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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!

 

GNTC Culinary Arts Students Study with Irish Educator

Chef Judith Hickey (l), with Ivan Cornejo (r) of Rome.jpg
Chef Judith Hickey (left), of the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, goes over slicing techniques for ham hocks with Ivan Cornejo (right) of Rome.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Culinary Arts students had a chance to work directly with a renowned Irish Chef from Monday, March 12, to Friday, March 16, as part of an ongoing international partnership between the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in Ireland and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).

 

Four Irish chefs from WIT were assigned to four different technical colleges for the week to train students and faculty how to prepare traditional Irish cuisine. All four colleges ended the week with a gala reception and dinner in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The three other colleges that participated were Albany Technical College, Columbus Technical College, and North Georgia Technical College.

 

Chef Judith Hickey was assigned to GNTC’s Culinary Arts program on the Floyd County Campus in Rome.

 

“I have been having great fun with the students,” said Hickey. “We have actually learned a lot from each other.”

 

Hickey began her culinary career more than 30 years ago. She has a degree in Pastry and Confectionary, a diploma in Management from the Irish Management Institute, and a master’s in Adult Education. Hickey has lectured at WIT for several years on various Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs including culinary skills and operations, food safety, nutrition, and food security and sustainability. WIT is in Waterford, Ireland, just outside of Dublin.

 

Faith Snow (l) of Calhoun and Chef Judith Hickey (r).JPG
Faith Snow (left) of Calhoun and Chef Judith Hickey (right), of the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, prepare the desserts for the “Taste of Ireland” reception and dinner.

 

Prior to her career at WIT, Hickey has 12 years’ experience working for Fáite Ireland, the Irish Tourism Authority, in its training division as a Culinary Arts lecturer. During that time, she was also involved in the design and evaluation of training programs as an external examiner for the Education and Training Board.

 

The relationship between WIT and the Technical College System of Georgia began in 2012 when the International Affairs division of TCSG began collaborating with WIT on several projects.

 

In 2016 a group of GNTC Culinary Arts students studied abroad at the Waterford Institute of Technology. The ten-day course “Irish Food and Culture,” was a culinary seminar on the preparation of Irish Cuisine. Ten students took part in the course which also included field trips to various markets, restaurants, butcheries, fromage (cheese) shops, famous landmarks, castles, and beaches. Georgia Northwestern was the first college in the Technical College System of Georgia to take part in the international agreement between the Waterford Institute of Technology and the TCSG.

 

Hickey was one of the WIT chefs that presented to the GNTC students that went to Ireland in 2016.

 

“My background is in pastry so I went through a lot of different desserts with them,” said Hickey. “They also got to see the social life in Ireland and what it is like to live in Ireland as well.”

 

During her visit to GNTC and Rome, Hickey had a very busy itinerary which included meals at several Rome-area restaurants with chefs that are GNTC Culinary Arts graduates. She also was given a tour of the research and development department of Southeastern Mills by R&D Chef Jordan Evans, a graduate of GNTC.

 

“I have eaten in so many restaurants here in Rome and the food is exceptional,” said Hickey. “The traditional Southern cooking has really been brilliant and the chefs have been great.”

 

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.

The College and The Careers of Northwest Georgia, Tours Underway at GNTC

Several dozen high school students are sitting in an auditorium as a moderator, Jason Gamel, GNTC Director of Recruiting, is standing on a stage in the background speaking to the students.
Approximately 50 students from Whitfield County Schools are visiting the campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College this morning. GNTC Director of Recruiting Jason Gamel is leading a tour at this hour on the college’s Walker County Campus as they get a first-hand look at the programs offered through the college’s six campuses across Northwest Georgia. #getfocusedgethired
Approximately 50 students from Whitfield County Schools are visiting the campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College this morning. GNTC Director of Recruiting Jason Gamel is leading a tour at this hour on the college’s Walker County Campus as they get a first-hand look at the programs offered through the college’s six campuses across Northwest Georgia.
#getfocusedgethired

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Held Tuesday, Oct. 31

 

BLE Training Class #201701
Graduates of Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701 are: Back row (from left to right) Jonathan L. DeFoor, Jason L. Phillips, Samuel H. Clemmons, Franz E. Orozco Avila, Josiah E. Hemm, and Billy F. Smith III. Front row (from left to right) Jeffrey S. Nicholson, Kinsey P. Morin, Kassidy J. Kirby, Alexis D. Stanley, and Nigel P. Torres.

(Northwest Georgia) – Eleven Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) law enforcement students graduated from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701 on Tuesday, Oct. 31, during a ceremony held at the conference center on the Gordon County Campus.

