Georgia’s Top GED Graduates Named

Annual conference honors outstanding adult student and educator achievements

ATLANTA – The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) recognized the most outstanding GED® graduates of the year at its annual Fall Adult Education Conference awards luncheon. Numerous educators, volunteers, and academic institutions were also honored during the conference.

“Adult Education is an important pillar to building a skilled workforce,” said Commissioner Matt Arthur. “These students, administrators, and teachers represent the exemplary work being done across our state to help ensure all adult Georgians can realize their potential through education.”

The GED® Graduate Outstanding Achievement Award honors a GED® graduate who has made outstanding contributions within their community. This year, the state recognized Linda Blechinger of Lanier Technical College who received her GED diploma in 1976 and earned a bachelor degree in Theology. Blechinger serves as the Mayor of Auburn Georgia where she has been instrumental in hosting and promoting GED and ELL classes.

The Golden GED Graduate of the Year Award recognizes the senior GED graduate from the adult education program during the fiscal year. Award winners Ms. Myrian Velez, who attended class at Gwinnett Technical College, and Mr. Thomas Shepler, who attended class at Central Georgia Technical College, were both 68 years young when they received their GED diplomas.

The GED Adult Education Valedictorian was awarded to Ms. Kathryn Rose Thompson, who attended class at Savannah Technical College and is currently attending the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

April Hennecke from Coastal Pines Technical College received the Georgia GED Testing Trailblazer Award for being the first testing center from any of the TCSG campuses to receive the National College Testing Association Certification, which designates that a testing center performs under the highest level of best practices in the testing industry.

Katrina Royal from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College received the GED Test Administrator of the Year and the Trailblazer award for her outstanding efforts in serving test-takers, corrections, and college personnel.

The annual conference brings together nearly 300 adult education and GED® testing professionals, practitioners, administrators, supporters, business and community leaders, volunteers and literacy ambassadors from all over Georgia. The event highlights yearly achievements for adult education and provides further scholastic opportunities for attendees with workshops, luncheons, and speakers.

TCSG provides adult education programs that enable adult learners to study for and earn a GED® diploma.

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, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit www.TCSG.edu.

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Contact: Mark D’Alessio

404-679-1617

mdalessio@tcsg.edu

Adult Education Provider Awards FY18

Overall Achievement of Measurable Skill Gains

  • Albany Technical College
  • Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc.
  • Central Georgia Technical College
  • Gwinnett Technical College
  • West Georgia Technical College

Greatest Percentage Growth in NRS Enrollment

  • Small Program (1 – 999 Students) – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Inc.
  • Medium Program (1,000 – 1,499 Students) – Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc.
  • Large Program (1,500+ Students) – Savannah Technical College

Highest GED Completion Percentage

  • Small Program (1 – 999 Students) – North Georgia Technical College
  • Medium Program (1,000 – 1,499 Students) – Coastal Pines Technical College
  • Large Program (1,500+ Students) – Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Greatest Number of Students Awarded Citizenship (SDA and CBO)

  • Cobb County School District
  • Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc.

Greatest Use of Volunteer Support

  • Small Program (1 – 999 Students) – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Inc.
  • Medium Program (1,000 – 1,499 Students) – Athens Technical College
  • Large Program (1,500+ Students) – Lanier Technical College

2018 GED® Graduate Awards

  • Golden GED® Graduate of the Year – Ms. Myriam Velez, Gwinnett Technical College; Mr. Thomas Shepler, Central Georgia Technical College
  • GED® Adult Education Valedictorian – Ms. Kathryn Rose Thompson, Savannah Technical College
  • GED® Graduate Outstanding Achievement – Linda Blechinger, Lanier Technical College
  • GED® Test Administrator of the Year – Katrina Royal, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
  • Georgia GED® Testing Trailblazer Award – April Hennecke, Coastal Pines Technical College; Katrina Royal, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

GED® Testing Center Awards

  • Highest Percentage Growth in GED® Graduates FY18
  • Athens Technical College (Centers Serving 100-400 Completers)
  • Southern Crescent Technical College (Centers Serving 401-700 Completers)
  • Oconee Fall Line Technical College (Centers Serving 701+ Completers)
  • Outstanding GED® Test Center Performance FY18
  • Athens Technical College (Centers Serving 100-400 Completers)
  • Albany Technical College (Centers Serving 401-700 Completers)
  • Central Georgia Technical College (Centers Serving 701+ Completers)

Certified Literate Community Program Advocacy Awards

  • Volunteer Hours 2018 – Bibb County D.R.E.A.M. Team
  • Tutor Hours 2018 – Newton County Community Partnership
  • GED® Testing Scholarships – Single County CLCP 2018 – Monroe County Adult & Community Education
  • GED® Testing Scholarships – Multiple County CLCP 2018 – Southwest Regional Certified Literate Community Program

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