Complete Turnaround

Students and staff at one area secondary school are breathing a sigh of relief and eagerly anticipating the future. They're almost free of the debts that could have caused them to close their doors.

Administrators at the Vashti Center were nearly $300,000 in debt just two years ago. The Vashti Center and its charter school, Bishop Hall, rely almost completely on community support to give their students the education they deserve. Now, they say it's help from the public that has put them on the right track.

Several years ago the Vashti Center in Thomasville was on very shaky financial ground, but looking around at the campus Thursday, no one would be able to tell.

Two years ago at this time, Vashti fell $300,000 in debt. Since then, students and staff have worked to make the public aware of the positive impact both Vashti and Bishop Hall has on the community, and asked for help.

"Most people know Bishop Hall exists, but they think it's a school for bad people and pregnant girls, but it's not!" says Latoya Thompson.

"This year we've been excited that our parents have taken a pro-active stance in attempting to raise not only awareness about Bishop Hall and its function and mission, but also to let the community know the collaboration is well at work," Richard Johnson says.

All the hard work paid off. Vashti administrators say they're expecting to be debt-free within 30 days and they owe it all to the public and those who worked so hard to make the public aware.

The Vashti Center and Bishop Hall gained most of the money through fundraisers and donations.

Another fundraiser for Bishop Hall is about to start. A silent auction organized by Bishop Hall parents begins in the Business Exchange on Broad Street here in Thomasville at 6 p.m.