Southeastern Technical College

News & Events

2011 News & Events Archive

Southeastern Tech Graduates Practical Nursing Class

December 12, 2011 - Seven Practical Nursing students from Southeastern Technical College's Vidalia campus graduated on Thursday, December 8. To celebrate the graduating class, special pinning ceremonies were held in Tattnall Auditorium. The Practical Nursing program is taught by Jennifer Corner, Brooke Hinson, Vicki Renfroe and Donna Jean Braddy.

The medical field is a growing industry with many job opportunities in nursing homes, hospitals, and home health care. If you are interested in the Practical Nursing program offered at Southeastern Tech, please call 912-538-3100 in Vidalia, 478-289-2200 in Swainsboro or 912-654-5276 in Glennville or visit

Photo (L to R): Donna Jean Braddy (instructor), Vicki Renfroe (instructor), Andrea Talamantez, Margery Prince, Megan Waters, Pam Bell, Tiesha Johnson, Gina Holmes, Kayla Lane, Brooke Hinson (instructor), Jennifer Corner (instructor)


Eleven Southeastern Tech Students Nominated for GOAL Award

December 12, 2011 - Instructors at Southeastern Technical College have nominated 11 of their students for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) competition, according to Charla Nail, coordinator for the college's GOAL program.

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state's technical college students. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state's 25 technical colleges as well as one Board of Regents college with a technical education division.

Chosen for recognition by their instructors are Devan Price of Mount Vernon and Ashley Taylor of Glennville in Medical Assisting; Christine Badie of Midville and Kathy Stokes of Reidsville in Business Administrative Technology; Chris Thompson of Swainsboro in Practical Nursing; Chancelor Neesmith of Vidalia in Electrical Construction and Maintenance; Arneatrus Ward of Wadley in Criminal Justice; and Chelsea Eubanks of Guyton, Brenda Leal of Pulaski, Grayson Mandieta of Swainsboro, and Mallory McLendon of Soperton in Dental Hygiene.

"The purpose of the GOAL program is to spotlight the outstanding achievement by students in Georgia's technical colleges and to emphasize the importance of technical education in today's global workforce," said Nail.

A screening committee of administrators at Southeastern Tech will review each of the instructors' nominations then conduct personal interviews with the students. After the nominees have been ranked, four finalists will then be chosen to compete to be STC's GOAL winner for 2011.

The four finalists will then take part in another round of interviews and evaluations by a selection committee of representatives from local business and industry. That panel will consider the students' qualities like academic achievement, personal character, leadership abilities and enthusiasm for technical education.

The student judged most outstanding will be designated as the college's GOAL winner and move on to the regional competition. Then three from each of the three regions will make up the nine semi-finalists, who will be named in April at the state GOAL conference in Atlanta. The nine regional finalists will then move to the state level and compete for the title of state GOAL winner.


Southeastern Tech Graduates Surgical Technology Class

December 8, 2011 - The students of Southeastern Technical College's 2011 Surgical Technology class graduated in a ceremony held in the college's Tattnall Auditorium on Wednesday, December 7.

The class of five received their pins from Deborah Smith, director of the Surgical Tech program, and Lisa Spell, clinical coordinator for the program. Their guest speaker was Kevin Westberry, a certified surgical technician at Coffee Regional Medical Center in Douglas, who told the new technicians to "always remember [their] surgical conscience" and treat their patients as if they were family members.

For more information on the Surgical Technology program, please call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200, or visit

Photo (L to R): Lisa Spell, CST (Clinical Coordinator), Amber Williams, Angela Jenkins, Serena Dixon, Candace Sikes, Deborah Smith, RN, CNOR (Director/Instructor)


STC Foundation Steps Up to the Plate for Economic Development

December 1, 2011 - - The Southeastern Technical College Foundation voted on Wednesday, November 30, to supply additional funding to Commercial Truck Driving (CTD) students to offset the decreased award offered by the HOPE program.

When changes were made to HOPE early this year, the CTD program was hit particularly hard. The seven-week program's total cost is $3,475, and before the changes, students receiving HOPE only had to pay $408 out of pocket. That has now risen to $1,150.

"The cost to run this program is very expensive to begin with," said Ricky Strange, CTD instructor. "So, when they made these changes, it hurt us really bad. Our enrollment dropped about 60 percent."

That drop isn't limited to STC. Statewide enrollment in technical college CTD programs is down 40 percent this semester. This comes despite Georgia Department of Labor estimates that the state will need 3,700 more truck drivers in 2012.

So, when the STC Foundation called a special meeting on November 30, the topic was economic growth and how CTD fits into that.

"CTD is an extremely important program because it ties in to manufacturing in the area and is needed for continuous growth for our region," said Eide Nesmith, executive director of the STC Foundation. "We can't transport anything without trucks and trucks need drivers."

The foundation's executive committee voted and came down in favor of providing scholarships of up to $750 for students of the CTD program, returning the students' out-of-pocket expense to pre-HOPE-change levels.

"Helping our students with tuition and fees is the job of the foundation," said Dennis Ingley, treasurer of the STC Foundation. "We are fortunate to be able to help primarily because our community has been very generous and seen the benefits of technical education. We owe it to our community to fund this cost."

The scholarships will be available for the next two CTD classes offered by Southeastern Technical College, the first beginning on January 9. State legislators have expressed a desire to start a loan program for CTD in their 2012 session, as the nine-semester-hour program is too short to qualify for standard student loans, so there is hope for a long-term solution.

As of right now, though, the feeling in the CTD program is positive, and even on the day the scholarships were announced, word began to spread.

"I had one person sign up in Swainsboro just that morning," said Strange. "Friends are telling friends, former students are spreading the word. We're getting out there every way we can."

If you would like to donate to help support the CTD program, contact Eide Nesmith at 912-538-3133 or For more information on CTD, call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200, or visit


Southeastern Tech Students, Staff Attend Leadership Conference

November 21, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College students and staff traveled to Atlanta to attend the Georgia Fall Leadership Conference on November 18-20.

Twenty-five students and 10 advisors made the trip to the Renaissance Waverly hotel in Atlanta. The conference, which is held every year on the third weekend of November, gave members of all of Georgia's technical college student organizations opportunities to improve their leadership skills.

"I think this conference provides a great opportunity for students to learn and grow both professionally and personally," said Helen Thomas, STC's conference coordinator for the event.

Representatives from the Student Leadership Council, Phi Beta Lambda, HEROES, and SkillsUSA clubs from Swainsboro and Vidalia campuses were at the conference, which included breakout sessions and presentations from staff members of various Georgia technical colleges and experienced professionals from a variety of fields.

Some of the sessions offered at the conference included Competitive Speaking, Leading in Tough Times, and Tools to Connect, Communicate and Contribute. Conference attendees also had a chance to unwind during several nights of the conference, with rooms devoted to arcade games, bingo and karaoke.

Photo: Students and staff of STC attended the state's Fall Leadership Conference on November 18-20.


STC Foundation Names 2012-2013 Executive Committee

November 17, 2011 - The Southeastern Technical College Foundation welcomed its 2012-2013 executive committee in a meeting Thursday, November 17.

The positions of chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer for the 2012-2013 term will be filled by Lynda Morgan, Mary Ruth Ray, Lynda English, and Dennis Ingley, respectively, who represent Emanuel, Tattnall, Candler, and Toombs counties.

Morgan and English move into their new offices from previous positions as the vice chair (Morgan) and co-treasurer (English).

The current officers' terms end on December 31, and the new officers' terms begin the following day. All trustees joined together at the November 17 meeting to thank the current secretary, Carolyn Brantley, and chair, Ann Todd, for their years of service to the STC Foundation. Todd will be continuing her duties as a trustee.

The Southeastern Technical College Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides guidance and assists in securing funds for Southeastern Technical College. Their mission is to partner with donors to support and invest in the students, faculty, and staff of Southeastern Technical College to build stronger communities and a better Georgia for Candler, Emanuel, Jenkins, Johnson, Montgomery, Tattnall, Toombs, and Treutlen Counties.

For more about the Southeastern Technical College Foundation, please contact Eide Nesmith at or 912-538-3133.


Local Employers Discuss Job Market, Employability at STC Event

November 15, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College's Lunch and Learn series offered insight on the job market on Tuesday, November 15.

A panel of human relations representatives from local businesses spoke on preparing for the job market and optimizing your attractiveness as a potential employee.

"They focused a lot on work ethics and the value in them," said Lance Helms, STC's director of Career Services. "But they also talked to students about employability skills, what they look for when hiring someone, what they look for on resumes, what soft skills are focused on, and things like that."

The members of the panel were: Sandra Kate Hendrix and Kathy Bondurant of Meadows Regional Medical Center, Nancy Palmer and Sonja Eason of Chicken of the Sea, and Jennifer Evans of DOT Foods.

The panelists also took questions from the crowd, answering questions about the interview process, the ideal employee, and areas of importance on resumes, applications, and the interview process.

The Lunch & Learn series will continue in the spring, with another chance for students and potential employees to learn more about employability skills from local industry leaders. For more information, call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.


FFA Chapters Hold Regional Competition at Southeastern Tech

November 15, 2011 - Seven Georgia FFA chapters from Columbia County to Tattnall County assembled for a regional competition on the Swainsboro campus of Southeastern Technical College on Tuesday, November 15. Students competed in Environmental Natural Resources, Farm Business Management, and FFA Quiz to become the Area 4 representatives at the statewide FFA competition on December 3.

Jill Lehman, STC Fish and Wildlife instructor, and John Thrift, STC Forest Technology Instructor, helped to facilitate the competition, which stretched from classroom to lab to campus. The instructors were more than happy to provide the use of their facilities, being familiar with the importance of environmental education.

"These kids are the future of our environment," said Lehman. "If they aren't taking care of our environment, if they don't know enough to take care of our environment, what's going to happen to it?"

STC and Georgia FFA have a longstanding relationship, and FFA chapters in the region visit the college campus several times a year. Area 4 FFA chapters, in particular, have been partnered with Southeastern Tech for 10 years.

FFA officials, in that time, have come to know the college and its instructors and speak highly of both.

"Jill and John are such good partners with us, it's unbelievable," said John Allen Bailey, Area Forestry Teacher for Georgia FFA's Central Region. "They're so considerate, and they always have been. I don't know of any program anywhere that's got support like we do from them. I mean, the University of Georgia doesn't support the North Region as much as STC does with us."

Apart from the chance to represent their area in the state competition, the event at STC gave students interested in pursuing a career in environmental technologies a chance to see the facilities and meet the staff of programs that can help them on that path.

"I end up with students that come into this program because they were here for an FFA event," said Lehman. "I have a student from Atlanta who came here for just that reason. They see the facility, they see our equipment, and they know that it's top-notch."

For more information on Southeastern Tech's environmental technologies programs, call 478-289-2200 or 912-538-3100, or visit

Photo: Students try to identify various flora and fauna on display in STC's Fish and Wildlife lab.


Southeastern Tech Student Overcomes Challenges to Succeed

November 14, 2011 - For a student whom teachers describe as intelligent and bound for success, Travis Hudson had a unique reaction to his first two quarters at Southeastern Technical College.

"I wanted to quit so bad I couldn't stand it," said Hudson.

But then, Hudson is himself a unique story.

The 22-year-old from Wrightsville was a champion turkey caller on the national stage when he was in his early teens, acquiring the skill through a combination of careful observation and complete boredom.

"My daddy, when I was about 8, had bought a bunch of turkeys," said Hudson. "I'd go out and sit with the turkeys because I had nothing else to do. So, I learned how turkeys behave and how to turkey call that way, from just sitting and watching."

All that sitting and watching paid off when, at 13, Hudson won a turkey calling contest his high school held and was approached by a representative of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He joined their youth division and, soon after, took first place in a statewide competition and second at nationals. Hudson doesn't compete anymore, but he has called for professionals from Primos and Team Realtree.

Hudson entered his senior year of high school in 2007 and had to figure out what came next. He mulled over a number of possibilities, many of which involved higher education. These options, though attractive, presented a challenge for Hudson.

"In high school and my early college years, I had really bad ADD and ADHD," said Hudson. "People that know that and know me, when I tell them I'm a deer hunter, they don't see how I can sit in a deer stand for so long. But, it's just peaceful when I'm out there by myself. It calms me down. And Miss Jill knew exactly what to do with that."

Miss Jill is Jill Lehman, instructor for the Fish and Wildlife Management program at Southeastern Tech. She was one of the main motivators for Hudson's enrollment at STC.

"Travis is an awesome little fellow," said Lehman. "He's a very intelligent boy. But, you've got to learn how he learns, and then you can teach him.

"It didn't take long to realize that confining him in a classroom just was not working. I found myself having to go over stuff more and more so he could grasp it. But when we would go outside, he was different. If I took the class outside, he'd do so much better. So, that's what I did."

Though the early goings remained difficult, getting more and more hands-on in Lehman's class showed promise for Hudson. He still had trouble from time to time, but the outdoors work calmed and focused him just the way deer hunting did.

