ATLANTA–The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) announced the state’s top technical college student and top technical college instructor for 2018. Crystal Wright of Georgia Piedmont Technical College received the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) and Stephanie O’Donoghue of Chattahoochee Technical College received the 2018 State Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction.
“What makes the Technical College System of Georgia so successful is our exceptional people,” said TCSG Commissioner, Matt Arthur. “Crystal and Stephanie are two inspirational individuals who represent the very best of technical education here in Georgia. They will be outstanding ambassadors for TCSG in the coming year.”
The GOAL program, now in its 47th year, recognizes the most outstanding technical education students at each of the 22 TCSG colleges and the technical division at Bainbridge State College. The Rick Perkins Award, now in its 28th year, highlights excellence in technical instruction. As award winners, Wright and O’Donoghue will make public appearances as ambassadors for technical education during the next year, including meeting with the Governor and addressing the Georgia General Assembly.
Each year, selection for the GOAL and Rick Perkins Award begins with the naming of the top technical education student and instructor at each college, as well as the technical division at Bainbridge State College. Regional competitions follow and narrow the field to nine finalists for each award. In April, the nine finalists are interviewed in Atlanta by a panel of judges to decide a winner for each award.
Crystal Wright is an Interdisciplinary Studies student from Georgia Piedmont Technical College. She received the GOAL program’s grand prize: a new, made-in-Georgia 2018 KIA Optima, courtesy of KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia and delivered by Ed Voyles KIA of Chamblee.
Stephanie O’Donoghue, an Electrical and Computer Engineering instructor at Chattahoochee Technical College, is the winner of the 2018 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction and a $1,000 cash award.
The first runner-up for the technical education student of the year was Trey Brown, a Respiratory Care student at Columbus Technical College. For the technical education instructor of the year, the first runner-up was Jeffrey White, a Physics instructor at Gwinnett Technical College.
The nine 2018 GOAL finalists were:
- Julianna Matthews, Albany Technical College
- Loretta Grissom, Atlanta Technical College
- Wykesia Stafford, Central Georgia Technical College
- Trey Brown, Columbus Technical College
- Macey Morgan, Georgia Northwestern Technical College
- Crystal Wright, Georgia Piedmont Technical College
- Kimberly Caesar, Savannah Technical College
- Carrie Viohl, Southern Regional Technical College
- Lauren Birriel, West Georgia Technical College
The nine 2018 Rick Perkins Award finalists were:
- Lashea Dancer, Albany Technical College
- Marisha Singleton, Atlanta Technical College
- Roditha Carr, Augusta Technical College
- Stephanie O’Donoghue, Chattahoochee Technical College
- Pam Johnson, Coastal Pines Technical College
- Jeffrey White, Gwinnett Technical College
- Terry Hand, Ogeechee Technical College
- Buffy Arrington-Spencer, Southern Regional Technical College
- Phyllis Ingham, West Georgia Technical College
About the Technical College System of Georgia
The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, to work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit www.TCSG.edu.