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GNTC Names Semi-Finalists for 2019 GOAL Award

Brandon Neighbors, Catoosa, Automotive Technology, Walker County Campus, Troy Peco
Grace Dunnaway, Bartow, Criminal Justice, Gordon County Campus, Tyler Gayan

Four Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students have been selected as the college’s semi-finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Dione Waddington, coordinator for the college’s GOAL program.

Listed are students chosen as semi-finalists for the GOAL award showing (from left to right) the student’s name, county of residence, program of study, GNTC campus and nominating instructor:

  • Lorayna Alan, Walker, Marketing, Floyd County Campus, Mark Upton
  • Sarah Byrne, Bartow, Cybersecurity, Floyd County Campus, Jan Carney
  • Grace Dunnaway, Bartow, Criminal Justice, Gordon County Campus, Tyler Gayan
  • Brandon Neighbors, Catoosa, Automotive Technology, Walker County Campus, Troy Peco

“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 Waddington.

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges.

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

The four semi-finalists will advance to a second round of judging at Rome Floyd Chamber. A panel of business, civic and industry leaders from the community will interview and evaluate the students and select one to be the college’s 2019 GOAL winner.

The student judged most outstanding will be announced at the GOAL and Rick Perkins Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at noon at the Coosa County Club in Rome.

The GOAL and Rick Perkins Awards luncheon is sponsored by The Seven Hills Rotary Club, Rome Floyd Chamber and Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

All college GOAL winners will compete in regional judging, which will include students from the other 22 colleges of TCSG. Three finalists from the region will be named and will compete in the state GOAL competition in Atlanta, April 15-18, and vie to be named as the 2019 statewide GOAL winner. The completion will take place at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead.

The state GOAL winner becomes the student ambassador for the Technical College System of Georgia. They will make many public appearances throughout the year, including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor and other TCSG functions.

As the grand prize, a new automobile will be awarded to the state GOAL winner.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Lorayna Alan, Walker, Marketing, Floyd County Campus, Mark Upton
Sarah Byrne, Bartow, Cybersecurity, Floyd County Campus, Jan Carney

Spring Semester Rolling Along, How About You?

Well, Spring Semester 2019 is underway at GNTC! Are you back in the groove yet?

Here’s a quick video that will be sure to get your thinking caps in working order.

Have fun and let us know how you did!

GNTC announces President’s and Dean’s Lists for fall semester 2018

Georgia Northwestern Technical College is proud to announce the students on the President’s and Dean’s Lists for the 2018 fall semester. To be eligible for the President’s List, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.8 or higher during the semester with a course load of at least 12 credit hours. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.5 to 3.79 during the semester with a course load of at least 12 credit hours.

President’s List Students for:

Catoosa County: Micah Afman, Savannah Bone, McKenzie Brown, Gabrielle Carter, Brittany Chambers, Christina Chisenall, Alisha Cowan, Gage Dean, Sarah Eaker, Jesse Flanagan, Jonathan Gibson, Christopher Guffey, Jessica Hales, Victoria Harvey, Tavian Henson, Brenton Hill, Julie Kay, Courtni Lomenick, Allie Long, Elizabeth McClure, Jacob McIntire, Angela Morrow, Shelby Nichols, Erica Owens, Laura Parson, Michael Scheinert, Blade Smith, Francie Songer, Cassie Stalvey, Casey Stephens, Pamela Tallent, Joshua Taylor, Hunter Thomason, Stacie Wattenbarger.

Chattooga County: Grayson Bentley, Anita Curtis, Hannah Edwards, Haley Elliott, Dakota Finster, Morgan Hamby, Rachel Hammock, Wesley Harkins, Larry Holbrooks, Reisha Hughes, Clarissa Jimenez, Nancy Lawrence, Samuel Mangan, Jackie Mosley, Neyda Paiz, Clyde Patterson, Sarah Price, Tanner Purcell, Bailey Rowlls, Meagan RuBright, Kerrington Wagner, Ian Wagoner, Joshua Wyatt, Amanda York.

Dade County: Randall Lynn, Savanah Mertz, Noah Price, Madison Roden, Hannah Smith, Donnie West, Karen Zheng.