"Once I started, I struggled for a little while, my first two quarters probably," said Hudson. "I wanted to quit so bad I couldn't stand it. But, I thought about it, realized you can't really get anywhere without going to college, and so I decided to try harder. And sure enough, this year I'll be through with my associate's degree in Fish and Wildlife Management."

Hudson's hard work has already paid off beyond college. Hudson discovered a job opening at Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen, pursued it, and is now on track to become the park's next assistant manager.

"I'm just so excited for him," said Lehman. "That boy has had to work through some struggles, and he's just not going to be defeated."

For more information about the Fish and Wildlife Management program, please call 478-289-2200 or 912-538-3100 or visit

Travis Hudson


L. C. "Shot" Strange Named Georgia Technical College Foundation Association Volunteer of the Year

November 7, 2011 - Savannah - L. C. "Shot" Strange was honored as one of the Georgia Technical College Foundation Association's (TCFA) Volunteers of the Year for 2011. He was nominated by the Southeastern Technical College Foundation.

Strange has donated time and personal resources to support Southeastern Technical College, including serving as the host of a highly successful annual BBQ fundraiser. When Swainsboro Technical College merged with Southeastern Tech in 2009, Strange invested his time and personal resources to help solidify the bond for all constituencies of the combined college, which helped the colleges and communities weather the uncertainty of a merger.

His wife, Jean, was also a foundation trustee and major supporter of the college. Jean Strange passed away in December 2009, and this year's Volunteer of the Year award both honors "Shot" Strange and pays tribute to the dedicated work and outstanding contributions that his late wife made to the college.

The TCFA Volunteer of the Year and Benefactor of the Year awards recognize outstanding contributions that individuals and corporations have made on behalf of their Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) colleges. The winners embody the best ideals of philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism through their dedicated service to their technical college.

The 25 TCSG colleges offer more than 600 certificate, diploma and degree programs. The TCSG also manages the state's adult education and GEDĀ® testing programs, as well as the internationally recognized Quick Start workforce training program for business and industry.

Enrollment at the TCSG colleges is growing at a record pace, fueled in part by the large number of unemployed and under-employed Georgians who are turning to the colleges to learn additional skills and discover new careers. Last year, the TCSG enrolled more than 191,000 students.

Photo L-R:
Larry Calhoun, Provost, Southeastern Technical College
Butch Parrish, State Representative
David Strickland, President, Technical College Foundation Association of Georgia
L. C. "Shot" Strange, Volunteer of the Year Award Winner
Dr. Cathy Mitchell, President, Southeastern Technical College
Lynda Morgan, Vice Chair, Southeastern Technical College Foundation


Community Helper Month Celebrated at STC Child Development Center

November 3, 2011 - October was an exciting month at Southeastern Technical College's Child Development Center.

Students participated in "Community Helper" theme-related activities throughout the month and learned about the roles each helper plays in the community. During the month, students got to meet many community helpers.

Deputy Elec Wheeler from the Emanuel County Sheriff's Department, Tag Bridges from the Swainsboro Police Department, former art teacher Nita Lewis, and firefighters Charlotte Bridges, Jamie Riner, Wayne Davis, Matt Braswell, and Chief Mike Strobridge were just a few of the community helpers that visited.

On October 17, the Child Development Center hosted a cookout where families enjoyed food, fun, and fellowship. The Child Development Program also hosted a face painting booth at Swainsboro's Fall Fantasy Festival and a Fall Walk, where students traveled to various departments at STC's Swainsboro campus to receive fall goodies.

Each month, the STC Child Development Center elects a family of the month. October's family of the month was Peyton and Brooke Frye. Their son, Lawson Wade, is 1 year old, in the Romper Lab, and his teacher is Lindsey Wilson. Brooke is a teacher at Swainsboro Elementary School, and Peyton is a loan officer at Spivey State Bank.

For more information about Southeastern Technical College's Child Development Center, contact Gena Sapp at 478-289-2241.

Photo: Students learn about helping the community from one of Swainsboro's Bravest.


Southeastern Tech's Forestry Program Volunteers at Chattahoochee National Forest

November 3, 2011 - Southeastern Tech's Forest Technology program traveled to the Chattahoochee National Forest near Clayton, GA on October 26-28. The class helped the U.S. Forest Service and Georgia Department of Natural Resources with habitat restoration at a mountain bog and toured a woodland restoration site.

The students, along with instructor John Thrift, were there to help mechanically remove encroaching species that threatened the bog.

After a two-hour hike to around 3,400 feet in elevation, the group used chainsaws, weed eaters, and garden loppers to remove pioneering mountain laurel and alder trees from the bog. These species posed a danger of becoming dense enough to block out sunlight and reduce the availability of water and nutrients to the rare plants.

"[This trip] was so valuable because the students engaged in two full days of field work experience in a different ecosystem than the Coastal Plain," said Thrift.

This particular site is important because it contains rare plant species: the mountain purple pitcher plant and swamp pink. The bog also has the potential to support the bog turtle, a federally endangered species. While working at the site, Carrie Radcliffe, a botanist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was pleased to see that the swamp pink was reproducing on its own, an event that has previously been undocumented in Georgia.

On Friday, the students visited sites on the National Forest to observe upland forest restoration. Mike Brod of the Forest Service explained the elaborate process of getting a restoration project approved, then led the tour of the restoration treatments that included commercial thinning of undesired species, prescribed fire, non-commercial removal of mid story trees, and various combinations of the above. Not only does the restoration improve the ecosystem health of the forest, but also improves wildlife habitat.

When not working, the group camped at Sarah's Creek campground where they enjoyed a fire and a meal of grilled venison.

This trip was mutually beneficial to the U.S. Forest Service, who got volunteer work, and Southeastern Tech's forestry students, who got an excellent learning opportunity while being able to enjoy the outdoors.

"This group is so impressive that I also wanted to showcase their abilities and the program's quality to future employers and give the students a chance to network," added Thrift. "All the pieces fell into place to make this trip a huge success."

For more information on STC's Forest Tech program, contact John Thrift, Forest Technology Instructor, at (478)-289-2290 to learn about the opportunities available with getting a degree in forest technology.

Photo (L to R): Zach Olliff, Kenneth Willoughby, Mike Brod, Carrie Radcliffe, Ana Collins, Phillip Brown, John Thrift, Tyler Colston, Mark Merritt


STC Hosts Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance Meeting

October 21, 2011 - The Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance (GPCA) met on October 19 and 20 at the Swainsboro campus of Southeastern Technical College, its first meeting held at a technical college.

Several STC staff members and students attended the meeting, along with representatives from Zoo Atlanta, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Botanical Society, the Department of Natural Resources, and other GPCA partners from across the state.

"We're always interested in engaging the professionals who are out there doing the work," said John Thrift, Forest Technology instructor at Southeastern Tech. "It's what we're training our students to do, so we're always excited about that."

The meeting spanned two days and centered on the Ohoopee Dunes Natural Area, beginning and ending with presentations on the maintenance of the area and its flora and fauna. The meeting also included a morning trip to the Ohoopee Dunes Natural Area, giving attendees some hands-on experience with the subjects of the discussion.

As this was the GPCA's first meeting held on a technical college campus, STC Provost Larry Calhoun welcomed the alliance members with a profile of Southeastern Tech: its goals, makeup, and methods, its place in the state and its industry, and how those things can work for an organization like the GPCA.

"Georgia is recognized for its technical college system and the Quick Start program, both of which work with business and industry," said Calhoun. "And business and industry may not always be best friends with the GPCA effort, but I think that through communication, both interests can work together."

The GPCA's stated mission is "to study and preserve Georgia's flora through multi-disciplinary research, education, and advocacy; facilitate the recovery of rare, threatened, and endangered plants of Georgia and the southeastern US through collaborative efforts in our state; and communicate the importance of preserving biodiversity worldwide."

For more information on Southeastern Tech's Forest Tech program, please call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200, or visit

Photo: Calhoun speaks to members of the GPCA during their meeting.


STC Students Go to Work at George L. Smith State Park

October 12, 2011 - Fish and Wildlife Management students from Southeastern Technical College pulled on their boots and waders to inspect wood duck boxes at George L. Smith State Park on Wednesday, October 12.

The students, accompanied by STC instructor Jill Lehman, examined nearly 100 duck boxes over two trips to the park.

"We're monitoring the boxes," said Lehman. "They have to have cedar shavings put into them, and every year, we'll come through, clean out the old shavings, and count the number of hatched eggs. We record that info and send it to the Duck Conservation Society."

The boxes, which serve as nest housings for the wood ducks, sit atop poles placed varying distances from the water, so while some students sunk their boots into water and mud, others hoisted a partner up to a box a dozen feet high.

The wood duck nesting box maintenance program is a key component in the continued restoration of wood duck numbers in the state. Lehman notes that the staff of George L Smith State Park has been invaluable in this effort, which is turning heads outside of Georgia.

"Georgia has the most successful duck box monitoring program," said Lehman. "It's just unbelievable. In fact, other states are contacting the Duck Conservation Society of Georgia to get information about how to improve their programs."

In addition to the boxes at the park, duck boxes at the Herrington Homestead Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Home also fall under the watch of STC's Fish and Wildlife Management students.

The Fish and Wildlife Management Diploma Program is a sequence of courses that prepares students for careers as wildlife technicians. The Fish & Wildlife Program prepares individuals to conserve and manage wilderness areas and the flora, marine, and aquatic life therein, and manage wildlife reservations and zoological/aquarium facilities for recreational, commercial, and ecological purposes.

For more information, please call 478-289-2200 or 912-538-3100 or visit

Photo: Joe Rhinehart examines a duck box as Jesse Frost holds him up.


Scholarships Presented to Southeastern Tech Students

September 27, 2011 - Three Southeastern Technical College (STC) students were recently awarded scholarships for outstanding work in the school's Environmental Technologies programs. Tyler Colston, John Vescuso, and Kenneth Willoughby were each presented with a 2011 Forest Technology Scholarship in the amount of $500 in a ceremony on Sept. 26.

Colston, Vescuso, and Willoughby, who are from Kite, Swainsboro, and Twin City, respectively, were each praised for their diligence, extracurricular activities, and the high caliber of their work. Instructors from the students' programs of study-Colston and Willoughby in Forest Technology, Vescuso in Fish and Wildlife Management-spoke highly of them in their nominations.

"Tyler and Kenneth are both outstanding students that are very deserving of the scholarships," said John Thrift, Forest Technology instructor at STC, who nominated Colston and Willoughby. "They have great potential and are serious students of forestry. They are a joy to work with every day, and they will make great employees for any forestry related business."

"John's work ethics, dependability and subject knowledge are all strong," said Jill Lehman, Fish and Wildlife Management instructor. "He was elected president of the Forestry and Wildlife Club by his peers and provided good leadership during his tenure."

The scholarships were given on behalf of the STC Foundation and the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce Pine Tree Festival. Johnny Payne, executive director of economic development at STC, Bill Rogers, Jr., executive director of the chamber of commerce, and Russ Yeomans, president of Yeomans Wood & Timber, represented the Pine Tree Festival. Eide Nesmith, executive director of the STC Foundation, presented the scholarships to the students.

Southeastern Tech's Environmental Technology programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to gain employment with organizations like the Georgia Forestry Commission or the Department of Natural Resources or begin a career as a park ranger, game and preserve manager, or forestry technician.

For more information on the Environmental Tech programs, call either (478) 289-2200 or (912) 538-3100, or visit

Photo: (L to R) Rogers, Willoughby, Payne, Yeomans, Colston, Thrift, Vescuso, and Nesmith


Southeastern Tech's Cosmetology Students Donate Animal Supplies

September 27, 2011 - Cosmetology students at Southeastern Technical College made a donation of animal supplies Monday at the Vidalia Animal Shelter on Airport Road.

The students held a bake sale, car wash and cookout and raised about $300 to buy dog and cat food, kitty litter and bleach for the shelter.

(L-R) First row, Brittany Fowler, Rachel Clements and Sandy Cowart.
2nd row, Bridget Jordan, Whitney Aldrich, Vance Davis and (in the back) April Braddy.


Southeastern Tech Celebrates Constitution Week

September 26, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College observed Constitution Week from Sept. 19 -22, to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. In celebration of this event, the college held several activities focused on honoring that important document.

"The United States Constitution is one of the greatest 'living' documents in the world, the oldest written constitution still in effect," said Dr. Barry Dotson, vice president of student affairs at STC. "Constitution Week provides us an opportunity to remind our students of how unique that document is and how it is still relevant today."

Students were offered pamphlets on the Constitution and voter registration forms in the atrium of the main building on the Vidalia campus, the library on the Swainsboro campus and the lobby of the Glennville campus. On Wednesday, students could take in two showings of the movie "A More Perfect Union" in the Tattnall Auditorium in Vidalia and Building 1 Auditorium in Swainsboro. Thursday was "Red, White and Blue Jean Day," when staff and students displayed their patriotism in their clothing.

