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Inaugural Year of Walker Launch Takes Off

Week One Complete as GNTC and Walker County Schools
Bring Students Best Of Both Worlds

 

 

High school students sit on staircase wearing matching program-themed t-shirts.
“Some of the first “Walker Launch” students in Walker County, Georgia stop for a quick picture inside the 500 Building of Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Walker County Campus; the program’s home base in this inaugural year. Thirty-one students from LaFayette High School and Ridgeland High School are taking part in year one of the program. The Walker County School system hopes to expand enrollment to 200 students in the near future.”

 

 

(Northwest Georgia) – Week One is now in the books for the 31 students taking part in the pilot year of “Walker Launch” at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC). Students from LaFayette High School and Ridgeland High School have kicked off the 2018-19 academic year on GNTC’s Walker County Campus.

 

The first two weeks of the brand new program located on the college campus will only focus on the high school curriculum the students must complete. Beginning August 20, when GNTC’s fall semester launches, the students will be enrolled in both high school and college classes. They will be on their way to graduating from high school and college at the same time.

 

Classes needed to complete state requirements for their high school diploma will be taught by Walker County School teachers at GNTC. As for their collegiate instructor, GNTC instructors will handle those instructional responsibilities.

 

“We have had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the program during week one,” said Matt Harris, Walker County Schools Coordinator of Innovation. “Students, staff, and parents have been very pleased with the start of school.  We already have more interest in the program, and we expect higher than anticipated growth.” Administrators hope to expand the student body size of the program to 200 students in the near future.

 

Walker Launch will work a little differently than your traditional high school. Monday through Thursday, students will attend their usual high school and collegiate courses. However, on Fridays, a program is in place to teach students on how to develop soft skills. Critical thinking, customer service, financial literacy, communication with employees and customers, and many other professional skill sets will be taught extensively during those end-of-the-week sessions.

 

“This program required a leap of faith from a lot of people in our community and our schools,” said Harris. “We have had 11 months to plan the program. Everyone had to be committed and involved to make it a success. GNTC staff have been integral throughout the process, and our counselors at LaFayette and Ridgeland deserve a lot of the credit for getting Walker Launch off the ground.”

 

Transportation to the Walker Launch facility will be provided to and from the home high schools of each student. Walker Launch students are also eligible to take part in all extra-curricular activities at their home high schools.

The Walker County Schools provides laptop computers for every Walker Launch student so they can complete some of their high school and collegiate coursework online. Cost of dual enrollment tuition is paid by the Georgia Department of Education. This aid does not impact the funding available to the students once they graduate from Walker Launch.

Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines stresses the importance he hopes this program will have on breaking a cycle. “Our hope is to help students get into high-demand jobs,” said Raines. “We are training these young men and women for careers in everything from healthcare to logistics. But, it’s not only about that. It’s about teaching the future of Walker County to live smarter; to avoid a lifestyle which forces so many families to live paycheck-to-paycheck.”

 

For more information about the program, students and families can speak with the guidance counselor’s office at their high school. Students interested in joining the program will be required to apply to enroll in Walker Launch, as well as meet certain program guidelines.

 

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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

NW Georgia Sheriff’s Office Takes Challenge In Important Direction

Local College, Middle School Student In The Headlines

Deputies and actress inside doorway of a home.
“A still frame from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge video shows Meliyah Davis holding on to a sheriff’s deputy played by Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kalin England.”

(Northwest Georgia) – Nearing 11 million views alone on Facebook in less than two weeks, the nationwide craze of police forces taking part in the “Lip Sync Challenge” has caught everyone’s attention. However, the most popular production appears to have been done right here in the Northwest Georgia mountains. And, it has the students of one college taking notice.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves nearly 30 high schools across nine counties in Northwest Georgia. It’s a college which is fairly well known among the teens in the region. An institution which teaches Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Georgia Northwestern makes an unexpected appearance in a viral video setting a serious tone in social media. It’s a production that has put domestic violence in the spotlight this month.

 

Young girl posing for picture outdoors. She's wearing a pink bow and pink t-shirt.
“Meliyah Davis starred in a viral video production of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge. The video focused on the serious issue of domestic violence.”

 

It’s all in the wardrobe of 12-year-old Teasley Middle School student Meliyah Davis. When Meliyah begins school this week in Canton, Georgia, she may end up being a very noticeable face. Meliyah’s aunt, Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Christine Hedmann, actually recruited her for the filming. A Field Training Officer for the department, Hedmann also makes in appearance in the now famous video.

