Teacher Spotlight: LTC Eugene Thurman
Congratulations to Lt. Col. Eugene Thurman of Columbia High School, selected as this week’s Teacher Spotlight!Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Thurman retired from the US Army after 23 years of active duty service. He served the Army as a Medical Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Industrial Hygienist, Director of Agricultural and Natural Resources, and as the 61st Medical Detachment Commander. His military education includes Combined Arms Service and Staff School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, US Army Combat Rediness Center Safety Course, Industrial Hygiene Course, Command General and Staff College, Fundamentals of System Acquisition Management, and the Army Medical Department Basic and Advanced courses. He and his wife, Daphne Francine Morris-Thurman have two daughters, Sierra and Alishia, and a son - Eugene.
"I'm not looking for a job, I'm looking for a place that I can make a difference," says Lt. Col. Thurman about his thoughts upon retiring from the armed services. He continues, adding "when I came to Columbia High School under Dr. Gary, I found a place that I could make a difference." Carson Nickel, a senior at Columbia, says "I think he's the hardest working person I know. He comes in early and leaves late." Through Lt. Col. Thurman's leadership, the Columbia JROTC program has grown to impact a larger number of students. While the program only had about ten students at one point, he says that "we are currently 210 students strong." That positive effect can be seen in students like A'Mirah Stewart, who says "I have more motivation. My self-esteem, my confidence - everything just went to the roof."
Lt. Col. Thurman says that the Columbia JROTC program has maintained an average ACT score of 26 among its participating students for the past five years, which means that his students are outperforming the state average by about seven points. It is clear that, with the help of Lt. Col. Eugene Thurman, the JROTC program at Columbia High School is doing great things for our students!