 

Friends, family, advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, community leaders, and fellow law enforcement officers from across the Northwest Georgia region also were in attendance at the ceremony in Calhoun to honor the graduates.

 

The proceedings began with Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, welcoming guests and introducing current and former staff from the academy.

 

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Kenneth Dodd, police chief of the Polk County Police Department.

 

Dodd began his law enforcement career as a jailer for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office in 1991. After graduating from the Police Academy at Floyd Junior College (now Georgia Highlands College) in 1992, he became a deputy sheriff.

 

In 1994, Dodd became a patrolman at the Polk County Police Department and worked his way up to police chief in 2008.

 

Dodd reminded the graduates that character is a key attribute of being a police officer.

 

“The most important skills in being a cop are honesty, integrity, and courage,” said Dodd. “That has everything to do with your attitude and how you approach things, so I encourage you to have a positive attitude every day.”

 

Billy F. Smith III was the student speaker for the ceremony.

 

“When we first met, we were different people with different backgrounds all pursuing a career in law enforcement,” said Smith. “We would all rise together and face each challenge as a team.”

Top Gun Award
Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, presents the “Top Gun” Award to Billy F. Smith III (left) for excellence in marksmanship. Smith also was the student speaker for the ceremony.

Smith also was presented with the “Top Gun” Award for excellence in marksmanship. Jonathan L. DeFoor received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

 

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701 are: Samuel H. Clemmons, Jonathan L. DeFoor, Josiah E. Hemm, Kassidy J. Kirby, Kinsey P. Morin, Jeffrey S. Nicholson, Franz E. Orozco Avila, Jason L. Phillips, Billy F. Smith, III, Alexis D. Stanley, and Nigel P. Torres.

Academic Award
Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, presents the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award to Jonathan L. DeFoor (left) for having the highest grade point average in Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701.

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, 14,151 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,956 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,195 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at GNTC.edu or contact a Student Help Center on any one of our six campus locations at 866-983-4682.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Alum Takes Top Spot At Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe

 

 

From Criminal Justice To Education, Nix Finds Himself In The Principal’s Office

Charles "Chance" Nix
“Ringgold, Georgia’s Charles “Chance” Nix is Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School’s third principal in nearly 40 years. Nix is a graduate of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and Valdosta State University (GA).”

 

(Catoosa County, Georgia) – Seven years ago, Catoosa County’s Charles “Chance” Nix graduated from Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) with a plan. He would take his Criminal Justice Degree he earned in 2010 and turn it into a career.

Seven years later, the former Catoosa County Sheriff’s Deputy has done just that. Next month, when students walk the halls for the first day of the new school year at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School (LFO), the GNTC alum will be at the helm of Warrior Country.

It was more than a decade ago when Nix first worked in a high school. In 2006, he served as the School Resource Officer (S.R.O.) at LFO in Catoosa County, Georgia. It would be one of the school’s former principals, Jack Sims, who would nudge him towards education. “He saw something in me,” Nix said. “…and that turned everything around.” Now, Nix saw himself one day being a teacher. But never a principal.

Nix would then attend Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Walker County, Georgia. He would first earn a diploma (2009), and then, an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice (2010). “At Georgia Northwestern, I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, friendly professors, and convenience to work and family life.” His first stop on the teaching circuit would be at Heritage High School in Ringgold, Georgia. Nix would teach Law and Justice classes at Catoosa County’s newest high school.

In an effort to pursue an administration career in the Catoosa County School System, the 46-year-old Ringgold man would later continue his education at Lincoln Memorial University (TN) and Valdosta State University (GA) to earn a Master’s Degree in Education and an Educational Specialist Degree, respectively.  His first administrator role was at Westside Elementary serving as the assistant principal with Principal Dr. Mike Rich.

After serving first as an assistant principal at LFO, Nix officially got the call this spring to replace LFO administrator Terri Vandiver as principal in the 2017-18 school year. Vandiver came into office the summer of 2010 when she replaced long-time Principal Jerry Ransom. Serving also as a long-time coach, teacher, and administrator, Ransom served as the principal of LFO for thirty years.

Nix and his wife, Heather, have been married since 1994. She is a teacher at Ringgold Primary School in Catoosa County. They have two children, Hailey, 18, and Savannah, 15.

Applications to enroll in the Criminal Justice Technology program, or any of the more than 200 programs offered at GNTC, are due by July 24. For more information about GNTC, visit the college at GNTC.edu. You can also contact a Student Help Center on any one of our six campus locations at 866-983-4682. GNTC offers classes online and on-campus at the Catoosa, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield Murray Campuses across Northwest Georgia.

