Thomas honored as Outstanding Graduate

Published 9:48 am Thursday, October 24, 2019

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Darrell Thomas, who has distinguished himself with his professional achievements and his dedicated philanthropic work as a community activist, is among the five Andalusia High School alumni being honored on homecoming as Andalusia High School Outstanding Graduates.

The valedictorian of Andalusia High School’s Class of 1983, Thomas earned a chemical engineering degree at Auburn University, where he was a walk-on with the Auburn basketball team.  At AHS, he also served as president of the Student Council.

At present, Thomas is principal consultant with EMA, Inc., in Atlanta. His work experience includes projects across the nation and in Canada. He is expert in identifying opportunities for improvement in maintenance management planning and operations and maintenance for utilities and public works, the commercial industry, and supply chain management.

He previously worked as a management consultant with IBM Global Business Services, and with other engineering firms.

He has been a presenter at the national Utility Management Conference in San Diego; a panel guest for the Civic League of Atlanta Movers, Shakers and Policymakers Forum; and has contributed op-eds to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Although he lives and works from Atlanta, he spends many weekends in Andalusia, where he has committed to working with the youth of First Baptist Church Whatley Street.

Among the initiatives he has organized and sponsored is a monthly Movie and a Message series. For this event, he has organized speakers on topics relevant to movies. Youth and their parents are invited to enjoy the movie and speaker together. Topics have included civil rights, voting rights, a NASA scientist, and the Tuskeegee Airmen.

This past summer, he took a group of the youth to the greater Washington, D.C., area to learn more about the country’s history.  Each participant was required to work to earn a share of the cost.

“Darrell sponsored and served as chairman of the Who’s Who Among African Americans in Covington County program in February 2018,” the Rev. Darryl Calloway, pastor of First Baptist Church Whatley Street, wrote in a letter of support. “He motivates young people to be more ambitious and set goals via our ‘Movie and a Message’ program.”

Michael Heard wrote in a letter of support, “Because of Darrell’s love for people, he is generous with his resources. He can be seen in any restaurant embracing and having a conversation with someone who looks downtrodden and alone. While at an eating establishment, if law enforcement agents or military personnel enter, he always picks up their tickets.”


Editor’s note: This is the first in a series about the 2019 AHS Outstanding Graduates. Other honorees include Tom Albritton, Janette Carroll, Cara Beste Russell, and Sue Bass Wilson. They will be recognized at a luncheon on Friday.