In Meliyah’s scenes in the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge Video, she is wearing a Georgia Northwestern Technical College t-shirt. “I liked the color and design of the shirt,” said Meliyah on why she wore the shirt. “I really want to be a police officer, though. I want to work in the jail.”

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus and the Criminal Justice program every semester on the Gordon County Campus, Walker County Campus and Whitfield Murray Campus.

“What these law enforcement professionals did with this video is important in helping bring the issue to light,” said Law Enforcement Academy Director James Pledger. “Domestic violence knows no social-economic boundaries. Men, women, and children can be victims. It’s a continuous cycle that is hard to break. We take this very serious and train on it diligently at the (GNTC) academy.”

With domestic violence on the rise in the United States, there couldn’t be a better time to take advantage of a viral trend. “One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”

 

Girl sitting on wooden floor in a bedroom; leaning against a wall.
“A still frame from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge video shows Meliyah Davis sitting in the floor. She plays the daughter of a family dealing with an abusive parent in the home.”

 

In the video, Meliyah plays the daughter of a family dealing with an abusive parent in the home.  “I think that people shouldn’t be abusive,” said Meliyah. “The victims should call for help.” Hedmann, Meliyah’s aunt, is the deputy driving the squad car in the online hit. She and her partner are responding to a call about possible domestic violence coming from a home.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Their website is TheHotline.org. The website offers an around-the-clock chat option. Or, you can also call the hotline at 1−800−799−7233. The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

So, what do Meliyah’s friends and family think of her overnight stardom? “My best friend, Sanai, thought it was awesome,” said Meliyah. “My family is proud and thinks I did a great job.” Meliyah’s grandmother, Sharon Davis, works in the Financial Aid department at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus and the Criminal Justice program every semester on the Gordon County Campus, Walker County Campus and Whitfield Murray Campus. To learn more about these programs, you can call 866-983-4682 or visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Alum Ryan Fincher invited to Welding Competition in Beijing, China

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alumnus Ryan Fincher of Cedartown was selected by the American Welding Society (AWS) to attend the China International Welding Competition 2018 in Beijing.

 

Man standing in front of welding bays inside a building. He is wearing black baseball cap with plaid shirt and jeans. He is wearing a gold medal around his neck.
Ryan Fincher of Cedartown poses for a picture with the gold medal he won at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in 2017. Fincher is GNTC’s first ever SkillsUSA national champion.

 

Fincher’s trip to China will be part of his preparation to compete in the four part Team USA Welder Selection competition that decides which SkillsUSA welder will represent the U.S. in the international WorldSkills Welding competition that takes place every two years.

 

Fincher was selected to be the American representative at the competition in China by the AWS. He will leave for China on July 22 and will return to the U.S. on July 31. The American Welding Society will cover all of his expenses.

 

As a GNTC student, Fincher won the gold medal in the Welding Competition at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in 2017 and became the college’s first ever national champion. Fincher graduated from GNTC in 2017.

 

“Winning the gold medal in SkillsUSA’s National Championships felt like a huge accomplishment,” said Fincher. “It felt pretty awesome being able to compete with some of the best welders in the nation and coming out on top.”

 

Man in blue jacket with gold sleeves and wearing a welding mask is posing for a picture of himself holding a welding torch.
GNTC alumnus Ryan Fincher of Cedartown works on a project in the Welding lab on GNTC’s Floyd County Campus in Rome.

 

Fincher was also a top six finalist for American Welding Society’s U.S. Invitational Weld Trials in 2017. The Weld Trials are part of the American Welding Society’s process to select the SkillsUSA World Team Welder; the U.S. representative in the international welding competition against the best WorldSkills welders from around the globe.

 

“It felt pretty awesome when I found out I made the top six,” said Fincher. “Like I had accomplished something really big.”

 

The next WorldSkills Competition will take place Aug. 22-27, 2019, in Kazan, Russia.

 

Every two years, the AWS invites the top 48 welding competitors from the National SkillsUSA Championships to compete in a four-stage competition that will decide the SkillsUSA World Team Welder. All competitors were state champions and have competed at the national level for SkillsUSA. Fincher was one of the six national finalists that was chosen to participate in the second stage of the competition.

 

Fincher is the only U.S. competitor that competed in the top six in 2017 that is going to compete in the Team USA Welder Selection competition again. This is why he was invited to China, according to Matt Hayden, instructor of Metals and Welding at Cedartown High School and instructor of Welding and Joining Technology at GNTC.