Floyd County: Kayley Agan, Keyli Ajanel-Perez, Yesenia Aldana, Kayla Alexander, Tera Anderson, Courtney Aplin, Rashondra Archie, Emanuel Arroyo Flores, Cayce Ayers, Jordan Baker, Morgen Bannister, Mallory Boatfield, Cody Boazman, Stephen Bottoms, Austin Boyd, Cody Boyd, Justin Brackett, Taylor Brannon, William Burton, Jazzaline Campbell, Elizabeth Carpenter, Patricia Carson, Norberto Castaneda Vazquez, Caley Chambers, Isabella Chapman, Kelby Cook, Adrian Cornejo, Christine Crouch, Olivia Davis, Kailey Detherage, Oseas Diego, Anthony Diletti, Lori Dotson, Bethany Duvall, Dustin Elsberry, Shanna Ely, Shanna Fabian, McKenzie Floyd, Brenda Fox, Hannah Fuller, Emily Gabey Compton, Michael Garcia, Eriyana Godfrey, Hannah Goss, Zachary Grady, Brandi Graham, Zachory Gunn, Matthew Hall, William Harper, Terry Harris, Ashley Hawkins, Caleb Henderson, Nicolas Hernandez, Ashley Hopper, Kaela Huffman, Janet Jarvis, Anna Johnson, Mackenzie Jones, Andrea Jordan, Robert Joyce, Kristina Keith, Courtney King, Jared Kochanski, Catherine Lankford, Jackson Lively, Kiersten Loggins, Rosa Lucas, Maria Mandujano, Kyara Massey, Blake McConnell, Ginger McDuffie, Nancy Miranda, Mellany Murdock, Keetra Murphy, Kris Nickerson, Joshua Osborne, Elizabeth Peyton, Nya Powell, Abbie Rasure, Toree Redding, Jennifer Reyes, Heather Rhodes, Kylea Riley, Devanny Royer, Destiny Runyan, Kirsten Schabert, Angel Smith, Ebony Smith, Hunter Spezio, D’Andre Swain, Lanesha Teague, Cierra Turner, Hunter Umphrey, Maggie Waid, Charles Waits, Ailsa Webb, Michael White, Bradley Williams, Kaytlyn Williams, William Womack, Myra Wyatt.

Gordon County: Austin Allen, Valentin Avalos, Ella Bennett, Tina Blalock, Katherine Bogue, Joy Brown, John Bunch, Anna Burton, Annelies Carr, Sheila Carter, Jacob Chastain, Jocelyn Cisneros, Kaden Floyd, Starrla Gann, Anna George, Rachel Goforth, Campbell Govignon, Kimberlee Hall, Elise Hartley, Joshua Hensley, Amanda Hilton, Jack Holbrook, Brianna Johnson, Kristen Langston, Callie Ledford, Rebecca Ledford, Marion Long, Latorya Manning, Katrina Martin, Saul Martinez, Jeremy McGaha, Kalee Meadows, Lara Miller, Kirbi Mincey, Kimberly Mitchell, Maricela Morales, Alaina Nicholson, Garrett Overboe, Kevin Palacios, Juan Palmerin, Dhara Patel, Zachary Patterson, Alaina Reece, Leslie Renfro, Laura Reyes Nunez, Stephanie Rittenhouse, Kenneth Sallies, Charity Smith, Emily Sorrow, Chelsea Stanfield, Jason Stansell, William Stewart, Myra Stone, Ashley Thomas, Jake Thomas Touchberry, Samantha Upshaw, Luz Vigil, Alexis White, Cassandra Workman, John Zapp.

Murray County: Jeffrey Ballew, Jonathan Banuelos, Drake Bargeron, Charles Baxter, Troy Beavers, Melissa Betterton, Corey Bishop, Susan Black, Daniel Bridges, Olivia Curtis, Autumn Donaldson, Anahi Garcia, Alesha Hughes, Zachary Jones, Austin Kelley, Roberto Landaverde, Amanda Malagutti, Salomon Montoya, Brandy Phillips, Kinley Pritchett, Harmony Ray.

