Laurens County School District 55 Holds Amazing Shake Luncheon

May 14, 2023

The Laurens County School District 55 (LCSD 55) Administrative Office Staff welcomed confident, humble, poised, and respectful students from grades 5-8 and their coaches on Friday, May 5, 2023, to the first Amazing Shake Luncheon.

The Amazing Shake tournament was created at the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) by Ron Clark, and it is an activity that develops lifelong qualities, habits, and skills in students. Laurens County School District 55 (LCSD 55) will hold its second Amazing Shake tournament on Saturday, May 20, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at Sanders Middle School. Students will be judged on their application of skills and characteristics in Job Interviews, Conflict Resolution, and Introduction & Handshake. The students with the highest scores will receive prizes and the opportunity to compete at The Amazing Shake Competition in Atlanta.

The Amazing Shake Luncheon was a celebration for students competing in the LCSD 55 Amazing Shake tournament. The gathering was also an opportunity for the students to practice their soft skills and prepare them for the tournament. Students were mindful of their social grace. They sat and ate with poise and table manners. 

The students exuded confidence in their formal and semi-formal attire as they networked with adults and other students at the gathering. Among the people students shook hands with and met up close are LCSD 55 Superintendent Dr. Ameca C. Thomas, Dr. TawioBarksdale (District Behavior Intervention), and the City of Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn

The students also heard inspirational speeches from Dr. Thomas, Dr. Barksdale, and Mayor Senn. As Mayor, Mr. Senn believes it is important for the City of Laurens to support the school district and speak to the students to lead them in the right direction.

Mayor Senn pointed out to students that soft skills are just as important as technical skills. He shared the importance of presenting themselves professionally by dressing appropriately, having self-confidence, being courteous, communicating clearly, and staying humble. 

In his speech, Mayor Senn said, “I challenge you to become master builders of yourselves not just with technical skills but with soft skills…Make a positive impact in the City of Laurens.”

Superintendent Dr. Thomas also challenged the students and said, “Keep practicing, keep pushing yourselves, and never give up on your dreams. Be kind, help others, and make a difference.”

In his speech, Dr. Barksdale said, “Learn conflict resolution. Be reflective and be open to constructive criticism.”

The students at the event were all smiles and welcomed the suggestions from Dr. Thomas, Dr. Barksdale, and Mayor Senn. Students shared their thoughts on how they could excel at the second Amazing Shake tournament.

Waterloo Elementary School (WES) fifth-grade student Nathaniel “Nate” Green said, “I will try to be unique and show my personality. I will try to make people laugh because I am good with comedy.”

“I’ll practice for the competition by talking to people and looking at their eyes and paying attention. I will make sure whom I am talking to is comfortable talking to me,” shared WES fifth-grade student Mahaiven Cook. 

Laurens Middle School (LMS) eighth-grade student Junior Diaz-Reynosa, a finalist at last year’s Amazing Shake tournament, shared what helped him be successful last year. “Being confident about myself but not being fake helped me stand out.”

Superintendent Dr. Ameca C. Thomas applauds all our goal-driven students. She said, “We are incredibly proud of our students’ dedication and hard work in preparation for the Amazing Shake competition. The skills they are honing through this experience will serve them well in all aspects of their lives, and we cannot wait to see what they achieve. The Amazing Shake Luncheon is a testament to the importance of developing confident, well-rounded learners who can excel in any setting.”

LCSD 55 welcomes the public to witness the second Amazing Shake Tournament and meet our confident students. For questions about the LCSD 55 Amazing Shake, please contact Dr. Tawio Barksdale at [email protected] or call 864 984-3568 to speak with him directly.