 

“Ryan is not just a great student and great welder, he is a great young man,” said Hayden “All of the success that he has had is the result of his work ethic and I fully expect him to be very successful in life in everything he does.”

 

Hayden also serves on the education committee and competition committee for the American Welding Society.

 

The competition in Beijing that Fincher is attending is being held as part of the process to select China’s World Team Welder. Fincher will be taking part in the competition in China as practice for the four stage Team USA Welder Selection competition. Ray Connolly the chief welding expert for the U.S. will accompany Fincher to Beijing. Connolly won a gold medal at the WorldSkills Championship in Montreal, Canada in 1999.

 

“At our top six and top three competitions we always invite different countries to bring some of their best competitors over to build relationships with those countries,” said Hayden. “So that is what China is doing in return and this will be more practice for Ryan for the Team USA Welder Selection competition.”

 

“This is also the first time we have sent someone to China for this,” continued Hayden.

 

The first stage Team USA Welder Selection competition begins with the AWS U.S. Invitational Pre-Trials. Contestants are given a set of WorldSkills Competition projects to complete in their home states. The projects are scored by the AWS Skills committee and the students that submit the top six projects are invited to participate in the next stage.

 

The top six pre-trial finalists then compete for the top three positions at the AWS U.S. Invitational Weld Trials. The top six and top three compete along with other competitors invited from other countries.

 

“It builds relationships with those countries and the competitors get to know each other fairly well,” said Hayden. “At our last top six completion China sent their top two competitors and we have also had competitors from Australia, England, Canada, and Russia. So we always have other countries participate in the U.S. competitions.”

 

The SkillsUSA World Team Welder will be selected from the top three finalists at the AWS TeamUSA Finals and will receive a $40,000 scholarship in addition to representing the U.S. in the WorldSkills Welding Competition.

 

Participants must be active SkillsUSA members who are enrolled in, or have graduated, from a welding program and must be younger than 23 during the year of the WorldSkills Welding Competition.

 

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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 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.

Get Focused. Get Hired. Apply For Fall 2018 TODAY!

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers you six campuses across Northwest Georgia. More than 200 programs are available to you right now! Take classes on-campus and online. Get Focused. Get Hired.
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Law Enforcement Grads Honored At GNTC

Police Chief Speaks On Social Media, Serving Today

 

Graduates standing on stage with their instructor.
“The graduating class of the July 2018 Basic Law Enforcement Academy at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Shown, from left, are Mason Woodard, Matthew Wilson, Justin Watson, Isreal Smith, Joshua Morse, Jonathan Martin, Hunter Densmore, Dustin Bruce, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger.”

 

(Calhoun, GA) – “People see the troubling things involving law enforcement on social media these days and it affects all police officers,” said Tony Pyle, Chief of the Calhoun, Georgia Police Department, during a keynote speech to the latest graduating class of the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Basic Law Enforcement Academy. “As the next generation of law enforcement, you can play a part in changing that.”

As one of Chief Pyle’s first duties on the job, appointed to the position on July 1, he spoke to the eight new graduates from GNTC’s program designed to train those who wish to pursue careers in criminal justice. “Today is a very different time to be a police officer,” said Pyle. “It’s a very difficult time. It’s a very difficult job today. These graduates could have chosen anything to take at this college. They chose to be police officers.”

Graduates receiving honors at GNTC’s July 2018 Basic Law Enforcement Academy Graduation were Dustin Bruce (Ringgold, GA), Hunter Densmore (Calhoun, GA), Jonathan Martin (Summerville, GA), Joshua Morse (Calhoun, GA), Isreal Smith (Calhoun, GA), Justin Watson (Calhoun, GA), Matthew Wilson (Trion, GA), and Mason Woodard (Calhoun, GA). In addition to family and friends attending the ceremony, regional police chiefs, sheriffs, and other law enforcement officials came to offer their support of the new class.

“If you ever forget your mission, just look on the side of your patrol car and read what it says,” said Pyle. “To protect and to serve.”  Pyle began his career in law enforcement in 1988 handling college security at Rome, Georgia’s Berry College. Two years later, he joined the Calhoun, Georgia Police Department. During his time on the force, he would serve as a patrol officer, as a Detective Sergeant and Commander of the Drug Task Force, and as a Detective, Lieutenant, and Captain within in the Criminal Investigation Division before becoming Chief.

 

Student standing on stage with his award, beside his instructor.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduate Justin Watson, left, receiving his ‘Top Gun’ award for excellence in marksmanship from Georgia Northwestern Technical College Program Director Jim Pledger.”