Polk County: Lauren Allred, Brittany Bailey, Trudi Baines Floyd, Nathan Barrett, Anna Bellantoni, Mason Bennett, Halee Blackmon, Matthew Blake, Caleb Bray, Candice Cline, Madison Crawford, Cassidy Davis, Nahomy Diaz Villanueva, Mia Duffy, Tracy Elkins, Jessica Ellis, Tayte Fuqua, Annslie Galliher, Mason Gore, Chloe Green, Crystal Green, Jordan Gregory, Delmas Harrell, Caitlyn Harris, Kayla Harris, Robert Harris, Jacquera Jester, Kaitlyn Kriesler, Taylor Kriesler, Mary Laltrello, Ethan Lester, Carmen Lopez-Martinez, Camden Lorys, Andrew Lumpkin, Wendy Macedo Pineda, Demetrica Mallory, Carli Mayben, Erin McCrickard, Trixie Morgan, Patricia Nunez, Marrio Oliver, Ashley Paramo-Carmona, Eli Perez, Kiersten Pirkle, Marvin Pointer, Makenna Privett, Camden Rittenhouse, Eric Rossetti, Elizabeth Sanders, Mireya Santillan Cruz, Arturo Segura, Juana Segura, Dylan Smith, Mikayla Stockett, Gavin Tan, Autumn Tomlinson, Gillian Vansciver, Mileia Watts, Timothy Williams.

Walker County: Lorayna Alan, Mary Elizabeth Amis, Danika Barry, Lindsay Bearden, Elizabeth Blevins, Mallory Bradley, Kyler Cain, Haleigh Condra, Abbygale Dalton, Katelin Dixon, Christopher Dunn, Sarah Fawson, Emily Gilbreath, Elizabeth Gooch, Joyce Green, Megan Harkins, Katelynn Head, Brooke Kerns, Daniel King, Shelby Lewis, McKenzie Marshall, Diana Mullaly, Sonja Reynolds, Joshua Smith, Charlina Smithers, Ginger Sparks, Jarod Streetman, Bradlee Suggs, Regina Watts, Angela Willbanks, Candace Williams, Heather Wyatt.

Whitfield County: Cruz Aldava, Bruce Banks, Hayley Bell, Sarah Boyd, Alisha Broome, Jenifer Camacho, Abiram Contreras, Omar Cordero, William Elsberry, Christopher Figueroa, Miguel Garcia, Kimberly Glover, Yecely Gonzalez, Nayeli Gutierrez, Keymonica Hall, Chandler Henry, Whitney Holland, Elizabeth Jager, Kristen Lake, Megan Ledford, Amador Mares Torres Jr, Teresa Marshall, Rosio Martinez, Abel Mendiola, Dennis Miller, Marlena Mondragon, Eris Moonstar, Gonzalo Nunez, Guadalupe Nunez, Jason Paez, Joel Paez, Erika Perez, Kiera Perry, Maria Pimentel, Guadalupe Ramirez, Justin Ridley, David Saylors, Kristy Tate, Mary Brianna Thomason, Daniel Velasquez, Leslie Wilkins.

Other Counties: Victoria Adams, Sarah Armstrong, Stormy Arnold, Jana Birdseye, Daniel Blaksley, James Boyd, Sarah Byrne, Todd Campbell, Ashley Carlile, Melissa Clackum, Patricia Clark, Courtney Compton, Christopher Cowart, Walter Crocton, Glenn Dailey, Kayla Davis-Anderson, Willicia Dickinson, Tina Eister, Jessica Ellis, Andrea Etzler, Emily Evans, Kimberly Evans, Alexis Free, James Gatton, Alexis Guyton, Nancy Habif, Jarrod Highsmith, Megan Holcomb, Valina Hopson, John House, Jean Howington, Amy Hughes, Justin Johnson, Kadie Johnston, Scott Kent, Sebastian Lech, Emily Lippincott, Claudia McCarver, Maverick McKeehan, Jennifer Moore, Miranda Newton, Josie Nunn, Jessica Pack, Patricia Philistin, Jaritza Pineda, Wendy Robbins, Lilian Rosales, Cody Rouse, Hannah Salter, Gwendolyn Schultz, Nicholas Shelow, Kayla Sinyard, Lacey Smith, Breanna Steely, Corey Sutton, Stephanie Tarbous, Jessica Thomason, Bonnita VanNuys, Abbie Waits, Kayla Wallace, Riley Werner, Semone Williams, Melynda Wilson, Si’ara Zemer.

Dean’s List Students for:

Catoosa County: Tiffany Alford, Brandon Cass, April Clark, Cameron Collins, Shannon Cooper, Noah Fisher, Joshua Harold, Heather Hawkins, Kathleen Herring, Jessica Nabors, Brandon Neighbors, Benton Smith, Heather Smith, Rachel Stone, Hannah Taylor, Curtis Thomason, Husein Vajzovic, Jamie Walker, Mariah Wallace, Jared Wilks.

