Former student makes $10k donation to OGHS

High school alumni give back to alma mater.
Published: Oct. 21, 2023 at 1:18 AM CDT
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LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) -”I’m about to surprise my favorite teacher with a ten thousand dollar donation,” said former Oak Grove High School student John Rhys Plumlee in a video on TikTok.

This was just moments before Suzie Welch, a math teacher at OGHS, received a call from her former student.

Welch says she was initially confused when principal Helen Price called her in for an impromptu meeting during a professional development day.

“She pulled me into the conference room and there he was on a Zoom call with the people from Extra Yard or Cheez-its or both,” Welch said. “It was good to see his face. It was kind of a surprise.”

“We won’t show you how we jumped up and down, but we were so excited,” said Price. “I think we heard ten thousand dollars and Suzie Welch. We heard those two and were like, ‘Yes!’”

Plumlee, now a two-sport athlete at the University of Central Florida, partnered with Extra Yard for Teachers and Cheez-Its to donate $10,000 to a teacher with whom he created a bond during high school.

Price says was one of the people that Plumlee looked to while trying to juggle school, sports, and his recruitment.

“He confided in Mrs. Welch, and she helped him stay focused as a person and as an athlete and as a student during that time,” Price said. “That’s what meant the world to him.”

Welch talked about the kind of person Plumlee was while at Oak Grove.

“Whatever he does, he gives it his full attention,” Welch said. “He does everything with lots of passion and enthusiasm, and he was the same way in my class.”

The school plans to use part of the money to buy more graphing calculators and interactive learning tools.

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