 

This class of new law enforcement specialists is the 20th graduating class under GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger. Joshua Morris was named the program’s “Honor Graduate” for earning the highest grade point average in his class. Justin Watson was given the program’s “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship. Both Morris and Watson are former members of the United States Marine Corps. Graduate Dustin Bruce served as a Ranger in the United States Army.

 

Student standing on stage with his award, beside his instructor.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduate Joshua Morris, left, receiving his ‘Honor Graduate’ award for the highest grade point average in his graduating class from Georgia Northwestern Technical College Program Director Jim Pledger.”

 

For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Walker County High Schoolers Prep For College Life Students, Families Visit GNTC, Walker Launch

(Northwest Georgia) – Walker County Schools and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) hosted dozens of Northwest Georgia families for a Launch Academy Open House on GNTC’s Walker County Campus Tuesday. Launch Academy is a partnership between GNTC, Walker County Schools, and area business partners to develop a local career academy.

 

Picture shows staffers behind a desk standing and speaking with the mother of a family visiting the open house.
“Jessica Nguyen with Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s High School Initiatives department speaks with one of the families that attended the Launch Academy Open House on May 29 at GNTC’s Walker County Campus.”

 

“I was really struck by the excitement of the students participating and their families,” said Walker County Schools Coordinator of Innovation Matt Harris in regards to the open house. “The parents were obviously extremely proud and the kids were excited to get started.” GNTC and the school system will hold a ribbon-cutting for the Launch Academy on GNTC’s Walker County Campus in August.

Approximately 50 juniors from LaFayette and Ridgeland High Schools will help open the doors on the Launch Academy when the Fall 2018 semester begins at GNTC. Students will be able to take technical courses at Georgia Northwestern four days a week while enrolled in the Launch Academy. Then, on Fridays, special speakers will meet with academy students and instruct them on various soft skills and employability topics. GNTC classrooms in Building 500 on the Walker County Campus are being donated to use for the academy.

“We are just excited about this partnership,” said GNTC Vice President of Student Affairs Stuart Phillips. “It’s not only the schools and the companies that are thrilled about the project, it’s the first students and their families. They had a lot of great questions at the open house and really appear to be looking forward to the fall.” Students and their families in attendance at the Launch Academy Open House got to tour different program facilities, as well as speak with the advisors who would be teaching most of the college courses available to them.

 

College employee walks up a two-story staircase with family of six following behind him.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Vice President of Student Affairs Stuart Phillips, far right, gives a quick tour to one of the families that attended the Launch Academy Open House on May 29 at GNTC’s Walker County Campus.”

 

By graduation, students who complete their education at the Launch Academy will have earned not only a high school diploma, but a collegiate technical certificate, diploma, and/or associate’s degree. After the pilot year of the program, Walker County Schools are estimating they will be able to enroll 200 students each year after this from the student body population of Ridgeland and LaFayette High Schools.

A main goal of the Launch Academy is to raise the employment rate of students graduating from the Walker County School System. Corporate partners such as CHI Memorial Hospital, Roper Corporation, and Shaw Industries are investing into the program in hopes of this kind of success. “This, we think, is going to create that one piece we need to connect our kids and move them into jobs, into business and industry,” said Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines to the Walker County Chamber of Commerce at their membership luncheon in April.

Beyond the high school curriculum they will be taking while enrolled in the Launch Academy, students who qualify may choose from a GNTC collegiate program, as well. Welding and Joining Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Computer Networking, Automotive Technology, Health Care, and Air Conditioning Technology are the main programs students will be considering. However, Launch Academy students may take part in any program at GNTC in which they are eligible to enroll.

While GNTC instructors will be instructing the collegiate programs to the Launch Academy students, school system employees will provide instruction on GNTC’s Walker County Campus towards such courses as Economics, Civics, and English. The Georgia Department of Education will cover the expense of tuition towards dual enrollment courses. Walker County Schools are anticipating covering the costs for supplies. Some of the supplies will also be covered, in part, by the Launch Academy’s business partners.
GNTC offers more than 200 other programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).

 
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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 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. The Student Help Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844-348-7659 or via online chat at https://helpcenter.gntc.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

What’s Left is What’s Right: Trucking With Dyslexia

Teaching To The Student at GNTC

 

Ashley Petty sits in the cab of a GNTC tractor-trailer while her instructor stands on the ground alongside the open door to the cab.
“Gordon County, Georgia’s Ashley Petty poses from the cab of a Georgia Northwestern Technical College Commercial Truck Driving program tractor-trailer. Standing in the foreground on a hot day at the college’s truck driving facility is Georgia Northwestern Technical College Program Director Robert Browder.”