Chattooga County: Kaitlyn Conner, Taylor Eagle, Nicholas Flood, Hayley Jones, Malia Little, Jamie Lopez, Tina Minter, Haley Price, Dallas Roberts, Ashley Rosser, Allison Rowlls, William Stiles, Jarret Van Gurp, Cydni White.

Dade County: Anna Barnhart, Ashley Benge, Jedidiah Lynn, Sterling Miller, Braxton Morgan, Courtney Sharp, Taryn York.

Floyd County: Taylor Arasmith, Joshua Barlow, Shelly Bell, Joshua Borgers, Amanda Bray, Davey Brewster, Alexander Brock, Madisen Clines, Charles Collins, Joseph Conway, Gerardo Cruz Fonceca, Dana Culberson, Sh-nekouqia Daniels, Keely Dotson, Jenna Farrer, Jordan Ferrell, Amanda Freeman, Britni Freeman, Macy Gordon, Andrew Green, Cimberly Gregori, Valencia Henderson, Alexandro Hernandez, Phelicia Johnson, Teyannah Johnson, Julie Langford, Cameron Loggins, Benjamin McCullough, Krissa Momon, Antavia Moten, Hannah Nesbitt, Derrick Parker, Rupal Patel, Moises Ramirez Sanchez, Autumn Ridley, Madeleine Sharp, Mark Shirley, Brooklyn Shuler, Carrie Simon, Emily Smith, William Smith, Jennifer Stanley, Destiny Thomas, Tyra Thompson, Justin Thornton, Richard Tibbetts, Alexandra Trotter, Tucker Tumlin, Elizabeth Tyson, David Virta, Taylor Wells, Andrew Welsh, Jaci Womack, Destiny Wood, Adrian Woods.

Gordon County: Alex Avalos Vazquez, Morgan Baggett, Ying Bao, Shannon Bowman, Brooklyn Carr, Hannah Carr, Cassandra Childers, Tequila East, Estefany Garduno, Marley Gentry, Caitlin Gray, Lara Holmes, Kendra James, Danying Jiang, Isabellah Knarr, Emma Ledford, Brendi Lucas-Domingo, Aaron Lynch, Marie McConnell, Urvish Mistry, Megan Morrison, Jose Olivares, Houston Oliver, Joshua Parks, Sharon Ragland, Adrianna Resendez, Trinity Reyes, Rebekah Ridley, Jennifer Rodriguez, Loretta Scott, April Scruggs, Zachary Smith, Garret Strickland, Brittany Thrasher, Lacie Turner, Betty Ventura, Gerald Wells, Rachael Westerlund, Charmisse Wood, Hannah Zontek.

Murray County: Christian Adams, Tyler Baggett, Teresa Botts, Dustie Bridges, John Thomas Langford, Dana Manis, William Mashburn, Breanna Massengale, Amber Ridley, Justin Sisk, Amalia Trejo, Nicomedes Vera, Rebecca White, Casey Young.

Polk County: Itzel Bautista Lopez, Dakota Bertles, Jennifer Cervantes, Neely Collum, Ricky Cooper, Madison Day, Marie-Yves Desir, Makenna Dunn, Normayda Escalante, Maria Escutia, Luis Escutia-Torres, Natalie Fincher, Tyler Fincher, Michelle Gregory, Leonel Guzman, Madelyn Harp, Kimberly Hayes, Harley Hilyer, Karriana Holsey, William Ingram, Megan Johnson, Jessica Kellogg, Kevin Lucas-Vail, Tucker Mobbs, Marlon Morales, Harlan Morris, Lesley Munoz-Flores, Rosyseli Perez-lopez, Daniel Pizano, Sierra Post, Jarett Raine, Caroline Richardson, Anthony Robinson, Monty Runyan, Araseli Segura, Carter Shelton, Andrea Sides, Aislyn Smith, Anna Snider, Marina Sosa-Diaz, Kenneth Stephens, Ethan Suggs, Raymond Temples, Paris Washington, Madison Whatley, Justin Womack, Jynieva Wright, Jordan Wyatt.

Walker County: Brittany Alexander, Emily Brock, Jalen Davis, Kannen Derryberry, Destiny Duncan, Kaitlyn Frazier, Katryna Gentry, Nicholas Gray, Timothy Henderson, Chanler Hysell, Zackary Jones, Katie Kinlaw, David Lilly, Deidra Long, Caylee Marks, Amy Moore, Joshua Moore, Baron O’Bryant, Katelyn O’Toole, Autumn Perry, Jennifer Pryor, Janell Randall-Smith, Trystan Smith, Victoria Tarvin, Samuel Veal, Celine Verdier, Christopher Walden, James Young.

