Education

Ben Hill County School System

Ben Hill County School District is accredited with Quality by AdvancED. The school district is one of Georgia’s 26 Race to the Top Districts and is recognized for progress in student achievement and graduation rate.  In 2012, the district received the Title I Distinguished District award for small systems.

Approximately 3,300 students in the Ben Hill County Schools are divided among five main campuses. Ben Hill Pre-K Center, serves four-year old students and provides Pre-K Intervention services.  Ben Hill Primary, serves grades K-2, and is a Title I Distinguished School. 

Ben Hill Elementary, serves grades 3-5, is a Georgia School of Excellence and was named a Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) Reward School for greatest gains for both 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Ben Hill Elementary also received the GaDOE Silver Award for the greatest gains in closing the achievement gap in all subjects between the subgroup of disadvantaged students and the non-disadvantaged students. 

Ben Hill Middle School, serves grades 6-8.  These students are introduced to extracurricular and co-curricular career related interests through connections classes.

Fitzgerald High School, serving students in grades 9-12, has shown consistent gains on the End of Course test in all subjects over the past four years.  Fitzgerald High School was named a GaDOE Reward School for Greatest Gains in academic achievement in 2012 and 2013. The graduation rate exceeds the state average in all subgroups of students. Realizing the importance of a strong local workforce, FHS encourages career pathways through CTAE (Career, Technology, Agriculture Education) thus giving students the technical skills needed to obtain employment in business and industry.

Career Pathways Education offered at Fitzgerald High School

  • Agricultural Mechanic Systems
  • Agricultural Science Systems
  • Automobile Maintenance/Light Repair
  • Business and Technology
  • Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Engineering/Technology
  • Health Informatics
  • JROTC - Army
  • Nutrition & Food Science
  • Teaching as a Profession
  • Therapeutic Services/Patient Care
  • Web and Digital Design

Through a partnership with Wiregrass Techinical College, Fitzgerald High School students can now earn a certificate as a Certified Manufacturing Specialist.  In 2016, FHS graduated its first students to complete the program.   Positive results have been seen immediately as these graduates went from being high school seniors to participating in a growing workforce within moments of graduation.

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

The Ben Hill-Irwin Campus of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College serves the counties of Ben Hill, Irwin, and Wilcox and remains dedicated to their mission of workforce development. Wiregrass graduates experienced a 99.5 percent job placement rate in FY2014.

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is committed to changing lives by providing their students with hands-on educational experiences designed to prepare them to successfully enter, or to enhance the skills needed to advance in their chosen career.  Their dedicated staff and faculty have a strong record of preparing graduates, using the latest in educational technology and laboratories, to enter directly into the workforce.

  • Allied Health—nursing, health care assistant, patient care assisting, phlebotomy
  • Business and Computers—business administrative technology and computer network specialist
  • Professional Services—agriculture, barbering, cosmetology, criminal justice, and early childhood care and education
  • Trade and Industrial—automotive, industrial systems, telecommunications, rail car repair, and welding

Wiregrass students continue to graduate with the hands-on skills and knowledge needed to perform in today’s society with the latest, advanced technology.  Upon graduation, Wiregrass alum are capable of going directly into the labor force and providing industry with a well qualified, trained employee.  

Economic Development
The Economic Development Department at Wiregrass offers direct contract training to local companies and provides continuing education opportunities for those already employed in work-related classes and leisure classes.  A brand new Economic Development Training Center opened in 2014 which will not only house their training but also be a facility business and industries can utilize.

In South Central Georgia, manufacturing and distribution is a key industry sector. To ensure that their industry partners have a local comprehensive training resource readily available, the Department of Economic Development at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has developed the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. The Center offers extensive workforce development training in four categories, Advanced Automation, Mechanical, Health and Safety and Leadership Development. Additionally, our Center will offer you customized assessment of your operation to help identify training needs in these four areas above.

Wiregrass is a also a vital partner to the Fitzgerald Ben Hill Development Authority as the two work together constantly on efforts to strengthen the local workforce in order to meet the demands of our expanding and new industries. 

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC)

Founded in 1908, ABAC has been a highlight of South Georgia as the best two year college. Most recently ABAC was named the newest four year state college in Georgia. With a solid foundation in Agriculture Education, ABAC now boast four year degrees within the school of Ag and Natural Resources, Business, Liberal Arts, Science, and Nursing & Health Sciences. Only a short 30 minute drive from Fitzgerald, ABAC can meet most post-secondary needs of students in Ben Hill County.