"We always hope that this week will spark some interest in some students and that they will spend time reading about how the Constitution came to be developed," said Dotson. "At the very least, we hope it serves as a reminder of how precious our freedoms are and how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America."


STC Child Development Center Holds Grandparents' Day Event

September 19, 2011 - Grandparents are special people! On September 17, 2011, Southeastern Technical College's Child Development Center hosted a Grandparents' Day celebration to show how much they are appreciated. Grandparents that attended enjoyed a delicious breakfast with their grandchildren and received a special gift. This is just one of the many exciting celebrations and family activities hosted by Southeastern Technical College's Child Development Center.

September's theme was "On the Farm." Students participated in farm-related activities and even received hands-on experience when a farmer visited and brought along his goat and tractor!

Many exciting and educational events are planned for October's theme of "Community Helpers." For more information, contact Southeastern Technical College Child Development Center at 478-289-2241.

Photo: (L to R) Steven Brown, Manii Cruz, Lexsy Brown, Layton Terwilliger, Jace Farmer, Wendell Coleman


STC celebrates Literacy Week

September 19, 2011 - Governor Nathan Deal proclaimed September 8, 2011 as Literacy Day and September 12-18 as Literacy Week as the state of Georgia joins the National Literacy Campaign in an effort to eliminate illiteracy among Georgians.

Southeastern Technical College Mt. Vernon campus celebrated literacy week by inviting children of students to come by the center on Wednesday, September 14 to receive an age-appropriate book along with a goodie bag that included a bookmark encouraging them to read. The children were very excited to see where Mommy or Daddy went to school. "It is very important to start with children early to promote literacy" said instructor, Kim Taylor. Parents were encouraged to go home and read with their children each night during literacy week.

It is important for Georgians to be aware of literacy in the state and nation. Approximately one in five American adults cannot read or write with sufficient skill to function optimally in today's society. In Georgia, approximately 1.4 million adults have not completed high school or received a GED.

Illiteracy rates are higher among the economically disadvantaged and are closely associated with unemployment, high crime rates and welfare dependency. Illiteracy can be alleviated by increased public awareness and citizen support in our communities through our schools, libraries, workplaces and volunteer programs on the local, state and national levels.

Southeastern Tech Montgomery County campus offers adult education classes in the day and afternoon. Programs include GED preparation, reading, writing, math, GA Work-Ready Testing and GED testing. For more information call, Kim Taylor at 912-583-2535.

Photo: Monica Smith, Adult Education student; Meyonna Janae Gibson, Monica's daughter.


Georgia Forestry Commission Brings Job Opportunities to STC Students

September 19, 2011 - Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) representatives visited Southeastern Technical College's Swainsboro campus on September 14 with job opportunities for students in the college's Forest Technology program.

Devon Dartnell, business analyst for the GFC, and Byron Haire, assistant district manager for the Ogeechee District, told the students about the funding the GFC had received to hire on "supplemental firefighters." In the wake of a hot, dry summer, the GFC is in need of workers to aid its firefighting efforts.

"Every day, when the weather's like it is right now, we have wildfires. Every day," said Dartnell.

The supplemental firefighters, who will work part-time hours, will aid in the plowing of firebreaks and will assist landowners with prescribed burns. How much they're involved will depend on which level of firefighter they are. There are three levels, requiring different levels of certification, with different wages for each.

And though it's only a temporary, part-time position, a supplemental firefighter has a good chance of becoming more than supplemental.

"This is an excellent opportunity if you want to work for the state forestry commission," said Dartnell. "You've got your foot in the door and if you do a good job, it's a no-brainer that when they have an opening, they're going to hire you."

"If there's an opportunity for us to hire someone and you're already trained, what's the cost to us to get you back? Nothing, you're already there," said Haire.

Dartnell and Haire also detailed the other benefits of the supplemental position. Beyond possible future employment, the temporary workers will receive important, useful training and qualifications, and GFC agents will take a personal interest in making sure that happens.

"Byron [Haire] and I will meet with the chief rangers wherever you're placed to ensure they realize they're supposed to use you as many hours as they possibly can," Dartnell told the Forest Tech students, "We're going to encourage these people to utilize you, to let you come to work and train, study and get your qualifications as soon as possible at our expense."

"We aspire to see everyone better themselves and their opportunities," said Haire.

Southeastern Tech's Forest Technology program is a sequence of courses that prepares students for careers as forest technicians. The program provides students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to obtain employment with the Georgia Forestry Commission, Department of Natural Resources, timber dealers, chemical companies, tree nurseries, satellite system companies (GPS), pole and saw timber mills, and private consultants.

For more information on the Forest Tech program, call either (478) 289-2200 or (912) 538-3100, or visit

Photo: Haire (left) speaks with several students after the meeting.


David Walden Named to Southeastern Tech Board of Directors

August 30, 2011 - Last week, Southeastern Technical College welcomed David Walden to its Board of Directors. Walden, who lives in Soperton, represents Treutlen County and was recommended by the county's development authority.

Since 1998, Walden has worked with the US Department of Agriculture as an Area Resource Conservationist, responsible for the conservation planning activities within a 42-county area centered in Waycross.

Prior to that, Walden, a UGA graduate with a degree in Agriculture Education, worked with the Department of Agriculture in Cochran as a Soil Conservationist, providing leadership, management and technical assistance to a variety of programs in Bleckley and Twiggs counties.

"I look forward to working with Mr. Walden. His experience with the United States Department of Agriculture as a conservationist will certainly be beneficial for the College," said Dr. Cathryn Mitchell, president of Southeastern Tech, "Our Forestry program will directly benefit from his extensive knowledge. And as a lifelong resident of Treutlen County, Mr. Walden will be a great representative for that area."

Photo: Walden is sworn in by Don Wilkes, another member of STC's Board of Directors.


Southeastern Tech Congratulates Summer Quarter President's List

August 30, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College is proud to announce their Summer Quarter President's List. These students maintained a 3.75 GPA or higher for the quarter:

Joseph Frost
Tiffany Henriott

Sharon Henry
Amber Nobles
Zachary Womack

Terry Ours
Jeffrey Shepard

James Bowlsbey
Audrey Edwards

Audra Dees
Suzette Lott
Justin Taylor

Bobby West


Southeastern Tech Enrollment Rises After Semester, HOPE Changes

August 23, 2011 - After the first day of Southeastern Technical College's first-ever fall semester, the college's first-day enrollment stands at 2020. This is an increase over previous enrollment at the school, and it comes despite the school dealing with several major changes over the past few months, including the shift to a semester system and a retooling of the HOPE scholarship and grant program.

"With the passage of 'Enduring HOPE,' we were a little concerned about how it might affect our enrollment," said Dr. Cathy Mitchell, president of STC, "So, we started holding information sessions immediately and developing handouts for all new students. We also implemented a student loan program. I think our aggressive actions lessened the impact on our enrollment."

After the changes to the HOPE program, HOPE scholars now receive 90 percent of the FY '11 standard tuition rate, funds for remedial classes, books and fees have been eliminated, and HOPE eligible hours are capped at 127. The HOPE program is so far-reaching that even students outside of it can feel the effects of changes.

"My daughter just started college, and she had to deal with some of the changes to the HOPE scholarship," said Sheriell Brazell, a student at STC, "But, since she enrolled right after graduating high school, it affected her, but not me."

This isn't to say, however, that all the changes are negative or restricting. The school's switch from quarters to semesters, long and arduous though it was, is one that has support among students.

"To be honest, I think semesters are better just because they're longer," said Brazell, "With quarters, you had less time to learn, so semesters give you the opportunity to learn more."

And yet, with the school's growth unhindered by these changes, "surprised" isn't the right word for Southeastern Tech's response. For them, this is a reaffirmation of their institution's ability and purpose.

"Despite the changes in HOPE, we are still a good bargain-The Technical College System of Georgia still offers the least expensive education in the state of Georgia," said Dr. Barry Dotson, vice president of student affairs at STC, "And, we provide education for jobs that put people to work-Nurses, Radiologic Technicians, Dental Hygienists, Medical Assistants, Welders, Computer Technicians-the majority of the jobs in our area requires the type of training that we offer, and I think that as our community grows and expands, we grow and expand."


Governor's Workforce Development Town Hall to be Held at STC

August 15, 2011 - The Governor's Office of Workforce Development will host a town hall meeting at Southeastern Technical College's Vidalia campus on September 22 at 6:30 p.m. aimed at promoting basic, essential job skills.

The Governor's Workforce Development Town Hall on Soft Skills in Education is a series of 31 public town hall meetings allowing Georgians-most importantly students, parents, business leaders, and Georgia's professional educators-to be a part of the establishment of a statewide certification in soft skills, such as punctuality, ability to learn, appropriate business attire, and ability to work as a team for Georgia's schools.

Governor Deal signed House Bill 186 into law on May 13, 2011. This important legislation authorizes The Governor's Office of Workforce Development to establish certification in soft skills, such as punctuality, ability to learn, appropriate business attire, and ability to work as a team.

This certification will complement the current assessment system utilized in Georgia to assess knowledge in applied math, reading for information, and locating information. Upon graduation, students would have both a diploma and certification in soft skills and work readiness.

These meetings will unite Georgia as we work to establish an effective set of soft skills to ensure that our emerging workforce is prepared to achieve success in the workplace.

Executive Director Melvin Everson of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development will host the panel on stage to engage with the public on this important initiative.

Panel members will include: representatives from the Department of Education, the host Technical College, the Georgia Department of Labor, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia PTA, the local Chamber of Commerce, local business owners, the local Superintendent of Schools, the local School Board Chair, the local Mayor, the chair of the County Commission, the state Senator, and the state Representative.

"The number one priority of my Administration is to create jobs for Georgia. These important town halls will establish a synergy for our great educational system to partner with our business community to prepare Georgia students to enter the workforce with those vital social skills necessary in the 21st-century workplace," said Governor Deal.

The Vidalia town hall, to be held at STC's Tattnall Auditorium, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last an hour and a half. The format will include a welcome by our host, an orientation presentation by Director Everson and a presentation by the Department of Education on the importance of soft skills. Following the presentation, Everson will moderate questions and comments from the audience for the panel.

Each session will be videotaped and hosted on The Governor's Office of Workforce Development social media sites.

For more information, contact Lisa Adams at or by phone at 912-538-3270.


State's First Regional Career Academy Opens in Vidalia

August 1, 2011 - Local and state leaders responsible for South Georgia's first career academy came together on August 1 to cut the ribbon on the $7-million facility.

The Southeastern Early College and Career Academy (SECCA) is the first regional career academy in the state and will serve students from high schools in Vidalia and Toombs, Montgomery and Treutlen counties. State Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons was an early supporter of the career academy concept.

"It's a place where kids want to come to learn, where they don't want to drop out, where they are serious and where they see a vision for a time when they might have a job," said Williams. "This is a real inspiration for this county."

It is hoped that SECCA will help improve the area's workforce readiness and reduce the high-school drop-out rate in the region.

"This career academy concept is one of the best ways to counter high school drop outs because we can show them the relevancy of what they're learning," said Dr. Barbara Christmas, the academy's director. "If a student is excited about automotive technology, then all of a sudden has to learn some math and science concepts with it, that becomes relevant."

Also in attendance was Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, an outspoken proponent of career academies in the state who helped secure the funding for SECCA.

"We have for too long said that for every student to be successful, you've got to go to college. I want every student to have the opportunity to go to college, but I also want us to understand that 80 percent of the workforce tomorrow is going to need some type of technical training. It's critical," said Cagle.

Much of Cagle's support for career academies comes from the benefits they provide to Georgia employers, not just students.

"They can leave here with an industry recognized certificate that prepares them to immediately enter the workforce," said Cagle. "That's important for economic development because employers are looking for that workforce that is trained and prepared to go to work."

SECCA classes, which will include automotive technology, JROTC, and others, will begin August 22.


Georgia Economic Initiative Meeting Held at Southeastern Tech

July 28, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College's Vidalia campus hosted the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative Meeting for Region 9-a 17-county area including Candler, Emanuel, Montgomery, Tattnall, Toombs and Treutlen-on July 27. Business leaders from the region, staff from Southeastern Tech and the technical college system and state government representatives met in the campus's auditoriums and classrooms to discuss ways to improve the economic viability of the region and Georgia as a whole.

Chris Cummiskey, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, led the meeting, explaining the purpose of the initiative and the state's view on some of the key economic issues facing Georgia.

"I'm sure you've seen the red tape and said to yourself, 'Why are we doing that in this state?'" said Cummiskey, "This is your chance to tell us what you see."

Dr. Scott Angle, dean of the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, also spoke, addressing a region aware of and dependent on the importance of agribusiness. Angle noted Georgia's unique positioning as a major agricultural producer in a world where demand is rapidly increasing.

"We in Georgia have to be major, major players in making sure that the rest of the world does not go hungry," said Angle, "It's our obligation, a moral imperative."

Southeastern Tech officials facilitated the event, but representatives from the college and the Technical College System of Georgia, including STC President Dr. Cathryn Mitchell and TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson, were also involved in the discussion, highlighting the bridge between industry and secondary education.