Whitfield County: Mykel Alexander, Marcos Arredondo, Ashton Avery, Alan Caro, Betzy Cruz, Brenda Dawson, Kevin Diaz, Kayla Elrod, Jasmin Garcia Barragan, Alexa Jimenez, Hayleigh Kuhn, Victoria Laird, Karina Lopez Valle, Edwin Luna, Bobby Minjarez, Daisy Molina, Ivan Ortiz, Wilson Paez, Jennyfer Paucay, Maritza Perez, Kelly Powers, Jimmy Ruiz, George Soto, Jonathan Tant, Abbigail Tate, Baleria Vasquez, Andres Viscarras, Brianna White.Other Counties: Brianna Armstrong, Neva Ayer, Kaila Biagini, Abigail Brown, May Carroll, Christina Cuevas, Patrick Dutton, Ian Elam, Erica Feggins, Bethel Flahardy, Kim Fosdick, Travis Freeman, Sarah Gallegos, Christy Germany-Davis, Linda Graves, Kameryn Griswold, Jeremy Gulledge, Brian Hammond, Kirstin Harris, Matthew Howard, Daniel Hudson, Morgan Hughes, Lindsey Johnson, Sarah Johnson, David Lebaron, Kaitlyn Lewallen, Emily Lolchoki, Bailey Milone, Brittani Minor, Joshua Orange, Ashley Phipps, Jasmine Poindexter, Ethan Pratt, Jordan Rainey, Ana Reluzco, Robert Schaum, Sherrhea Shaw, Brittany Square, Misty Stiles, Benjamin Stroup, Joseph Turner, Ashley Vasquez, Kendra Ware, Angela Watson, Ty White, Hannah Williams.

Too Late For Spring, Term B Is Ready For You!

Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Campuses closed Monday, January 21.

Missed Day One of Spring Semester, Maybe Not!

GNTC President Pete McDonald Announces Retirement

After 24 years of service in education, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) President Pete McDonald has announced that he will retire March 31, 2019.

Bust shot of President McDonald. He is dressed in a dark jacket and tie in front of brown background.
After 24 years of service in education, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) President Pete McDonald has announced that he will retire March 31, 2019.

McDonald was appointed president of GNTC by the Technical College System of Georgia in September 2013.  Prior to his presidency, McDonald served as vice president of Economic Development when he joined the college in April 1995.

“It has been an honor for me to work with the dedicated faculty and staff of GNTC for the last 24 years. Everyone at GNTC is totally dedicated to the career success and the educational success of our students. It is very pleasing for me as I travel around our nine counties and meet former students who are working successfully in various jobs in industry, business offices, and medical occupations. Their lives have been enriched by our college and the opportunities made possible by the State of Georgia,” said McDonald.

McDonald has placed a strong focus on the mission of the college to enhance the workforce of today and tomorrow for the employers in Northwest Georgia. According to President McDonald, listening to the education needs of employers and being responsive to those needs is very important for the economic growth of the region.

As president of GNTC, McDonald has led the college to many great accomplishments.

Under McDonald’s guidance, Georgia Northwestern made a commitment to student success and completion.  GNTC was one of 12 institutions selected into the Achieving the Dream (ATD) National Reform Network in June 2014.  The college began working to identify and implement evidence-based strategies for closing achievement gaps and increasing student retention, persistence, and graduation rates.

The college opened its sixth campus in September 2016.  The 60,000 square foot Catoosa County Campus is located off Alabama Highway in Ringgold, Georgia. 

McDonald was instrumental in making the Whitfield Murray Campus expansion a reality.  The college broke ground on the project in July 2017.  The $23.7 million dollar, 80,000 square foot expansion is expected to be complete in spring 2019. 

Putting a focus on high school partnerships, McDonald has played a vital role in Georgia Northwestern being the number one technical college in the state of Georgia for dual enrolled students for four consecutive years from 2014-2017, with the second highest number in 2018. He has also worked hard to cultivate a cooperative partnership between GNTC and the local College and Career Academies.

Sighting safety as the highest priority, McDonald gained state approval in 2018 to create the college’s own police force to handle incidents and promote student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety at each of GNTC’s six campuses.