 

(Northwest Georgia) – Not knowing which way to turn in life is a very common feeling among most adults. Whether it is figuring out how to pay the bills or how to handle raising a child, 32-year-old Ashley Petty knows those struggles all too well.

But for Petty, not knowing which way to turn in life is more than just an expression. It’s a trial that has led to a triumph in earning her Commercial Truck Driving certification at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

You see, Petty suffers from dyslexia. The disorder makes learning to read, write, interpret symbols, etc… much more difficult than it is for your average college student. It doesn’t affect a person’s intelligence, but it makes cracking the code of everyday life a puzzle all on its own.

“I have what is called directional dyslexia,” said Petty in an interview at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Commercial Truck Driving facility in Walker County, Georgia. “I had a tough time being able to figure out directions in transportation. If an instructor told me to turn the wheel to the right or left, I really had a problem. I had to find a new way to learn.”

For anyone who has ever attempted to “back-up” a trailer of any size as it is hitched to a pulling vehicle, they know it is a difficult task. Now, Petty was previously a bus driver for a Georgia school system before coming to GNTC. “However, that’s a different thing altogether when you back-up a bus. It isn’t split in the middle,” said Georgia Northwestern Technical College Commercial Truck Driving Program Director Robert Browder. “Manipulating the tractor and the trailer at the same time requires concentration and precision. With Ashley’s dyslexia, she saw this as a major problem to overcome. But, we just realized it meant we simply needed to teach her a little differently.”

Commercial Truck Driving instructions will have drivers make left or right-hand turns, as well as have to back up their trailers in one direction or the other. “I spoke with our Disabilities Services specialists at the college and they helped us think of some great learning techniques,” said Browder. “When we want her to turn the wheel to the right, she immediately knows to turn towards the hand with the ring on it. She now wears a ring on her right hand to remind her. Now, her ring hand is her right hand. She turns towards the ring.”

There are other little short cuts that Petty has learned along the way thanks to her college instructor and her classmates. “I’ve battled dyslexia all my life,” said Petty. “Now, my 10-year-old, Sidney, also lives with it and battles it herself in her classroom, too. However, partly as a result of how I’ve had to learn the hard way, she is now really starting to perform well in school. We simply wouldn’t let her take the easy way out. A good school and patient teachers have made that adjustment an easier one for Sidney at her school and me at mine.”

Before settling down in Gordon County, Georgia, Petty and her daughter lived in Murphy, North Carolina. She says one of her daughter’s teachers in North Carolina really made the struggle hit home for her. “She had a teacher that told us that if she can’t learn it the way she’s teaching it, she’d never learn it,” said Petty. “I told her how that’s not true. Sometimes, you have to teach something a little differently for particular students. Not all students learn in the same way.”

“What we found was that Gordon County has plenty of teachers who have been learning to work with children with all kinds of learning disabilities,” said Petty. “As a result, she is now right at her grade level in areas she had previously been struggling with before coming to the new school.”

As a student of Tolbert Elementary, her daughter is getting care and instruction she personally never got to enjoy when she was young. With more than 700 students at Tolbert Elementary, it is nearly five times the size of her last school in North Carolina. “The school may be larger, but the teachers at Tolbert have really taken the time with Sidney to help her learn how to succeed academically.”

Now, Commercial Truck Driver-to-be Ashely Petty may have received similar care and instruction at Georgia Northwestern, however, when she was a child, life experience alone taught her quickly she would learn in her own way. Originally from Cobb County, Georgia, her biological parents separated when she was only four years old. Her mother would die four years later. She then bounced from group home to group home before ever having a chance of being adopted. From being a troubled teen and being relocated to state youth facilities to going through the adoption process at 13-years-old, Petty learned early that things were simply different for her. She learned that things would never come easy.

“My adopted mother noticed I had signs of dyslexia in high school,” said Petty. “I could figure out the answer to questions. However, I couldn’t prove it on paper. I was inverting numbers whenever I did math problems.”

A 2007 graduate of Fannin County High School in Blue Ridge, Georgia, Petty wasn’t sure what kind of career her future would hold. After graduation, she worked several different jobs, never really gaining any traction in any of them. So, after more than a decade of dealing with foster families, her troubled teen years, and a struggle just to survive high school and now life, she knew she didn’t want the same thing for her daughter.