"[At the end of the day,] the group had to choose one of the seven economic development issues that had been chosen at the morning session," said Mitchell, "47% of the group chose 'workforce development' as our region's top economic development challenge. STC/TCSG's stated mission is 'workforce development.'"


Southeastern Tech's Head of Economic Development to Retire

July 7, 2011 - Richard Thornton, executive director of economic development at Southeastern Technical College, has retired from his position at STC, concluding a long and decorated career.

Thornton spent nearly 25 years in the service of technical education, working for Swainsboro Technical College and Southeastern Technical College 18 of those years.

"Dr. Richard Thornton was very instrumental in the success of the old Swainsboro Technical Institute/College," said Larry Calhoun, provost for Southeastern Tech, "As the leader of Academic Affairs, he played a critical role in the college maintaining [Council on Occupational Education] accreditation and in achieving its first ever [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges] accreditation."

When Southeastern Tech and Swainsboro Tech merged, Thornton took on his current role in the economic development department and soon helped four counties achieve Certified Work Ready Community status.

"Working with Dr. Thornton has been a pleasure, and his background in academics has been a plus for the economic development of the communities we serve," said Johnny Payne, executive director of economic development and community relations at STC.

Thornton, who has degrees in German and German education in addition to his doctorate in education curriculum and supervision, has held positions in a variety of companies and institutions, from teaching German to 10th graders at Hephzibah High School to training engineers in product design at Hughes Tool Company.

"Dr. Thornton has had a long and distinguished career in technical education," said Calhoun, "He is highly respected by his coworkers at STC and his peers around the state and will be missed by all."

Thornton has been and remains involved in his community as a member of both the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Swainsboro.

Photo: David Yarbrough, vice president of economic development,
presents Thornton with a certificate of retirement.


STC Travels to Kansas City for National Conference, Championships

July 5, 2011 - Ten students represented Southeastern Technical College at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo. on June 25. Over 5,700 high school and college competitors from across the nation competed in 94 events.

The Southeastern Tech SkillsUSA competitors, who had already won gold on the state level to reach this national competition, were Jimmie O'Berry in Computer Maintenance Tech, Mia Mask in Cosmetology, Michelle Daley in Criminal Justice, Brittany Galbreath, Nicholas Brouwer, Daniel Williams, Korey Miller, Ben Harris and Phillip Hines in Quiz Bowl and Monique Weldon-who returned as STC's first-ever national gold medalist-in Employment Application Process.

"I'm so proud of each and every student that attended the conference this year," said STC Instructor Tina Jernigan, "As one of the advisors for Skills USA, I have an opportunity to work with some great students and I'm amazed each year at competition just how must talent STC has."

The event was part of a larger conference that spanned the entirety of the week. Sponsored by over 1,000 companies and organizations, the conference took place in downtown Kansas City and included a 5K run, a motorcycle raffle, and a "SkillsUSA Night" at Kauffman Stadium, home to the Kansas City Royals.

"We got to see some of Kansas City and spent a lot of time at the Country Club Plaza [one of Kansas City's entertainment districts]," said Mia Mask, one of the school's competitors, "There was also an area called the Power and Light District that had one night entirely dedicated to all the SkillsUSA people. The weather was great, there was dancing, it was really pretty. The SkillsUSA organization really does a great job combining fun with a very educational week."

Though the students were there to compete against their peers, the conference created an environment where they could gain more through communication than competition.

"By attending the conferences each year, students are given an opportunity to network with other students in post-secondary education and exposed to activities outside of the classroom, which is great for the students," said Jernigan.

SkillsUSA is a national organization of more than 300,000 students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, skilled service and health occupations excel towards their career goals.

"I'd suggest that everyone get involved with SkillsUSA and try to get to nationals," said Mask, "I'm very glad I got to be a part of it."


STC Student Wins Gold at SkillsUSA National Competition

June 24, 2011 - Monique Weldon, a student at Southeastern Technical College, became the college's first student ever to finish first in an event at the SkillsUSA national competition. Weldon, a McRae native, took the gold in Employment Application Process and also received the John Scott Award for finishing with the highest score of any Georgia competitor.

"It's refreshing to know that hard work really does pay off," said Weldon, "That's all I did: what I was supposed to do. I tried my best, and it paid off."

The Employment Application Process contest judges competitors' readiness in applying for employment and their understanding of that process.

"You go through the same exact process as if you were applying for a job," said Weldon, "You dress for the occasion, you submit a portfolio of your credentials-I used some of my Cosmetology work-then you go for an actual interview. You fill out an application, then answer a series of questions in a 15 minute interview with two interviewers."

Althea Telfair, a cosmetology instructor at Southeastern Tech, watched Weldon graduate from her program and move to another, but knew there was more to be done with Weldon.

"I knew how great of a student she was, and even though she wasn't in my program anymore, I asked her if she'd be interested in going to [a SkillsUSA competition] again," said Telfair, Weldon's SkillsUSA advisor, "She said yes, so we went through the list of competitions and picked Employment Application Process."

Weldon attributes her success to attention to detail, positive demeanor and strong poise, something the interviewers noted to her.

"I guess I can attribute that to my [Air Force] background-standing up straight and making eye contact," said Weldon, "The judges actually said they'd never seen anyone maintain eye contact the way I had."

Weldon's advisor agrees, but struggles to find just the right word to describe the nuances of the gold medalist. She sums it up simply.

"She's a very good student," said Telfair, "Excellent student. You couldn't ask for any better."

Over 5,700 high school and college competitors from across the nation competed in 94 events at the 2011 SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo. In order to reach this national level, each competitor had to receive a gold medal at their state competition.

SkillsUSA is a national organization of more than 300,000 students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, skilled service, and health occupations excel towards their career goals.

Monique Weldon (left), with advisor Althea Telfair


Local Teachers Become Students at STC's Summer Educator Academy

June 16, 2011 - K-12 teachers from across Southeastern Technical College's service area assembled June 6 through June 9 at the college's Vidalia campus to take part in its Summer Educator Academy (SEA).

Sixteen regional educators enjoyed five days of programs aimed at teaching new strategies, illustrating how what they teach in their classrooms translates to the working world and how technical education can fit into not just their lives and careers, but their students' as well.

"This year, the academy focused on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," said Brad Hart, STC's director of Enrollment Services and a SEA organizer, "The ultimate goal of the academy was to make educators aware of different ways they can engage their students and to highlight Southeastern Tech in the process."

The event began with Brad Cohen, author of the bestseller Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had and subject of the Hallmark movie of the same name, speaking to the group about his own education strategies.

The group heard from a variety of speakers through the rest of the week: Theresa Spangler of TS Consulting and Training, Derrick Marcus of the Georgia Department of Labor, Thom Suddreth from Ford Motor Company's Partnership for Advanced Studies, Robin Reinart of the National Energy Foundation and STC's own 2011 GOAL student, Autumn Foskey.

"I think [the teachers] were very eager to take the information provided and use it in their classrooms," said Ashley Googe, one of STC's high school coordinators and another SEA organizer, "Each of them said they felt re-energized after attending the academy, and I am glad STC was able to be a part in renewing their drive for doing what they love to do: teach."

Amid the speakers and luncheons, the group also received tours of both STC's Vidalia campus and Meadows Regional Medical Center.

On the final day of the academy, the participants were asked to provide any comments regarding their experience there.

One teacher wrote, "After eighteen years in public education, it is great to be inspired, challenged, and motivated to continue teaching with the purpose of preparing students for a wealth of opportunities waiting upon the horizon!"

Participants included: Cindy Brett, Ora Lee Carey, Cindy Corbitt, Robbin Dees, Suzanne Dixon, Patricia Goethe, Angela Hutcheson, Peggy Lawrence, Christine Mikulecky, Machelle Mosley, Beverly Rivers, Stacy Roberts, Christy Scoggins, Hope Scott, Valerie Tapley and Leslie Wiggins.

SEA 2011 participants tour the new Meadows Regional Medical Center.


Pollyann Martin Completes Term as STC Board of Directors Chair

June 16, 2011 - Earlier this month, Pollyann Martin received a plaque of appreciation for serving as chairman of the Southeastern Technical College Board of Directors. Mrs. Martin concludes her tenure as board chair on June 30.

"Mrs. Martin has been an extremely active board member and has been an excellent chair this year," said STC President Dr. Cathryn Mitchell, "She understands and is committed to our mission. Mrs. Martin has worked tirelessly for many years attending local as well as state meetings and events to represent the college."

In addition to her service to Southeastern Technical College, Mrs. Martin has been a very active participant with the Technical College Directors' Association of Georgia (TCDA). The TCDA is comprised of all Georgia technical college board members and functions as a training organization for board members so they may be better advocates for technical college students. Mrs. Martin has served as treasurer, vice president and president of the TCDA.

Though she will no longer be STC board chair, Mrs. Martin will remain on the school's board of directors until 2013, working with the college to help it grow and improve.

"The commitment to quality education and workforce training is always the focus of the faculty, staff, administration and the board at STC," said Mrs. Martin, "In these times of budget cuts and changes in HOPE, we have had to look at ways to streamline, but our programs have not suffered and our standards have not changed."

President Mitchell (right) presents Mrs. Martin with a commemorative plaque.


Award-winning Author, Educator Brad Cohen Speaks at STC

June 16, 2011 - In Southeastern Technical College's Toombs Auditorium, a clip from a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie played to a mostly silent crowd. The lone audible voice that punctuated the actors' dialogue came from the same man one of those actors was portraying.

Brad Cohen has Tourette's Syndrome, but Brad Cohen is also a best-selling author, a renowned educator and the subject of the aforementioned film, and he spoke at Southeastern Tech's Vidalia campus on June 6.

Cohen related to the audience the story contained in his book, "Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had." In classes early on, teachers didn't understand Cohen's tics and twitches, leading to unwarranted punishment and scolding.

"Teachers thought I was trying to be the goofy kid in the corner of the room," said Cohen, "They thought I was trying to be the kid that disrupts them while they were trying to teach their lesson. But, all I ever wanted was to be treated with respect like everybody else."

After his principal brought him before the school during an assembly to help explain his condition, Cohen not only became more accepted among his peers, but his course in life was set.

"I realized, then, the power of education," said Cohen, "On that day, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be the teacher I never had. I wanted to be a teacher who focused on kids' strengths, not their weaknesses."

The experience galvanized Cohen and sparked in him the determination that would see him through the rest of his struggles to become an educator. Despite all stumbling blocks, Cohen pursued and achieved his goal and was even named Georgia's Sallie Mae First Class Teacher of the Year after his first year.

In 2005, Cohen's book was published. Cohen said that he wrote the book as part of his ongoing effort to educate people about Tourette's Syndrome, using his own life to relate the message.

"I needed to write that book for parents out there who have kids with challenges, to show them there is hope that their kid will someday grow up and be successful," said Cohen, "And I knew I needed to write that book for educators, to show them what a difference they make and so they won't forget that they need to step in my shoes for just a little bit to see what it's like for those kids with challenges."

Regional educators in attendance had met with Cohen earlier in the day as part of Southeastern Tech's Summer Educator Academy, and he was able to speak with them about education-specific topics and how his experience has shaped his teaching style.

Regional educators in attendance had met with Cohen earlier in the day as part of Southeastern Tech's Summer Educator Academy, and he was able to speak with them about education-specific topics and how his experience has shaped his teaching style.

"All it takes is for one person to make a difference in the life of a child, in the life of anyone," said Cohen, "My challenge to you is to be that person."

Cohen speaks to the crowd at Toombs Auditorium.


STC Instructor Featured in National Textbook, International Magazine

June 16, 2011 - Michael Crumpler knows Larry Jeffus very well, though they have never met.

Crumpler, a welding instructor at Southeastern Technical College, has taught from Jeffus's nationally-recognized textbook for over a decade.

It isn't hard, then, to imagine Crumpler's reaction when he looked at the ringing phone on his desk to see the name "Jeffus" appear.

"I'm just sitting here doing whatever and the phone rings, I see his name and I thought, 'Oh my God,'" said Crumpler.

Jeffus was calling to ask Crumpler for permission to use his biography in the newest edition of Jeffus' textbook, the same one Crumpler has been teaching from for years.

Shortly after, the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy, Ohio-the "Harvard of welding schools," according to Crumpler-discovered he would be in the book and wanted his story as well.

And so, Crumpler and Charlotte Matthews, an English instructor at STC, sat down and rewrote an old bio piece and sent it off, and now the Vidalia resident is featured in a text used in welding classrooms nationwide and a quarterly magazine distributed internationally.

So, what makes Crumpler so interesting?

"Out of high school, I was clueless," said Crumpler, "Just no idea. My family was extremely poor, so college wasn't an option. My mother and I were riding around one day in New Deal, Tenn., and we came upon this place called Imperial Fabricating. My mother looked at me and said, 'I think this is where you're supposed to be.'"

Crumpler spoke honestly to the man inside Imperial Fabricating. No, sir, he couldn't read blueprints. No, sir, he doesn't know how to weld. But, this was just what they were looking for.

