Peco and McDonald

Atlanta – Troy Peco, an automotive technology director and instructor from Georgia Northwestern Technical College, is the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for 2013.

TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson made the announcement during a banquet for the system’s top instructors and students at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta on April 25. He presented Peco with the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction and a $1,000 check.

“It’s my honor to present Troy with this well-deserved recognition as the TCSG instructor of the year,” said Jackson. “He’s an expert in his field whose dedication to providing world-class instruction ensures that his students will find great success in their chosen careers. I congratulate him on this outstanding honor and thank him for his strong commitment to technical education.”

Judging for the Rick Perkins Award begins at the 25 TCSG colleges and a Board of Regents college with a technical division. Next, a regional competition narrows the field to nine finalists. Judges choose the top instructor based on criteria that include teaching experience, use of innovative learning techniques, leadership and community involvement, and a strong devotion to the technical education mission of the TCSG.

For the next year, Peco will serve as the TCSG ambassador for technical education instruction. He will make numerous appearances around Georgia and speak about the many education opportunities offered by the technical college system. He will also be honored by the Georgia General Assembly and receive a personal commendation from the Governor.

“GNTC is very honored to recognize our Automotive instructor, Troy Peco, as the state Rick Perkins Award Winner for 2013,” stated GNTC Acting President Pete McDonald. “Troy is very committed to his students and their success. He takes great pride in sharing his knowledge and passion for excellence in automotive technology. The college is honored to recognize Troy as the top instructor in the Technical College System of Georgia.”

When asked why he chose to teach at GNTC, Peco answered “I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge of repairing automobiles. The pleasure that I receive when seeing a student repair a system on a car that they thought was beyond them is priceless. Teaching at a technical college allows me to give someone an affordable education in a field that’s in great demand that will help them provide for themselves and their family.”

Peco has been an instructor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Walker County Campus since 2006. Prior to joining GNTC, he was the service director at Bill Hood Nissan/Mazda/Hyundai in Hammond, Louisiana; shop foreman and assistant manager at Amite City Ford in Amite, Louisiana; technician supervisor at Submersible Systems Inc. in Morgan City, Louisiana; and a service technician at Bill Hood Ford and Bohn Ford both in Louisiana. Peco also previously taught basic electrical and engine repair at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana and served as an interior communications electrician for the United States Navy. He received his associate of applied science degree in Motor Vehicle Technology at Delgado Community College. Peco also holds many certifications including Electrical and Electronic Communication Repair and Maintenance, Ford Sr. Masters Gasoline and Diesel Engine Certification, ASE Master certified technician, certified in Nissan full line service and parts, and is a certified Honda technician. Peco is involved in several community organizations including volunteer work at the a Walker County Animal Shelter, advisory member for the Chickamauga Elementary Parent/Teacher organization, coach for the Chickamauga Recreation baseball and basketball teams, and a member of St. Gerard Church Men’s Club.

The Technical College System of Georgia provides oversight for the Rick Perkins Award program through the System Office’s programming staff, the presidents’ Academic Improvement committee and the state planning committee.

Last year, instructors at the 25 TCSG colleges educated and trained more than 170,000 students.

About the TCSG: The 25 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia offer affordable education and excellent training in more than 600 certificate, diploma, and two-year associate degree programs. Students of all ages take advantage of affordable tuition, outstanding instructors, hands-on learning, and state-of-the-art equipment to gain the skills needed for today’s in-demand jobs.

In 2012, the TCSG colleges delivered 2.8 million credit hours of instruction to more than 170,000 students. The TCSG is online, too, serving 85,000 students through the system’s Georgia Virtual Technical Connection. TCSG students enjoy the benefits of Georgia’s HOPE grant and scholarship and the federal Pell grant, which will pay for a significant portion of a TCSG education.

The TCSG Office of Adult Education delivered a variety of programs to 78,000 students in 2012 and almost 18,000 adult learners earned their GED credential. The TCSG Quick Start program provided customized workforce training to almost 58,000 employees of new and expanding companies in Georgia.

For more information about the TCSG and links to a technical college in your area, go to