Some students face lengthy commutes

Brothers Davis, left, and Nate Jones travel to Stratford from their home in Monticello every day. (Photo by MAGGIE THORNSBERRY, Gazebo Staff Writer)

By MAGGIE THORNSBERRY, Gazebo Staff Writer

Davis and Nate Jones have to put more effort into their morning routine in order to make it to school on time.

Every morning, they wake up and drive 40 minutes from their home in Monticello just to get to school. They get up at 6:30, go about their normal morning routines, and leave by 7:30 to make it to school on time.

For breakfast, they either have to eat a rushed meal at home, usually cereal, or try to grab a quick something from Chick-fil-A on their way into Macon.

In the winter, Davis, a senior, and Nate, a freshman have to leave before the sun rises and see many deer on their way to school. Davis said they have more of a problem with deer late at night on their way home from football games and other late-night sporting events. Jasper County is one of the most populous deer counties in the state.

Davis said living so far away limits the number of extra curricular activities he can attend.

The Jones brothers are among 50 Stratford students who have a long drive to make just to get to school.

Unlike other students who live five minutes away, there are some students who have to drive more than an hour, and all have different morning routines they have to follow.

These students come from all around the outskirts of Bibb County, including places such as Perry, Thomaston, Byron, Roberta, Centerville, Kathleen, Culloden, Forsyth, Gordon, Gray, Juliette, Monticello, Allentown, The Rock, and Warner Robins.

Some students compromise their beauty sleep for a hearty breakfast and a full face of makeup while others need their extra 30 minutes of sleep and can go without any morning preparations at all.

Gracen Boatright and Olivia Pruett both have a similar situation as the Jones brothers. Gracen travels from Thomaston, with a 40-minute travel time, and 80-mile round trip. Olivia’s commute to school is around 35 minutes from The Rock, Georgia, and her round trip is 70 miles. Her home town, The Rock, is the only town in America with “The” preceding the city’s name. Both girls spend the majority of their days in Macon or making the long trip to Macon or home.

On game days, instead of having the luxury of going home, Gracen spends her spare time hanging out with friends, running errands, and going out to eat. Waiting for cross country practice, with not much time to fill before practice, Gracen said, “I just go to tutorial or go get a drink from Sonic or Chick-fil-A before practice.”

One student who no longer has to commute every morning to Stratford, but once had the longest trip of them all, is Carson Greene. From Allentown, Carson once had an 88-mile round trip and an hour drive to Stratford. The Greenes now have a residence in Macon.

On the way to school, Carson would occupy himself by eating breakfast, doing homework, listening to music, and catching up on sleep. Carson said all he had time for in the morning was to “get up, shower, brush [his] teeth, put on a uniform, and eat breakfast in the car.” He liked to make himself something easy for his breakfast to go, usually a sausage biscuit. Carson had to arrive early because his mother, Stephanie, is a preschool teacher at Stratford.

From their super early mornings to long late night drives home, these students make a big commitment every day.

Stratford Students With Long Commutes
Names City Round Trip
Dylan Yurgalavage Juliette 15.8
Tripp Vaughn Juliette 19
Shijing Gong Forsyth 22.2
Riley Davis Juliette 23
Manasa Vemuri Forsyth 23.6
Jamie O’Quinn Forsyth 24.8
Brannen Suggs Byron 25.6
Stephen Grubb Juliette 26.2
Ellie Wangerin Forsyth 29.8
George Dunwoody Forsyth 32.8
Will Chambless Culloden 34
Alex Buehler Byron 35
Caroline Cole Forsyth 35.4
Kasey Sanders Byron 37
Daniel Smolensky Byron 41
Andrew Smolensky Byron 41
Zeyna Abdulla Centerville 41.2
JR Gumarin Centerville 41.2
Cap Patel Roberta 41.8
Morgan James Centerville 43.8
Autumn Land Gray 44.2
Jacob Burke Centerville 44.2
Ashlin Jackson Gray 44.6
Grant Bailey Forsyth 45.8
Harrison Bailey Forsyth 45.8
Tommy Sachy Gray 46.2
Hannah Lovett Forsyth 48.6
Allie Edwards Forsyth 50
Jake Edwards Forsyth 50
Gracie Holliman Forsyth 52.4
Zane Holliman Forsyth 52.4
Emma Quintal Warner Robins 54.8
Evana Bagget Warner Robins 55.2
Nadia Reese Gordan 56.2
Carolynn Dromsky Kathleen 58.8
Christian Palmer Perry 62.6
Olivia Pruett The Rock 70
Nate Jones Monticello 70.2
Davis Jones Monticello 70.2
Gracen Boatright Thomaston 80.2
Carson Greene Allentown 88