Imperial needed blank slates to train, and Crumpler was just the right fit. After a few months on a belt-sander, he approached a superior and began to learn how to weld. Crumpler would go on to weld for around eight years in places all over the country.

He married his wife, with whom he now has a 14-year-old daughter, at 21, and in beginning a family, he began to think about different career opportunities.

"I told my wife this was not for me, this dirty, hot job, and I just don't enjoy being hot and nasty. She says 'Well, what are you going to do?' I said, 'Well, you know, I've never seen a pharmacist sweat.'"

Crumpler planned to complete a degree through Brewton-Parker College, which was offering courses through a local high school, and eventually get into a major university's pharmacy program, but two things put that on hold.

Just after completing his degree at Brewton-Parker, the company Crumpler worked for called for him to go to Nicaragua to help construct the country's first peanut-shelling plant. And then two weeks after he returned, his daughter was born.

Crumpler knew he would have to stick with welding, but he had a new, stronger resolve.

"I thought if [welding] was to be my so-called destiny, I needed to earn everything in welding that I possibly could," said Crumpler, "I learned of this school in Troy, Ohio-people called it the 'Harvard of welding schools'-I was able to go up there and get the three major things that any and every welder would ever want, your CWI, -E and -S."

In 2001, Crumpler began teaching at what was then Swainsboro Technical College, teaching dual enrollment classes for high school students as well as college courses. Now, Crumpler has been instructing in the Technical College System of Georgia for 10 years, and people beyond the campus grounds are becoming aware of the caliber of his character and his instruction.

For more information on the welding program, call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200, or visit

Crumpler displays the textbook in which he is featured.



June 14, 2011 - Six Practical Nursing students from Southeastern Tech's Swainsboro Campus recently graduated from the diploma program with smiles on their faces. To celebrate the graduating class, special pinning ceremonies were held in Swainsboro on June 8, 2011. The Practical Nursing program is taught by Gladys Gibbons, Beth Hendrix, Kathy Holt and Shannon Veal.

The medical field is a growing industry with many job opportunities in nursing homes, hospitals, and home health care. If you are interested in the Practical Nursing program offered at Southeastern Tech, please call 912-538-3100 in Vidalia, 478-289-2200 in Swainsboro or 912-654-5276 in Glennville or visit

(From left to right: Jonathan Womack, Becky Collins, Amber Love, Michelle Bassett, Erica Todd, and Chiquita Williams)



June 14, 2011 - Six students from Southeastern Tech recently graduated from the Radiologic Technology diploma program. To celebrate the graduating class, a special pinning ceremony was held on June 9, 2011.

The Radiologic Technology graduates received several honors and awards. The guest speaker was Ms. Lisa Hooks from Meadows Regional Medical Center.

The Radiologic Technology program takes 21 months to complete with extensive real life practical experience, and several of the graduates have job offers before they complete the program. The program is taught by Tara Powell and Kerry Dunn.

If you are interested in the Radiologic Technology diploma program or any of the diploma programs offered at Southeastern Tech, please call 538-3100 or go to

From left to right: Tara Powell (Program Director), Gordon Kennedy, Shiona Hunt, Christy Thrift, Shandra Williams, Kayla Ricketson, Shanna Sumner, and Kerry Dunn (Clinical Coordinator)


TCSG Rescinds GED® Test Fee Increase

June 2, 2011 - System's state board holds cost decision until 2012, cites delay in development of computer-based test

Atlanta - The state board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia and its Office of Adult Education (OAE) has voted to rescind a planned increase in the GED test fees for Georgia's adult learners. The TCSG will wait until at least early next year to reconsider the cost.

The board's action follows recommendations from both the OAE, which is the statewide provider of the test, and the GED Testing ServiceĀ® in Washington, D.C., which is responsible for the design and delivery of the test.

In April, the TCSG announced that the test fees would more than double from the current $95, which would coincide with the launch in July of a first-ever, computer-based GED test by the GED Testing Service.

However, the GED Testing Service recently asked Georgia to postpone the cost increase citing the need to resolve all operational and technical matters involved in the development and delivery of the computer-based testing (CBT) model.

In a letter to TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson dated May 19, 2011, GED Testing Service Executive Vice President Nicole M. Chestang wrote, "We recommend that the planned CBT implementation date be delayed until we can provide the optimal operational solution and implementation approach for Georgia and ultimately the State's GED test-takers."

The current fee of $95 to take the full battery of GED tests that measure reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics skills will remain in effect into early 2012, or however long it takes to begin the computer-based GED testing.

Both the GED Testing Service and the TCSG want ensure that the CBT is working flawlessly before anyone takes the new electronic version of the test.

"The computer-based GED testing is an excellent program with great promise, but it won't be implemented in Georgia until we're fully confident that every issue with the new model has been worked out," said Beverly Smith, the TCSG assistant commissioner for adult education. "In the meantime, we'll work to inform every adult learner that their test cost will not change in July as planned and encourage them to take full advantage of the test at the current fee level."

It's estimated that there are more than 1.3 million adult Georgians who are without a high school or GED diploma. Last year, almost 20,000 men and women in the state changed their lives for the better and improved their job opportunities by passing the test and obtaining their GED diploma.


TCSG Announces New Website with Information about HOPE Changes

Helps students answer the question 'What about HOPE and me?'

May 17, 2011 - The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) unveiled a new website today that's loaded with information about the recent changes to Georgia's HOPE Grant and Scholarship program.

The website is a great resource for current Georgia technical college students as well as prospective college students, both young and old, to get the latest facts about earning and keeping their HOPE program benefits.

A link to the website is also available on the Southeastern Technical College home page at

After lawmakers made the necessary modifications to the HOPE program earlier this year, many students are asking What about HOPE and me? To better answer that question, the new TCSG website has examples of six students with different academic backgrounds and places in their pursuit of a college education. Two are students already in college, two more are graduating high school, another is trying to decide on where to go to college, and the last is a non-traditional student who's looking to college to help change careers.

Visitors to the website can also access frequently asked questions about the HOPE changes and find additional information about other ways to get financial assistance for college, like the federal Pell Grant. There are links to each of the 26 TCSG college websites and an online form to submit questions about HOPE directly to any of the technical college financial aid offices.

Downloadable videos about the HOPE program requirements will be added to the website in the coming weeks.

"The TCSG created this website to assist Georgians as they navigate their way through the HOPE program, which even with the recent changes is still one of the very best college financial aid programs in the country," said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. "For someone who's enrolled at a TCSG college or is interested in attending one, getting and keeping HOPE means great cost savings on top of what's already one of the most affordable college education values in the entire southeast. It's important that people understand exactly what's needed qualify for the HOPE program, what it now pays for, and how to use it to complete their college education. "

Beginning in the fall, the average tuition for a full semester course load in a standard program at a TCSG college will be about $1,125. Under the recent changes, the HOPE Grant or Scholarship will pay $60.75 per TCSG semester credit hour (which is determined by a percentage the cost of tuition from the previous year), meaning that the average student using HOPE at a TCSG college in the fall will have to pay about $214 in out of pocket tuition cost. Also, students will be responsible for approximately $240 in books and fees that was paid for by HOPE last year, but is no longer covered. The website also details an important new requirement that students maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) at certain checkpoints in order to keep the HOPE Grant. Previously, TCSG students receiving the grant had to maintain satisfactory academic progress, which was considered to be at least a 2.0 GPA.

Early on, there was some concern that all students would immediately need the higher GPA upon implementation of the new rule if they were to continue their HOPE Grant eligibility. However, the new rule only applies to those HOPE Grant recipients who cross the 30 or 60 semester hour checkpoint during the fall semester 2011 or later.

This means that newer students have additional time to improve their GPA, if necessary. Also, students who crossed a checkpoint with satisfactory academic progress before the upcoming fall semester will keep the HOPE Grant until they either graduate or reach the next GPA requirement at the 60-hour checkpoint.

Last year, three-quarters of the 191,000 students who enrolled at the 26 TCSG colleges relied on the HOPE program to help pay for their college education. That includes almost 138,000 students who qualified for the HOPE Grant to enroll in technical certificate and diploma programs, which usually take less than two years to complete, and another 7,400 TCSG students who used the HOPE Scholarship for two-year associate degree programs.

The Technical College System of Georgia offers more than 600 certificate, diploma and degree programs. Enrollment in the TCSG colleges has grown by almost 33 percent in just two years, with tens of thousands of new students taking advantage of the low tuition, great instructors and easy access to in-demand programs like healthcare, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and more. And almost 76,000 TCSG students studied online last year through the system's Georgia Virtual Technical Connection.

For more information about the TCSG, go to


Southeastern Tech To Become Tobacco-Free

May 11, 2011 - In the interest of better promoting the health of our staff and students, Southeastern Technical College campuses will transition to a tobacco-free environment effective July 1, 2011.

Smoking and use of other tobacco products will not be permitted on any college campus, to include but not limited to campus buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, building entrances and common areas, and in college-owned vehicles. Smoking or the use of any type of tobacco product is not permitted within private vehicles on campus property.

"STC has decided to be a tobacco-free campus because we want to provide a healthy environment for our students and staff," said Dr. Cathy Mitchell, STC president.

It is hoped that all members of the college community will assist in ensuring the success of STC's tobacco-free policy.


STC Students Study on the Water

May 10, 2011 - On May 10, around 10:30 a.m. under the mid-morning sun, several students cast lines out into a pond. At a time when they would normally be under a classroom's fluorescent lights, they were instead laughing underneath calm blue skies. And they were in class.

Southeastern Technical College instructor Jill Lehman took her Dendrology and Fish Culture classes out to the Vidalia campus's pond that Tuesday morning to study fish population analysis and water quality.

In this rather unconventional classroom, Lehman spoke on fish life cycles and ecosystems, how rising temperature triggers a mating mode in fish in the pond and how the size of a fish's body relative to its head can tell you about its eating habits.

The classes also utilized a boat to get out on the water and capture several fish to study them on the shore. To do this, they used what's called "shocking."

"There's an electrode in the water, and it shocks the fish, stuns them, they rise to the surface, then we scoop them up into some pond water on the boat, then bring them back to our cooler," said Lehman, "We'll analyze them there, and by the time we're done, they're waking back up, so we let them loose back in the pond."

For more information on STC's Environmental Technologies program, call 478-289-2200 or 912-538-3100, or visit

Lehman displays and students examine a catfish caught during the class.


Montgomery, Tattnall, Toombs Become Certified Literate Communities

May 9, 2011 - After nearly a decade of work, the Southeastern Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP) has been declared CLCP certified, having helped over 7,500 local residents without a high school diploma or GED reach their education goals. The Southeastern CLCP, which spans Montgomery, Tattnall and Toombs counties, achieved this goal a full year ahead of schedule.

The CLCP was created in 1990 by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Council on Adult Literacy, and it asks a community to establish a non-profit collaborative to promote, support and enhance community literacy efforts locally. Communities participating in the program analyze community needs, create awareness of the needs, ensure that learning opportunities are offered and evaluate progress so that the majority of citizens needing to improve their skills do so within 10 years.

"The SCLCP set their 10-year goal of helping 7,500 citizens enrolled in the adult education program," said Susan Cross, executive director of adult education at Southeastern Technical College, "They exceeded their goal in nine years, having served 7,680 members of the three communities."

As a major player in the SCLCP, Southeastern Tech understands the importance of community literacy and takes pride in the program's certification.

"It is virtually impossible these days to find a good job without a high school diploma or GED," said Dr. Cathryn Mitchell, president of Southeastern Tech, "By providing these services, we improve the lives of the participants, help supply business and industry with a literate workforce, and improve the quality of life and economic viability of our community."

"With the reduction of State and Federal dollars that go to the adult education programs around the State each year, the importance of having a CLCP as a partner cannot be stressed enough," said Cross.

Since the CLCP began 10 years ago, over 2,200 GED diplomas have been awarded in Montgomery, Tattnall and Toombs counties. Southeastern Tech and the SCLCP are confident that the program's positive impact will continue to grow in the future.

"Ten years ago, 42.6 percent of adults age 25 and older in our area did not have a high school diploma or GED," said Mitchell, "The percentage now is 32.7 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau has not released official 2010 census data, but it is estimated that the percentage is now 21 percent."

With more than one million undereducated adults in Georgia, the state formed the CLCP to empower communities to help their own. The ambitious goal of the CLCP is to eliminate half of the functional illiteracy in communities during a 10-year time frame. Beginning with five pilot sites, the CLCP now boasts 78 counties and two cities as a part of the CLCP initiative.

TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson presents a certificate to members of the Southeastern CLCP.


Southeastern Tech Trades Books for Bats at Activity Day

May 5, 2011 - When the air gets warmer and spring is in full bloom, sometimes it's better to just give in to those urges and play outside. That's exactly what Southeastern Technical College did on April 21 at the Billy C. Carmichael Recreation Department Complex in Swainsboro and May 5 at Partin Park in Lyons.