“Now, while in college, I made myself work harder,” said Petty. “My boyfriend is a diesel mechanic. There were times where when he was working a commercial truck yard, I would come to visit and I would get the chance to get into the cab of a tractor-trailer. With me driving a stick-shift car, working a manual transmission in a tractor-trailer felt pretty natural to me.” Once she took her first drive around the truck yard, Petty was hooked.

Today, just one class away from having a two-year Associate’s Degree, Petty is looking to a brighter future for her and her little family. But, it’s a future that has roots in the past. It turns out after meeting her biological family over the past few years, she learned her biological grandfather was a truck driver. As well, several other members of her family had long-hauls down the highways on a regular basis, themselves.

Now in 2018, Petty is looking for close-to-home options for a commercial truck driving opportunity which will allow her to hit the open road. “I’ve spoken with some local companies just recently and hope to hear from them, soon,” said Petty. “But, I really need to be close to home for my girl. I’m proud of the opportunities I’m now facing, but I want to be able to help my daughter get a jump start on life that was almost impossible for me to have when I was young.”

GNTC offers more than 200 other programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 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. The Student Help Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844-348-7659 or via online chat at https://helpcenter.gntc.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Holds GED® Commencement Ceremony on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) held its GED® Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 3, for students who have earned their General Educational Development diplomas®.

The ceremony was held at the Conference Center on GNTC’s Gordon County Campus in Calhoun to accommodate students and families from all nine counties of GNTC’s service area.

Dozens of graduates in the front row of their GED® Graduation Ceremony are applauding as they wear their black caps and gowns.
The 2017-18 graduates applaud to thank their families and friends during GNTC’s GED® Graduation and Awards Ceremony in Calhoun.
Christin Silvers (l) Mikala Soi (r)
Christin Silvers (left) of Calhoun and Mikala Soi (right) of Calhoun line up before Processional.
Jose Cruz
Jose Cruz of Dalton crosses the stage to receive his GED® diploma.
William Nichols (r) Pete McDowell (l)
William Nichols (right), GNTC’s 2018 EAGLE Delegate, stands with Pete McDonald (left), president of GNTC. Nichols was the featured speaker for the ceremony.

The evening began with a welcome and introductions by Kerri Hosmer, vice president of Adult Education at GNTC. Hosmer congratulated the graduates and thanked the organizations that provided GED® scholarships.

Those organizations include: Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Society, Catoosa Citizens for Literacy, Chattooga County Literacy Council, Conasauga Drug Court Program, Dalton-Whitfield Community Foundation, Endless Opportunities, LaFayette Presbyterian Church, North Georgia EMC, Polk County Rotary Club, Rome-Floyd CCCY, Rome Rotary Club, Shaw Industries, Tallatoona CAP, United Way, and WMC Rotary Club.

  1. Pete McDonald, president of GNTC, thanked the friends and families of graduates that were in the audience.

“It’s a long road for some and it always takes tenacity, studying, and showing up for class,” said McDonald. “I also want to recognize all the family members and friends here this evening, students need support to achieve their goals.”

William Nichols, GNTC’s 2018 EAGLE Delegate, delivered the keynote address. Nichols is a member of the National Adult Education Honor Society and was chosen as one of eight finalists for the State EAGLE Award by the Technical College System of Georgia.

 

“Once I earned my GED diploma, it opened up many doors for me,” said Nichols. “Right there on that table is your diploma that is a key that is going to open up doors for you.”

 

GNTC is an official General Educational Development® Testing Center and a site for computer-based GED® Testing in partnership with Pearson Vue, GED® Testing Services, and the Technical College System of Georgia. The mission of GNTC’s Adult Education program is to enable every adult learner in the service delivery area to acquire the necessary basic skills to be able to compete successfully in today’s workplace, strengthen family foundations, and exercise full citizenship.

 

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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 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. The Student Help Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844-348-7659 or via online chat at https://helpcenter.gntc.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Logistics of Life in the Spotlight: The Warren Family at Georgia Northwestern

(Catoosa County, GA) – This may be the cutest set of pictures you’ve seen today. Watch for the story of Catoosa County Campus student Jason Warren and his young family. You’ll hear more about them later this week. Jason’s son, Lucas, is the 2018 Gerber Baby Spokesmodel!

Hear from this GNTC Logistics and Supply Chain Management major and his wife Cortney about their very special toddler and the spotlight that has been cast on them these past couple of months; as well as the light they hope gets shed on families around the world who face challenges each and every day.

Have a great week at GNTC!

 

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