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GNTC To Start “Team With Troy” Automotive Scholarship Program

(Rock Spring, GA) – Just one week after winning the honor of the State of Georgia’s top technical college instructor, Troy Peco turned a local reception Thursday into a brand new scholarship possibility for Northwest Georgia students.

The Technical College System of Georgia named Peco the Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year last Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia. As part of his prize package, Peco received a $1,000 award.

With the summer approaching, that could help fund a vacation, pay for tires on the family car, or do some work around his North Georgia home. However, Peco decided to practice what he preaches.

“He always talks about how important it is to give back to the community. Troy felt this was the perfect opportunity to give back to our students,” said Georgia Northwestern Director of Institutional Advancement Jason Gamel. Peco announced Thursday to more than 100 faculty, staff, and friends at the reception that he would be donating the $1,000 prize to start the “Team With Troy” Automotive Technology Scholarship Program available only at Georgia Northwestern. The gift will be available through the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation.

Peco has served as the college’s Automotive Technology Director on the Walker County Campus of Georgia Northwestern since 2006. “We have some really great young men and women come through this program,” said Peco. “But, for one reason or another, they have a hard time paying for some of the tools they need to succeed in the program. I wanted to help them change all of that.”

Before the accolades and praises were handed down this past week, Peco was already finding ways to have an impact on the community. His past eight years of training and graduating students ready to perform successfully in automotive technology has left a real influence in the region.

Steven Hanshaw has been with Dalton’s Brooker Chevrolet since 2003. The Georgia dealership’s Service Manager says he was not surprised by Troy’s decision. “He’s the right man in the right job at the right time,” said Hanshaw. “His training and this scholarship benefits the community. It benefits the consumer, too. Better training means better efficiency which means better service at a better price.”

Hanshaw, a 1977 graduate of the same college, has returned the favor himself by bringing in Georgia Northwestern graduates to work in the Brooker Ford service department. “The students Troy sends are extremely qualified,” said Hanshaw. “They are flat out interested in the automobile, in general. Troy has been great for these young students. The fact to remember with all of this is that his work with our students in the area is going to add up to real relief when it comes to fixing their cars and trucks. That applies to the bill they pay for repair and the quality of repair they are getting. Everyone benefits.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the “Team With Troy” Tools Scholarship Program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College can contact GNTC Office of Institutional Advancement Director Jason Gamel by e-mailing to or calling 706-764-3810.

Judging for the Rick Perkins Award begins at the 25 Technical College System of Georgia 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.

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