The Activity Days were a chance for students and faculty alike to take a break from the rigors of academia and have fun and socialize in a relaxed environment. In softball matches, ladderball, horseshoes and more, students and staff basked in the glow of a day without textbooks.

"The purpose of our student activities here at STC are to create a positive educational environment by allowing students a chance to have fun and fellowship with fellow students as well as faculty and staff," said Lance Helms, director of career services at Southeastern Tech, and one of the coordinators for Vidalia's Activity Day.

In Vidalia, students, grouped by their program of study and decked out in T-shirts made for the day, competed for a chance to play a softball game against the faculty team. And in Swainsboro, activities ranged from a basketball free throw contest to a "Most Kissable Lips" contest.

While it's all about having fun, STC staff understand there's a secondary, but important benefit from these Activity Days.

"Studies show that students who participate in school related activities tend to complete their educational goals," said Helms, "STC wants their students to succeed with regards to their education and believes student activities is a very important part of that process. Functioning as part of a team and socializing with others is an important part of workforce development."

STC students get into the swing of things at Partin Park in Lyons.


STC Holds Annual Appreciation BBQ

April 20, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College held its annual barbecue at the Shot Strange Clubhouse in Oak Park on April 19. As the sun set, the college held a silent auction and reverse raffle and recognized the college foundation's contributors.

"Your contribution to our foundation can be the difference in whether a student can continue their education or not," STC President Cathryn Mitchell told the crowd, "We appreciate all contributions no matter how large or how small."

The silent auction and reverse raffle held that night also benefitted the foundation, as attendees bought raffle tickets and bid on varied items, from hair-care products to Atlanta Braves tickets to a plane ride. The raffle ended with Buddy West winning $1,000, Chuck Clark winning $1,500 and Les Salter winning the grand prize of $3,000.

State Senator Jack Hill and State Representative Butch Parrish were among the attendees, along with Mayors Charles Schwabe of Swainsboro, Billy Trapnell of Metter and Ronnie Dixon of Vidalia. Hill and Parrish spoke briefly, noting that though tough economic times are upon us, they understand the importance of technical education and would continue to work on the college's behalf in Atlanta.

Afterward, STC's GOAL student, Autumn Foskey, spoke on the impact Southeastern Tech has had on her life.

"Without technical education, I would just be another unemployed worker searching hopelessly for a job," said Foskey, "Technical education has opened my eyes to things I never thought possible. Now, I am enthusiastic about my education, and I'm proud of the accomplishments I've made throughout my college experience."

The college also thanked their host for his generosity, as Larry Calhoun, provost for STC, presented Shot Strange with a gift. And just before the cooks cracked open the six barbecue smokers behind the cabin, the president offered some closing remarks, reaffirming Southeastern Tech's position as a contributor and asset to the community.

"Southeastern Tech continues to improve the lives of our students," said Mitchell, "Our graduates are able to support themselves and their families and be financially independent. And our businesses are able to have skilled employees so that their businesses can grow and prosper."

For more information on Southeastern Tech, please call 478-489-2200 or 912-538-3100, or visit

L to R: Mayor Charles Schwabe, Swainsboro
Mayor Billy Trapnell, Metter
State Rep. Butch Parrish
Mayor Ronnie Dixon, Vidalia


Second Class Graduates from STC Dental Hygiene Program

April 20, 2011 - In a pinning ceremony held in Tattnall Auditorium on April 13, Southeastern Technical College graduated its second class of Dental Hygiene students. Brittany Patrick and Brooke Barlow of McRae, Autumn Foskey of Cobbtown, Tina Davis of Vidalia and Laura Jackson of Baxley reflected on their academic careers, thanked their instructors and received advice and praise from the event's keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Sasser.

"I can truthfully say these ladies are ready for the dental profession," said Sasser, "And I will miss them. They've been a pleasure to teach."

The five graduates were recognized for successfully completing their program's required coursework, as well as their participation in extracurricular activities with Mercy Medical Clinic, the Hispanic Mobile Dental Van in Tattnall County and numerous health fairs. All the ceremony's speakers expressed their full confidence in the abilities of the graduates.

"Tonight marks an important milestone in the lives of these graduates," said Jennifer Gramiak, Dental Hygiene program director, "I am extremely proud of their accomplishments. I hope that they find the profession of dental hygienist as rewarding as I have."

For more information on the Dental Hygiene program at Southeastern Tech, please call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200, or visit

L to R: Jennifer Gramiak (Program Director), Brittany Patrick, Autumn Foskey, Brooke Barlow,
Tina Davis, Laura Jackson, Melanie Bryson (Instructor), Lori Vaughn (Instructor)


STC Dental Hygiene Students Receive Hinman Scholarships

April 13, 2011 - Three students in Southeastern Technical College's Dental Hygiene program received scholarships from the Hinman Dental Society of Atlanta. Tina Davis of Vidalia, Autumn Foskey of Cobbtown, and Brooke Barlow of McRae each received $750 to be used for educational related expenses. The students were presented the award of Hinman Scholar on Saturday, March 26 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The Hinman Dental Society has granted scholarships to dental hygiene students since 1989. The focus of the Society is to provide the best possible continuing dental education for dentists, as well as the whole dental team. The program addresses the needs of the general dentists, specialists, hygienists, assistants, front office staff and students.

The Dental Hygiene program prepares students for employment in the dental profession. Complete with a state of the art lab, the program has a teaching clinic which enables students with the opportunity for hands-on training with actual clients. The program takes two years to complete.

For more information on the Dental Hygiene program, call STC at 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200, or visit

L to R: Brooke Barlow, Tina Davis, and Autumn Foskey


Southeastern Tech Hosts Local Patriotic Art Display

April 12, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College hosted a series of patriotic artwork on April 7 designed by local high school students. The exhibit, sponsored by the J. Barry Jones Post #3563 VFW Ladies Auxiliary, was displayed in the Vidalia campus atrium.

"Every year I'm just amazed at the level of talent we have," said event coordinator Shirley Curl, "I would not want to be a judge."

The art displayed will compete at a statewide competition, and winners there will move to the national level and contend for a $10,000 scholarship and other prizes.

Regardless of competition results, though, Curl remains confident that the spirit of the project is relevant and strong.

"Every year, the message is the same: patriotism," said Curl, "It seems that every few years, patriotism dies down a little bit, and that's what this project is for: reexamining what that is and what our freedoms really mean."

The VFW Ladies Auxiliary is also sponsoring a Memorial Day program at the Tattnall Auditorium at Southeastern Tech on May 30 at 3 p.m.

For more information, please contact the VFW Ladies Auxiliary or visit and click Auditoriums.

Shirley Curl, of the Lyons-Vidalia VFW Ladies Auxiliary, stands with several works from the exhibit.


Southeastern Tech Students Win Big at SkillsUSA Competition

April 12, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College students brought home 13 medals in 12 competitions at the SkillsUSA statewide competition at Columbus Technical College in Columbus, GA, March 17-19. Southeastern Tech had six first place winners that will go on to compete in Kansas City, Mo. at the national SkillsUSA competition on June 20-25.

During the competition, students compete against other technical college students throughout Georgia in technical, trade and leadership competitions.

Finishing first were: Shamel Weldon in Employment Application; Marcus Jones in Prepared Speech; Jimmie O'Berry in Computer Maintenance Technology; Michelle Daley in Criminal Justice; Mia Mask in Cosmetology; and Brittany Galbreath, Nicholas Brouwer, Steve Burton, Daniel Williams, Korey Miller and Ben Harris in Quiz Bowl.

Second place winners included: Javier Bullard, Vicki Jones, Octavius Travett, Emily Jackson, Tasha Mack, Travis Jenkins and Terry Ours in Opening/Closing Ceremonies; Russell Love, Richard Copeland and Steven Brown in Welding Fabrication; and Phillip Hines in Electronic Technology.

The bronze medal winners were: Amanda Edwards in Employment Application; Tracey Avery, Angela Wilkerson and Melanie Stapleton in Crime Scene Investigation; Robert Reed in Welding Sculpture; and Michelle Lank in Preschool Teaching Assistant.

Other STC competitors included: LaDonna York in Customer Service; Lisa Buchans in Medical Terminology; Bobby West in Electronics Technology; Steven Tipps in Welding Sculpture; Dana Asberry in Nail Care with model Erin Rowland; Jessica Allen in Esthetics with model Brittany Fowler; and Lisa Bell in Promotional Bulletin Board, who also ran for a state officer position.

"We have such great talent at STC and each student worked very hard in preparing for the competitions," said SkillsUSA Advisor Tina Jernigan, "We are proud of each one of them."

SkillsUSA is a national organization of more than 300,000 students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, skilled service, and health occupations excel towards their career goals.

The SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the classroom and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a "successful model of employer-driven youth development training program" by the U.S. Department of Labor.


STC Students Kayak, Study at George L. Smith State Park

April 11, 2011 - "What is that, y'all?" asked Jill Lehman, a Southeastern Technical College instructor, pointing over the edge of the dock.

"Water," joked a voice from the back of the student group.

"Fan weed," answered another.

"Bingo," said Lehman, raising her hand, "High five."

Lehman used this hands-on, casual style to teach her Applied Ecology and Dendrology classes at George L. Smith State Park. Rather than talk to them about heron rookeries or the importance of water opacity, Lehman decided to show them.

"This is extremely crucial to my students, to be able to put stuff to their hands," said Lehman, "Last quarter, they learned about ecology: why you need to burn, how to help plant succession, how to help wildlife. Today, they're going to learn about the ecology of this wonderful, awesome place."

From the moment her students disembarked their van, Lehman was pointing, reaching, quizzing and teaching, whether using a Pac-Man analogy for prey fish feeding on plankton or illustrating the need to poison water weeds at the root instead of physically removing them.

A good portion of the class was even taught aboard kayaks, with teacher and students paddling around the park's water impoundment, learning about its ecosystem.

"This is going to put information in their heads so they can't forget it," said Lehman, "I have to put it to their hands because I can stand all day long teaching from a book, but unless I can put it in their hands, they can't really grasp it. They get it in theory, but they have to put it in their hands."

Lehman's students agree and understand the necessity of hands-on experience.

"You have to get out here to see how things are, how they work, what nature's about," said John Vescuso, a second-year student of Lehman's.

These classes and labs can provide students with an inside-track to certain careers, something Lehman is well aware of.

"We're tied closely to [the Department of Natural Resources], and there are jobs at DNR," said Lehman, "I want my students to be exposed to those opportunities."

For more information on the Environmental Technologies programs at Southeastern Tech, please call 478-289-2200 or 912-538-3100, or visit

Lehman's class sets out to study the water impoundment at George L. Smith State Park.


Southeastern Tech's Child Development Center celebrates National Week of the Young Child

April 11, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College's Child Development Center asks Swainsboro to come together for children during the Week of the Young Child, April 10-16, 2011. As part of the national Week of the Young Child celebrated across the country, Swainsboro is honoring young children and all those who make a difference in children's lives.

"All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life, and Swainsboro has a great opportunity to do our part to help young children," said Gena Sapp, Director of Southeastern Tech's Child Development Center. "Week of the Young Child is a time for Georgia to recognize that early years are learning years for all young children."

This year's events include an art display at Wal-Mart from the children of Southeastern Tech's Child Development Center, volunteers coming to read to the children in the center, and a proclamation by the mayor of Swainsboro. Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is an opportunity for early childhood programs across the country, including child care and Head Start programs, preschools and elementary schools, to hold activities to bring awareness to the needs of young children.

Young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which help children get a great start and bring lasting benefits to the state of Georgia. Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize the importance of early learning and early literacy, and to celebrate the teachers and policies that bring early childhood education to young children.

The Georgia Association of Young Children's members include early childhood professionals who work together to improve professional practice and conditions in early childhood education and to build public support for high-quality early childhood education programs.

The Georgia Association of Young Children is an Affiliate of NAEYC, the largest organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of early education programs for children birth through age 8. Founded in 1926, NAEYC has nearly 90,000 members and a national network of more than 300 local, state, and regional Affiliates.

Southeastern Tech's Child Development Center provides care and education for children ages 1-4 and after school and summer care programs for children in pre-K to third grade. Early Childhood Care and Education students are trained to be teachers in child care programs and Head Start, to be paraprofessionals in the school system, and to teach people how to own and operate their own child care programs. The Child Development Center's goal is to be the prime example for quality care for children.

Mayor Charles Schwabe signs a proclamation declaring the week of April 10-16 Week of the Young Child.


Southeastern Tech Students Give Back with Dental Van

April 7, 2011 - When Rachel Lawson opened the door to the Georgia Baptist Mobile Dental Unit, commonly called the "Dental Van," she wasn't sure what to expect.

Once she realized the waiting area and x-ray room were the same space, though, things became a little clearer.

"Honestly, it was bigger than I pictured," said Lawson, a Southeastern Technical College student from Dublin, "But, they make use of every square inch in that place."

