them that day\’s announcements and within 10 minutes, they are on their way to class. It all takes about 10 minutes, but we get a great bit of things done in that short amount of time that we\’re out there. Formation is a way for all of us to gather in the morning and focus. It\’s a good way for all of us to experience the raising of the nation\’s colors. It\’s a good way to start the day, no matter how old you are.\”

Formation is held every day unless it is raining or the weather is bad, Thornton said.

\”I was a little concerned today about the inclement weather,\” he said. \”We wanted to have formation on the first day so that the parents could take pictures. The weather has blessed us and I think we\’re going to be fine. … If it was raining, they would go inside to their first-period class. We also tell them to go to their first class during the winter time if it\’s too cold. There are some days in January or February where we won\’t have formation.\”

Approximately 480 student were in attendance Monday. Because of this, the high school students held formation in front of Zell Miller Hall, with the sixth through eight grade students in formation near the south gate.

\”We\’re looking at full capacity right now,\” Thornton said. \”We want to make sure the classes aren\’t too large. We\’re looking forward to a lot of returning students, but for the first couple of days, we are looking out for the new students to make sure they know where they are walking, the uniform is fitting and all of those types of things.\”

Seniors Matt Bradley, Marjorie Gray Massee and Jessica Grant said they were excited about their final year at GMC.

\”I\’m ready to get it over with,\” said Bradley who is entering his fifth year at the school. \”I\’m ready to get to college.\”

Massee and Grant begin their seventh year at GMC.

\”I\’m very excited about my senior year,\” Massee said. \”I\’m looking forward to the future.\”

Grant said she couldn\’t believe this was her first day of her senior year.

\”It really feels like it was just yesterday that we were in sixth grade up here,\” she said. \”I really can\’t believe that I\’m going to complete my final year of high school.\”

Payton Towns III can be reached at (478) 453-1456 or by e-mail at