Golden Apple: Justin Craig

Golden Apple winner Justin Craig

(Johnston, S.C.)

Justin Craig is the leader of the band at Strom Thurmond High School.  Every day he gets to share something that’s been a big part of his life for a long time.

“I’ve been blessed to have great mentors that are in music,” Craig says. “I had a joy for playing music and I wanted to share that joy with students.”

Before he came to Strom Thurmond, Mr. Craig taught at the middle school level. He’s seen a lot of improvement in his students.

“Being able to see the growth of the kids from point A to point B-especially when I taught middle school for 8 years, the kids came in with nothing.  Actually, the senior class that’s graduating this year, they’re my true womb to the tombs. I’ve been there only band director. They’ve had be in 6th grade, 3 years in middle school, and then 4 years here at the high school. It’s great to see that growth from 6th grade up until now.”

Growth that comes from a lot of hard work.

“Our marching band students, once everything is said and done with school, ball game on Friday night, contest on Saturday, they’re probably about 80 hours in this week.”

And Mr. Craig is not one to take credit. He’s just grateful to be surrounded by a strong team.

“We have fantastic students here. I have great parents. I’ve been multiple places around the state, doing clinics and things. Our kids here are truly fantastic. We have awesome parents.  I have an awesome administration. It makes it easier to do your job and make those sacrifices when you have everybody buying in and all in with what we’re trying to do.”


Congratulations Justin Craig–for creating sweet sounds–and sweet success stories at Strom Thurmond High School.

“This does not happen without the great students and the great parents and folks we have,” he says. “It just shows that putting the hard work in, people recognize it. Like I tell the students, we don’t work for accolades and trophies. We work for ourselves to know that we’ve done everything that we can do to do the best person we can be and the best group we can be.”



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