From March 15 to March 19, every square inch of that place was at the First Baptist Church of Lyons, providing free dental care to uninsured and low-income residents in the area. Daniell Baptist Association and Mercy Medical Clinic sponsored the van, and dentists from as far as Augusta came to help.

Lawson and other Dental Hygiene students from Southeastern Tech volunteered to help the dentists on the van. For these students, this sort of volunteering is par for the course.

"I worked on the same van in Glennville, but through a different organization," said Erin Dixon, a Dental Hygiene student from Blackshear, "And we've got something coming up in a couple of weeks in Reidsville with the Shriners."

Lawson and Dixon's charitable spirit is an asset in their field of study. The director of Southeastern Tech's Dental Hygiene program, Jennifer Gramiak, strongly encourages students to volunteer.

"She likes us to participate in the community and represent the program," said Lawson.

"Yeah, she really likes to get us out there and give back as much as we can," Dixon continued.

But, the students don't just see these opportunities as course requirements or obligations. They find real value in the work they're able to do for the less fortunate.

"It was nice to work on patients who were so very, very grateful for the treatment they were getting," said Lawson.

"You see low-income people here at the college, but those people are coming in to help us," said Dixon, "They have time and they want to help us learn. This set of people that came to the van, they needed us."

And beyond doing good in the community, working for the underprivileged helps these volunteers to become better at their work. According to both students, uninsured and low-income patients typically have a poorer level of dental health, so they present unique cases to study and work. Operating without prior knowledge of any patient's dental health also created an attractive challenge for Dixon and Lawson.

"I liked the excitement of not knowing what you were going to see," said Lawson.

Southeastern Tech's Dental Hygiene program offers services to the public. Students see adults and children five years of age and older. Services provided include x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatment, sealants, night guards, tobacco cessation counseling, nutrition counseling, teeth whitening, athletic guards, and more. Services such as fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, root canals, extractions, partials, and dentures are not provided. Prospective patients cannot call and request teeth whitening only.

The dental hygiene lab at STC is a teaching clinic. Its primary responsibility rests with supplying appropriate learning experiences for the dental hygiene students. Prospective patients can expect treatment to take longer in our clinic as compared to the traditional dental hygiene setting.

For more information on the Dental Hygiene program at STC, please call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200 or visit


Southeastern Tech Students Attend IAAP Conference

April 5, 2011 - Three Southeastern Technical College (STC) students attended the 2011 International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) conference February 25-26 at The Westin in Atlanta. The students were accompanied by Tina Jernigan, the IAAP advisor for the STC chapter.

"Students attending the IAAP conference have an opportunity to build networking skills and attend workshops with other student and professional members," said Jernigan, a Business Technology instructor at STC. "The annual conference is very beneficial to students and something I look forward to each year."

The conference is specifically for professional and student chapter members. Students attend professional workshops geared towards networking and technology, but they also compete against student chapters from other technical colleges. Students compete in four areas: Public Speaking, CPS Mock Exam, Proofreading and Microsoft Office 2007.

Two of the STC students placed third in two of the competitions: Lisa Buchans in Proofreading and LaDonna York in Certified Professional Secretary Mock Exam. The chapter itself also received a certificate for being the chapter that traveled the furthest to the conference.

"I'm very proud of each of the students that attended the conference and their continued support of our student chapter," said Jernigan.

With around 40,000 members and approximately 600 chapters worldwide, IAAP is the world's largest association for administrative support staff. The association partners with employers to promote professional excellence, and IAAP members strive to inspire and equip all administrative professionals to attain excellence.

For more information on the STC IAAP chapter or to learn more about Business Technology programs available at STC, call 912-538-3100 or visit

Picture L to R:
Tina Jernigan, IAAP Advisor
Lisa Bell, IAAP President
LaDonna York, IAAP Vice-President
Lisa Buchans


Garnto named Georgia's Dual Enrollment Instructor of the Year

March 29, 2011 - Maxine Garnto was named Georgia's Dual Enrollment Instructor of the Year at a Technical College System of Georgia banquet on March 16 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta. Garnto is a Certified Nurse Aide instructor at the Swainsboro campus of Southeastern Technical College.

"This was quite an honor and I feel very humbled that I was chosen," said Garnto.

High School Coordinators at each technical college in the state wrote an essay nominating one instructor for the award, and TCSG High School Initiative Coordinator Sheila Caldwell chose the winner. Garnto was nominated by Kathryn Smith, one of Southeastern Technical College's High School Initiatives Coordinators.

"Mrs. Garnto is deserving of this award for many reasons," said Smith, "The reason that is the most obvious is her love for the subject she teaches and the students she serves.

"I have had numerous students express their love and gratitude towards Mrs. Garnto for the patience and understanding she exhibited towards them in the classroom, some even expressing this years after they completed her program."

In addition to her Certified Nurse Aide courses, Garnto also teaches Medical Terminology and Diet and Nutrition classes. Garnto values the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, whether they're a high school or college student.

"I love a good challenge and working with the high school students is that," said Garnto, "I have a passion for nursing and health, and I want these students to succeed in the medical field."

"She wants to ensure that all students are working to the best of their ability, and she gives them numerous opportunities to succeed," added Smith, "She makes certain that students have an ample understanding of the material, and is not satisfied with 'just giving a student a passing grade.'"

Garnto has worked as a nurse for 35 years, serving the first 18 at Laurens Memorial Hospital and Fairview Hospital. She then worked at Three Rivers Home Health Services, beginning in 1991, before starting work as an adjunct for Southeastern Technical College in 2007. She became a full-time instructor the following year. Garnto lives in Dublin her husband, Wendell.

Picture L to R:
Teresa Coleman, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Brad Hart, Director of Enrollment Services
Kathryn Smith, High School Initiatives Coordinator
Maxine Garnto
Lance Johnson, Dean of Health Sciences
Barry Dotson, Vice President for Student Affairs


Southeastern Tech Names Lance Helms Staff Member of the Year

March 6, 2011 - Lance Helms was named Staff Member of the Year at STC's awards banquet held on February 28 at Hawk's Point Country Club. Helms is the Director of Career Services.

Helms was one of 14 employees nominated for the award. Also nominated were Robin Brown, Paul Graham, Casandra Hardy, Brad Hart, Vincent Jackson, Monique Kornn, Margie Lumpkin, Charla Nail, Mary Oglesby, Lula Patrick, Melissa Rowell, Susan Rustin, and Brooke Salter.

"All of our staff members nominated for Staff Member of the Year are exceptional individuals, but I am especially proud of the person selected. I remember him from the days of playing football in high school and what an outstanding young man he was even as a teenager. I'm honored to work with him now," said Dr. Barry Dotson, Vice President for Student Affairs. "He is the ultimate team player, always willing to lend a hand and help, no matter what he is asked to do. Lance is the type of employee everyone would like to have and part of the team that makes me look forward to going to work every day."

Picking the winner involves a nomination by peers and an interview process. The winner is chosen by a panel of business and industry leaders in the local area. Nominees are asked questions concerning their knowledge of technical education, their understanding of the mission and goals of TCSG, leadership qualities and their dedication to STC and its students.

"I'm extremely honored to have received this award. I feel thoroughly blessed to work with a staff that strives to make education a key component to our students' future success," said Helms. "I'm thankful for the leadership shown by Dr. Dotson and Dr. Mitchell and for an institution that makes my job not only enjoyable, but also meaningful."

Helms has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. He is the Chairman of the Vidalia Onion Festival Committee, as well as a graduate of Leadership Toombs-Montgomery. Helms is active in the Relay for Life and the Toombs-Montgomery Chamber Golf Tournament Committee. He is an active member of Vidalia First United Methodist Church. Helms lives in Vidalia with his wife Anna and their three daughters, Ali, Ava, and Annalyn.

Picture: Dr. Cathy Mitchell, President
Lance Helms, 2011 Staff Member of the Year
Larry Calhoun, Provost


Southeastern Tech Names Tina Jernigan Instructor of the Year

February 28, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College named Tina Jernigan as Instructor of the Year and presented her with the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction at STC's awards banquet held on February 28 at Hawk's Point Country Club. Jernigan is a business administrative technology instructor.

"The award was presented to Tina in recognition of her contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership," said Cheryl West, Rick Perkins Award coordinator and Southeastern Tech Dean of General Education. "She will go on to compete with the winners from the other technical colleges for the state Rick Perkins Award."

Jernigan was one of nine nominated for teacher of the year. Also nominated were Donna Jean Braddy, Peggy Braswell, Tony Criswell, Leisa Dukes, Jimmy Dupree, Jennifer Gramiak, Tina Jernigan, Charlotte Mathews, and Tara Powell.

Picking the winner involves a nomination by peers and an interview process. The winner is chosen by a panel of business and industry leaders in the local area. Nominees are asked questions concerning their knowledge of technical education, their understanding of the mission and goals of TCSG, leadership qualities and their dedication to STC and its students. In addition, this year's instructors had to present a three minute speech to the judges prior to the actual interview.

Jernigan is now a candidate and a representative of STC at the regional level; the winner of that competition will then compete at the state level for the most outstanding instructor at Georgia's technical colleges. The state competition is held in Atlanta during May.

"I am very honored to have been chosen as Instructor of the Year. I'm blessed to work with such great people at STC," said Jernigan.

The state Rick Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. The winner will exemplify excellence and a commitment to the mission of the Technical College System of Georgia.

"Our selection committee had a difficult task to choose our instructor of the year. Our faculty is extraordinary and the nine nominees are phenomenal," said Dr. Cathy Mitchell, Southeastern Tech President. "We are all so proud of Tina. I am certain she will represent the school and our community very well."

Jernigan has a Bachelors Degree from Georgia Southern in Business Administration. She completed her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management at DeVry University in 2004 and also completed a Gradate Certificate in Accounting in 2006. She is also an active IAAP and SkillsUSA advisor for STC. She is married to Brad and they have one daughter, Alyson.

Larry Calhoun, Provost
Tina Jernigan, 2011 Instructor of the Year
Dr. Cathy Mitchell, President



February 23, 2011 - Southeastern Technical College (STC) is proud to recognize students as inductees into the National Technical Honor Society for Winter Quarter 2011.

The Society is an honor organization established to recognize excellence in workforce education programs. The purpose of the Society is to cultivate a stronger, more positive image for workforce education in America and to build and maintain effective partnerships with local business and industry. Students involved in the National Technical Honor Society must maintain a high GPA and demonstrate leadership and good character.

The students were recognized at a ceremony on February 21, 2011 at Southeastern Technical College's Economic Development Center.

Picture L to R:
Back row: Matthew Carter, Shenika Edmond, Amanda Edwards, Sharon Roberson, Pelma Collins, LaDonna York
Front row: Cheryl Willett, Dawn Scarboro, Margaret Argo, Pamela Woods
Not pictured: Brandi N. Fulmer


Statement by TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson Regarding Proposed Changes to the HOPE Program

February 22, 2011 - Over the years, tens of thousands of students throughout Georgia have been able to enroll in Georgia's technical colleges and receive an exceptional technical education through the HOPE program. The HOPE Grant, in particular, has helped to train many Georgians who have become a vital part of Georgia's world-class, 21st Century workforce.

More recently, the HOPE Grant has also been a lifeline for training that leads to new jobs for many men and women who were at one time unemployed or underemployed as a result of the downturn in the economy.

Ensuring the success of the HOPE program for years to come is essential to the future success of every Georgia student and, ultimately, to the long-term prosperity of our state. Today, though, the HOPE program has been strained by both its own success and the economic downturn. Difficult decisions must be made to guarantee that future generations of Georgians will also be able to share in the many education opportunities afforded by the HOPE Scholarship and Grant.

The proposal announced today by Governor Deal reflects careful consideration of the impact that the necessary changes will have on Georgia's students and their families. The HOPE program is a model that other states have long admired, and Governor Deal's proposed modifications will keep the HOPE program as the gold standard for years to come.

I, along with the state's 26 technical college presidents, commend Governor Deal, Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker David Ralston and the members of the General Assembly for their leadership throughout this complicated and difficult process.

In FY 10, almost 147,000 of the 191,000 students who enrolled in the 26 TCSG colleges were the beneficiaries of HOPE funding, and 95 percent of those were recipients of the HOPE Grant. Under the new proposal, TCSG students who get the HOPE Grant will be required to earn a 3.0 GPA by the first HOPE checkpoint. Currently, 68 percent of the TCSG HOPE Grant recipients had a 3.0 GPA by the 45 hour checkpoint.

The proposal also provides that students who already possess a postsecondary degree are ineligible to receive the HOPE Grant and establishes a firm grant cap of 95 quarter hours or 63 semester hours for all students.

In addition, the proposal preserves the $500 HOPE voucher, given to students who earn a General Educational Development (GED) diploma and then use it to help them enroll in a postsecondary institution within two years. This is essential to improving Georgia's workforce by encouraging more adults to earn a college credential.

The Technical College System of Georgia will continue to work in partnership with Governor Deal, Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston and the members of the General Assembly to ensure that every deserving student will always be able to enjoy the benefits of the HOPE program at Georgia's colleges and universities.