“It has been my privilege to work with Pete in numerous areas over the decade; including the Whitfield Murray Campus establishment and expansion, the GNTC Board of Directors, and with my role on the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia,” stated Joe Yarbrough, President and CEO of the Carpet and Rug Institute and Technical College System of Georgia Board Member.

“As the leader at GNTC, Pete has been dedicated to providing the best possible opportunity for the students in this region to succeed in their careers.  The new facility under construction on the Whitfield Murray Campus will serve as a testament to that commitment.  I wish to express my gratitude to Pete for his vision, his leadership, and his passion for the students,” added Yarbrough.

From 1989-1995, McDonald worked in the Coated Board Division of the Mead Corporation in both Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia, where he was the director of Production Planning and the director of Information Technology.  Prior to his work with Mead, he was a program manager for Digital Equipment Corporation in Atlanta.  McDonald has an extensive information technology background, including employment as a computer programmer with Georgia Kraft Company in Rome, Georgia, (where he was also a project leader and software development manager) as well as Savannah Foods and Industries in Savannah, the University System of Georgia, and Blue Cross-Blue Shield in Columbus. He earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from Berry College and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Economics from the University of Georgia.  He attended the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is a Certified Economic Development Trainer through the Technical College System of Georgia.

McDonald has been involved in a number of community and civic activities.  He is past chairman of Floyd County Elections and Voter Registration Board, served as a member of the Rome Historic Preservation Commission, and as a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, where he was chairman of the Education/Workforce Committee from 2003-2004.  McDonald was the chairman of the Vice President’s Economic Development Council for the Technical College System of Georgia.  He is active in the Rome Rotary Club, where he served as club president from 2012-2013, Assistant District Governor 2014-2016, Literacy Committee chair, and trustee of the Georgia Rotary Student Program. He is a Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society, and a Will Watt Fellow.

He has had a long history of serving in various capacities for area chambers of commerce.  McDonald was a member of the Rome Floyd Chamber Board of Directors from 2003-2005 and again from 2008-2010 and served as the chairman of the board in 2018.  Also at the Rome Floyd Chamber, he was a member of the Economic Development Committee and a graduate of Leadership Rome IV in 1987.  McDonald was a member of the Existing Industry Committees of both the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and the Polk County Chamber of Commerce. Volunteering his time for agencies in the Rome and Floyd County area, he served as a past president for Habitat for Humanity of Rome-Floyd County and was also a member of the United Way of Rome-Floyd County’s Board of Directors for two terms where he served as the 2004 chairman.  He is a recipient of the Heart of Community Award and the Wesley Johnson Leadership Award of Merit.

Born in Greensboro, Georgia, and a Rome resident since 1977, he is married to Jane NormentMcDonald and they have two children, Austen McDonald and Elizabeth McCorkle.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us atwww.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC’s Whitfield Murray Campus 
Expansion Close To Completion

Phase II Taking Shape, Set To Open In Fall

(Northwest Georgia) – If construction stays on schedule, it will be 20 months from groundbreaking to opening the door of the Phase II Project of Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Whitfield Murray Campus (WMC). After the August 2017 groundbreaking in Dalton, Georgia, the 80,000-square foot facility will begin seeing its first students as early as this summer.

Photograph from the sky above the new construction project. Parking lots, buildings, and the natural surroundings are visible.
“An aerial photograph of the Whitfield Murray Campus Phase II Expansion Project at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.”

“We’ve been told we could have the keys to the brand new building as early as April 1,” said GNTC Associate Vice President of Special Projects Dr. Ginger Mathis. “The construction crews were able to get the interior of the complex closed in before all of the heavy rains came over the past month. That’s allowed them to make a lot of progress towards completion.”

Along with the work of the Balfour Beatty Construction Company, the corporate support from the community has been instrumental in completing the project. Vendors from throughout the flooring industry in Northwest Georgia are helping equip the college’s brand new Carpet Industry Training Center that will be located in the new complex. “It’s not just the building of the facility that is being made possible by so many, it’s also much of the equipment necessary to train the next generation of workforce in the industry,” added Mathis. “It’s simply been a huge community project.”

After the state legislature appropriated $900,000 in planning funds in 2014, local support began to ramp up in 2015 when the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners first approved gifts in-kind toward site development and a commitment of more than $1,000,000 towards the project. The Whitfield County School System then donated the 23 acres of land necessary. In the end, more than $20 million of state and local funding will go towards completing the project.

