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Thomas Heyward Academy was founded in 1970 by a group of businessmen and parents in the Jasper County area. The academy was named in honor of Thomas Heyward (1746-1809), a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Thomas Heyward was born in St. Luke's, South Carolina and is buried in Jasper County.

According to our first yearbook, the “Rebel Yell”, Thomas Heyward Academy opened in September 1970 with 278 students and 12 teachers. Wightman Bowden served as Headmaster with Robert Thompson, Henry E. Fickling, Jr., Irma Smith and Patricia Padgett serving on the Board of Directors.  J.E. Horton, Gary Brown, and F. A. Nimmer were among the many influential people to help start Thomas Heyward Academy.

Freddie Nimmer and his family have been a huge part of the THA family since the beginning of THA.  THA is saddened by the loss of Mr. Freddie Nimmer and his wife, Mrs. Joan Nimmer. The Nimmers have always been great supporters of Thomas Heyward Academy, with Mr. Freddie Nimmer being one of our founding fathers. We extend our deepest sympathy to the Nimmer family and all who loved them.