February 22, 2011 - Deal legislation saves nation's most generous benefits for future generations

Gov. Nathan Deal today will introduce bipartisan legislation that preserves Georgia's cherished HOPE scholarship and Pre-K programs - among the most generous benefits in the nation -- even as it stabilizes lottery-funded programs for future generations. Deal, along with Republican and Democratic legislative leaders, unveiled the plan on the campus of Georgia State University.

"Facing bankruptcy of the lottery program in 2013, I worked closely with members of the General Assembly to save Georgia's prized jewel, the HOPE scholarship, for the next generation of Georgians," Deal said. "With this plan we are going to maintain one of the most generous scholarship programs the United States has ever seen or will ever see. Even in the tough economic times we are facing, HOPE is going to endure, it's going to thrive."

Deal revealed legislation that will create the Zell Miller Scholarship program; the program, named for the governor who created HOPE, will maintain full tuition coverage for Georgia's highest-achieving students.

"Zell Miller's HOPE scholarship is a distinctly Georgian program that serves as a point of pride for every resident of our great state," he said. "This plan today is endorsed by Zell Miller, and I'm honored to announce the creation of the Zell Miller Scholarship, which will serve as a reward to Georgia's best and brightest students and will encourage them to remain in Georgia."

Under the new legislation, Zell Miller Scholars will include the top 10 percent of HOPE scholars under the present system based on both a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT or 26 ACT score. These scholars attending any public college or university in the state will be awarded full tuition scholarships, while those attending private institutions will receive the full private HOPE award.

Deal assured all of Georgia's HOPE partners that all three of the lottery-funded programs -- Pre-K, HOPE Scholarship and HOPE Grant -- have been protected and current funding ratios for these programs will remain the same.

Beginning this fall, students with a 3.0 GPA attending Georgia public colleges and universities will receive 90 percent of the FY '11 standard tuition rate. To ensure that limited resources are used to best honor the original intent of the HOPE program the legislation will: Eliminate funds for books and fees, eliminate funding for remedial classes, cap eligible hours at 127 and ensure that HOPE scholars are prepared for college-level work by requiring these students to take a certain number of high school rigorous courses.

When discussing Georgia's youngest scholars, Deal said Pre-K will continue to receive one-third of all lottery-funded expenditures and will remain a voluntary, universal, free program serving 4-year-olds across the state regardless of a family's economic status.

In order to make several programmatic changes to Pre-K, Deal announced that the state will move from a six-and-a-half hour day to a four-hour day.

"By removing rest time and creating new efficiencies, we can minimize the decrease in instructional time and bring our program more in line with other states and many private preschools," he said.

Deal closed by citing a verse from one of his favorite hymns: "Strength for today and bright HOPE for tomorrow."

"We are taking the appropriate steps today to strengthen the HOPE balance sheet, ensuring that future Georgians are afforded the same great opportunities as today's college and university students. Make no mistake, even after these needed reforms are implemented, Georgia's invaluable HOPE will endure and continue to set Georgia apart."

Other changes to of note:


HOPE Grant

The Georgia Lottery Corporation

Need-Based Aid

Brian Robinson, Deputy Chief of Staff,
Stephanie Mayfield, Press Secretary,, 404-516-5376


Technical College System of Georgia Honors 30 Adult Learners as State's 2011 EAGLE Delegates

February 22, 2011 - Atlanta - The Technical College System of Georgia recently paid tribute to 30 adult learners, including Maureen Copeland of Southeastern Technical College, for their outstanding achievement in the state's adult education program.

The students were recognized during a luncheon as Georgia's 2011 EAGLE delegates. EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) is a TCSG Office of Adult Education program that annually honors an outstanding student from each of the state's 30 local adult education programs.

This year's EAGLE delegates represent the more than 95,000 men and women who are enrolled in adult education classes throughout Georgia.

The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hotel on February 11, 2011, was in conjunction with the TCSG Office of Adult Education's annual Leadership Institute.

Gwendolyn Boyd, the executive assistant to the chief of staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and chair of the Johns Hopkins Institutions Diversity Leadership Council, gave the luncheon keynote address. An engineer who received her doctorate from Yale University, Boyd was recently was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Both Boyd and TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson spoke of how the EAGLE delegates overcame life's obstacles to earn the education and respect that they deserve. This year's EAGLE delegates, they said, are role models for the million-plus adults in Georgia who have never obtained their high school diploma or a GED.

"The EAGLE program inspires all of us with the personal stories of our fellow Georgians who have found success through education and whose accomplishments make them so very deserving of our deepest admiration and respect," said Jackson. "These men and women are shining examples of how adult education can transform lives, improve job prospects, and created a brighter future for people throughout our state."

Gwendolyn Boyd, Speaker
Assistant Commissioner for Adult Education, Beverly Smith
Maureen Copeland, EAGLE Winner, Southeastern Technical College
Ron Jackson, Commissioner


Southeastern Technical College Names Semi-Finalists for GOAL Award

February 22, 2011 - Four Southeastern Technical College (STC) students have been selected as the college's semi-finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Tracey Adams, coordinator for STC's GOAL program.

Chosen as semifinalists are:

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state's technical college students. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state's 26 technical colleges as well as the two Board of Regents colleges with technical education divisions.

All the college GOAL winners will compete in regional judging, which will include students from the other 26 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia as well as the two Board of Regents colleges with technical education divisions.

GOAL winners from each college will compete in regional judging in March and April. In May, all college winners will come to Atlanta where the nine semi-finalists, three finalists from each of the three regions, will be announced and compete at the state-level in May and one student will be named as the statewide GOAL winner.

"The purpose of the GOAL program is to spotlight the outstanding achievement by students in Georgia's technical colleges and to emphasize the importance of technical education in today's global workforce," said Adams.

According to Adams, a screening committee of administrators at STC selected the four semi-finalists from a list of students nominated by their instructors.

"The next step is for a panel of business, civic and industry leaders from the community to interview and evaluate these four students and select one to be the college's 2011 GOAL winner," explained Adams. "The one judged most outstanding will compete in regional judging. Three finalists from our region will compete in the state GOAL competition in Atlanta and vie to be named as the 2011 statewide GOAL winner."

The state GOAL winner becomes the student ambassador for the Technical College System of Georgia and receives a grand prize of a new car.



February 22, 2011 - Students learned all about the job market from local business and industry representatives. A panel of four human resource executives shared how to shine when looking for a job.

Sandra Kate Hendrix, MRMC, Director of Human Resources
Jennifer Evans, DOT Foods, Human Resources Manager
Nancy Palmer, Chicken of the Sea, Human Resources Manager
Kathy Luttrell, Ambassador, Branch Manager
Lance Helms, Director of Career Services



February 21, 2011 - A Southeastern Technical College student was recently awarded a scholarship from the Southeastern Technical College Foundation. Jennifer Anders, a Pharmacy Technology student, drives from Savannah each day to attend classes. When her husband returned from serving in Afghanistan, her family moved to Savannah. The move was due to the fact that the army only allows soldiers to live a certain distance from the base. The Foundation was able to help with gas and expenses associated with Anders' travel.

She is highly thought of by her instructor, Karen Davis. "The success of our students tops everything and the fact that she chooses to commute from Savannah just confirms that reputation," said Karen Davis.

Eide NeSmith, Director of Institutional Advancement
Jennifer Anders, Scholarship Recipient
Johnny Payne, Executive Director of Economic Development and Community Relations


Governor Perdue Announces Georgia Work Ready Success

January 24, 2011 - Ten new Certified Work Ready Communities, five new Work Ready Regions and January Job Seeker of the Month named

ATLANTA - The Georgia Work Ready initiative is beginning 2011 on a high note with 10 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence, five new Work Ready Regions focused on growing local, strategic industries and the first Georgia Job Seeker of the Month of the new year.

Certified Work Ready Communities

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced 10 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence, a designation communicating a county has the skilled workforce needed to meet business demands and drive economic growth, as well as the educational foundation to build a pipeline of workers ready to create ongoing success.

"By building strong public-private partnerships, these communities are transforming their workforces and encouraging economic development," said Governor Perdue. "The Georgians in these communities are taking charge of their futures and equipping themselves for success."

The 10 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Berrien, Burke, Calhoun, Glascock, Rockdale, Seminole, Terrell, Warren, Whitfield and Wilkinson. These counties represent the 11th group to complete their Work Ready Certificate goals and successfully meet at least the required minimum increase in their county's public high school graduation rate.

The new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence achieved the following:

To earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates through a measurable increase, and show a specified percentage of the available and current workforce have obtained Work Ready Certificates.

Each community created a team of economic development, government and education partners to meet the certification criteria. Counties are given three years to reach the goals necessary to earn the designation.

Randolph County has reached its Work Ready Certification goal, and is now focusing on attaining its public high school graduation rate increase goal to become Certified Work Ready Communities.

Once counties attain their Certified Work Ready Community goals, they are able to maintain their status by ensuring members their available workforce continue to earn Work Ready Certificates, engage local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continue to increase their public high school graduation rate.

To continue their work, each county will receive a $10,000 grant. Their Work Ready Community teams will also receive a two-year membership to their local chamber of commerce and a budget for additional Work Ready outreach materials. Counties that are fully certified receive road signs and a seal denoting the year they achieved certification.

Work Ready Regions

Governor Perdue also announced $1.75 million in federal grants to create five new Work Ready Regions, multi-county economic development initiatives that bring together their assets and business leaders to create regional talent pools targeting existing strategic industries to increase economic development opportunities.

The five new Work Ready Regions and their initial member counties include:

"Work Ready Regions align education, workforce development and training with the needs of the businesses operating in the area to help existing companies grow and attract new ones to our state," said Governor Perdue. "The collaborative system created by Work Ready Regions provides employers with a foundation for success. Our regions create a pipeline of qualified workers that can support growth and innovation now and in the future."

In order to become a Work Ready Region, the multi-county area must increase the number of individuals in the workforce holding a Work Ready Certificate, ensure each county in the region earns Certified Work Ready Community status, encourage local employers to complete Work Ready job profiles, and develop industry-specific career pathways for the emerging, transitioning and existing workforce.

Each regional effort is led by a local businessperson associated with the strategic industry, according to Debra Lyons, director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development (GOWD). This leader works closely with GOWD through the Work Ready Region Academy to ensure continuity of efforts among the various regions, and will assemble an industry network to ensure the region's work plan meets the current and future needs of the industry. Participating industry members of the region receive current worker training.

The potential Work Ready Regions will each receive a $350,000 grant to assist in increasing the skill level of its workforce. An important component of their work will be aligning regional available workforce work readiness skill levels to those needed to fill strategic industry jobs.

Four existing Work Ready Regions recently completed the Work Ready Academy and each received a $200,000 sustaining grant. This group includes: Bioscience Technology Circle of South Georgia, East Central Energy, Western Innovation Crescent and Wiregrass Work Ready Regions.

Job Seeker of the Month

Vincent Lewandowski of Newton County is Georgia's latest Job Seeker of the Month. The Job Seeker of the Month initiative recognizes the hard work and determination of Georgia's job seekers to validate their core job skills and improve their job prospects.

After 30 years of working as a one-man construction company, Lewandowski was hit hard by the construction industry slowdown. Because he had long wanted to work in health care, he went back to school to earn a nursing degree but the economy soon made it necessary for him to go back to work.

"For eight months I searched everywhere for a job with no luck," Lewandowski said. "I turned to Georgia Work Ready almost as a last resort."

Lewandowski completed his Work Ready assessment, earning a gold-level Certificate which, he said, boosted his morale and helped him land a job that uses both his construction background and his ability to think and reason. He is planning to improve his Certificate to platinum level and looks forward to completing his nursing degree.

"Being unemployed was the most difficult thing I have faced. Georgia Work Ready helped me get through a tough time, regain a handle on things and get some new perspective," he said.

Each month, features a success story of how earning a Work Ready Certificate has improved a job seeker's confidence and availed him or her with new employment opportunities. Certificate holders are encouraged to visit the website to share stories about their success with Work Ready certification and skills gap training in their search for better job opportunities. Featured Work Ready individuals will receive a $100 pre-paid incentive card in recognition of their hard work.

Georgia's Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment and certification for job seekers and a job profiling system for businesses. By identifying both the needs of business and the available skills of Georgia's workforce, the state can more effectively generate the right talent for the right jobs. The Certified Work Ready Community initiative builds on the assessments and job profiling system to create opportunities for greater economic development.

For more information on the Work Ready initiative, please visit


STC's Surgical Technology Club Donates Needed Supplies

January 12, 2011 - The Surgical Technology Club donated clothing, bed linens, blankets, shoes, food, toiletries and school supplies to the Georgia School for the Deaf, which is located in Cave Spring, Georgia. You can get more information at

Top Row; Michelle Plater, Sherry Jones, Jessica Kent, Treasa Moralez, LeAnn Jones, Angela Pluto, Monica McCarty
Kneeling: Cassi Stone, Amy Collins, Wanda Day and Kenitria Wrease.


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