Beginning in April, GNTC plans to begin its own first steps in completing the facility. The installation of furniture, information technology resources, audio-visual resources, and program equipment will be underway throughout the spring. “We hope to be up and running for some summer semester courses,” said Mathis. “It all depends on how well everything progresses. Our first full semester of GNTC courses to be offered in the new complex will be Fall 2019.”

View down length of a first-floor hallway inside the new complex. Wall-height windows are visible for as far as the photo reveals.
“A view of a hallway on the first floor of the Whitfield Murray Campus Phase II Expansion Project at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.”

The college held its first classes at the WMC in 2010. At that time, all of the college courses were offered within the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy facility. By 2016, GNTC had its own building on the property, as well. The WMC student body grew to more than 1,000 students in the 2016-17 school year.


This year, the new facility will offer programs that will help train the future workforce of Northwest Georgia. Industry in the region has expressed a need for programs such as Chemical Technology, Engineering Technology, Precision Machining and Manufacturing, Computer Information Systems Technology, Industrial Systems Technology, Supply Chain Management and Logistics, and Diesel Mechanic Technology. “There is even a real need for quality diesel mechanics in this area,” said Mathis. “They aren’t only needed for 18-wheelers. From industrial equipment to the automobile industry, there is a true demand for this field right now.”

GNTC currently has six campuses across Northwest Georgia. Students can attend courses either online or on the Catoosa County Campus, Floyd County Campus, Gordon County Campus, Polk County Campus, Walker County Campus, or Whitfield Murray Campus. Day and evening courses are offered throughout the year. 

“I think great things are going to continue to come out of this institution. I think you are going to see many more people that are going to have a light in their eye. Because they are going to have the hope that what they are doing in the classroom is going to translate into a job and a salary to support themselves and their families,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal at the 2017 Groundbreaking Ceremony.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at  HYPERLINK “http://www.GNTC.edu” www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Aviation Maintenance Technology alum finds success in unmanned aircraft industry

GNTC alum Patrick Hayes (right), UAS, Maintenance Lead for Phoenix Air Unmanned, demonstrates a Pulse Aerospace Vapor 55 to a student group.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alumnus Patrick Hayes, a graduate of the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, discovered a lucrative career in the thriving unmanned aircraft industry.

Hayes is the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Maintenance Lead for Phoenix Air Unmanned in Cartersville. In this role, he maintains and occasionally pilots unmanned aircraft in a wide variety of projects including infrastructure inspections, aerial cinematography, thermal imaging and LiDAR mapping.

A resident of Cartersville, Hayes says that the concepts he learned in GNTC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program to repair airplanes also applies to smaller unmanned aircraft.

“The physics and the principals are the same whether it is a small aircraft or a large aircraft,” said Hayes. “I would say the attention to detail that is needed for larger planes is needed in our business as well, we fly some pretty extensive payloads.”

According to Hayes, one of the primary businesses for Phoenix Air Unmanned is infrastructure inspections. After Hurricane Michael, the company went to the south Georgia region to assess infrastructure damage. The unmanned aircraft were able to provide valuable and timely insight into damaged infrastructure in remote and hazardous areas.

“Another great accomplishment for Phoenix Air Unmanned is their pioneering of flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS),” said Hayes. “This allows us to increase safety, cost effectiveness and efficiency of inspecting electrical infrastructure. BVLOS becomes even more beneficial in remote or not easily accessible locations.

Phoenix Air Unmanned crews have also provided aerial cinematography for many movie productions in the northwest Georgia region, including “Allegiant,” “Dumb and Dumber To,” “Dirty Grandpa,” “Insurgent,” “Game Night,” “The Fundamentals of Caring,” and “Superintelligence.” 

A 2016 graduate, Hayes says he became interested in GNTC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program because he always had an interest in the hobby side of RC aircraft growing up and later decided to get a private pilot’s license.

“Then I really wanted to learn more about aviation and knew that an A&P license would be a key way to learn the overall concept of a plane and aviation in general,” said Hayes.

After graduating from GNTC, Hayes worked at Lockheed Martin in Marietta for a year and a half doing electrical for C-130s before he started his career at Phoenix Air Unmanned.

“To me this is the future of aviation,” said Hayes. “Technology is going to continue to evolve and things like unmanned aircraft and self-driving cars will continue to become more common.” Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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