A Special Greene County Asset
We think it would be appropriate to introduce you to Beth Thomas, the Project Coordinator of the very successful and now nationally recognized Greensboro Dreamers program. Beth has been described by Dreamers Founders and Sponsors, Tom and Kathy Kelly as "the heart, soul and brains of the Program."
Elizabeth Strickland Thomas, the oldest child of Gentry and Frances Strickland, grew up in Greensboro and graduated with numerous academic honors from Athens Academy, Wake Forest University and the University of Georgia from which she has two advanced degrees in Education.
Returning to the hometown she loves, Beth was employed as a teacher at Greensboro Elementary School since 1996. She is married to Bobby Thomas, and they are the proud parents of two young boys, Jack and Will.
Beth became the full-time Director of the Greensboro Dreamers at its inception in July, 2000. Since that time and because of her dynamic leadership and unwavering commitment, firty-four rising fifth graders and many other children are being given an added opportunity to be the best they can be.
Forever true to her humble nature, Beth always gives the lion's share of credit to the parents, teachers, and volunteers associated with the Program. While not wanting to disagree with a home-town hero, we feel obliged to point out the seemingly unanimous opinion of many others that Beth Thomas is the engine that makes it all happen.
Some very special people are born knowing what they want to do with their lives and that knowledge dictates, motivates and sculpts their thinking and activities toward that goal from an early age. Frances and Gentry Strickland, Beth's parents say Beth always wanted to be a teacher, but her real "dream" was to be a teacher that could stay with one class of children and teach them from first grade to 12th grade, and to do it in her beloved hometown of Greensboro, GA. Utilizing this "time-line" concept would enable her to know the "whole child" and provide an opportunity to be a vital part of the child's development during that most impressionable and critical time in their lives.
Beth's plan was innovative, but not able to be implemented until the Dreamers Program and Beth found each other and it's been a partnership made in heaven. Beth can (in her words), "live her dream" and the Greensboro Dreamers have a Program Director who is literally and figuratively a "dream come true."
Her role as Program Director includes a myriad of unending, changing and challenging jobs of organizing and scheduling every single event, program and activity that involves the Dreamers, the teachers, the school, the community and the volunteers. This amazing woman does it all and does it with aplomb. She is THE pivotal person who organizes, manages, and embraces with her whole heart every facet of this program and every child in it. She keeps it all together and does it with intelligence, respect and innate grace.
Beth always says, "I don't do it alone and personally, I could not do this without the loving and total support of my husband, Bobby, and my parents. There are so many people to thank. This is truly a group effort and everyone is important. I thank the Kellys for creating this opportunity for the kids and I value the support and encouragement from the parents, the dedication of the teachers and the backing of the community. Together we all contribute to the future of the most important people in this program, the kids."
And that "something about Beth?" She's genuine. She epitomizes the word "teacher" and redefines it with a sweetness and gentleness that comes from her heart and out those smiling eyes and right into your own heart. She has won the respect and love of anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing her. Thank you is not a big enough word and doesn't fully convey the high regard in which she is held but it is meant with heartfelt sincerity. Thanks for the dream, Beth and thanks to her parents who lovingly nurtured that "something" in Beth.