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, 14,151 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,956 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,195 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For additional information, you may also visit GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

-End-

 

 

 

Bobcat SkillsUSA Teams Lead Way At Nationals

Georgia Northwestern’s Fincher wins college’s first national gold, two more medal in Louisville

 

GNTC's Ryan Fincher Winning Gold At Nationals
“Cedartown, Georgia’s Ryan Fincher becomes Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s first-ever national champion in the 2017 SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Fincher, shown third from the left, poses alongside his other Top-10 finishers on the medal stage in Louisville, Kentucky. Fincher is a three-time Georgia SkillsUSA champion, twice on the high school level and once on the collegiate level.”

 

 

(Northwest Georgia) – After the dust settled on a competition floor large enough to house more than 15 football fields, the students of Georgia Northwestern Technical College would find themselves among the best in the nation at the 2017 Nationals SkillsUSA Competition. More than 6,000 students qualified in their home states to compete at the national competition this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. But when the competitions would close on more than 100 professional skills categories, it would be the Bobcats standing near the top of the next generation workforce.

Leading the way and standing tall atop the medal platform for Georgia Northwestern Nationals SkillsUSA Team was Cedartown, Georgia’s Ryan Fincher. The 2017 Georgia SkillsUSA Welding Champion became GNTC’s first-ever national champion. Fincher, a product of GNTC’s Welding Technology program, is no stranger to the national stage, though. In his junior and senior year at Cedartown High School, Fincher was a two-time state champion in welding at the Georgia SkillsUSA Competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Also, placing nationally for GNTC were Bobcat teams in the Chapter Display and Career Pathways categories. Taking home the bronze in Chapter Display was the GNTC team of Brandy LeVan (Rock Spring, Georgia), Melisa Fajardo (Dalton, Georgia), and Kate Hendricks (Rock Spring, Georgia.) Another Bobcat crew also grabbing a third place finish at nationals was the college’s Career Pathways team. Beck Maxwell (Euharlee, Georgia), Melvin Mitchell (Cartersville, Georgia), and Dusty Powell (Aragon, Georgia) made up the bronze medal entry from GNTC.

GNTC’s total medal count (7) from the national competition was among the tops from qualifiers in the Peach State. The college, along with other teams from the Technical College System of Georgia, qualified 111 contestants for slots in Louisville. In all, Georgia Technical College entries brought home a total of 53 medals: 24 gold, 12 silver, and 17 bronze. The lofty medal count made Georgia the winningest state in this year’s skills competition.

As for other great performances from the Bobcat contingency, enter Ashley Davenport (Rome, Georgia). Davenport would finish fifth in the nation in the Cosmetology category. Only 37 points out of a possible 1,000 points separated Davenport (952.67) from the top spot. Davenport finished second at the state level of SkillsUSA in March, therefore, she did not originally qualify for a trip to the national competition. However, just one week before the competition, Davenport was told that the state’s winner was unable to take part in nationals and she would be taking the spot.

Also making his presence known was Branton Bailey (Resaca, Georgia). Bailey would take home a top-10 finish claiming eighth place in the nation in Cabinetmaking. Only 67 points out of a possible 1,000 points separated Bailey (921.5) from the title. Both Bailey and Davenport, along with nine others from Georgia Northwestern, earned enough points to qualify for gold medal consideration. Those entrants receive a “Skills Points Certificate” to recognize their high-level of performance. Among those entrants from GNTC were top finishers Fincher, LeVan, Fajardo, and Hendricks; as well as Electrical Construction Wiring entry Eric Vargas (Rome, Georgia); and TeamWorks entry competitors Barry Arrington (Calhoun, Georgia), Bo Dooley (Resaca, Georgia), Shawn Clark (Calhoun, Georgia), and Noah Wilson (Fairmount, Georgia). This is only the college’s second time competing in the TeamWorks category. Last year, the team took home the bronze for the third best performance in the nation in the construction-based classification. Arrington and Dooley made repeat appearances from the 2016 squad.

Additionally, Georgia Northwestern Technical College received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Families and Groups. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States. It recognizes the best in American spirit and encourages all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation. In March, the college chapter was awarded Georgia SkillsUSA’s highest honor, the Chapter of Distinction award. GNTC SkillsUSA Advisor Missy McClain, along with the instructors of the college, helps organize the events and train the contestants for each year’s team beginning every winter.

Winners in each category of the competition take home prize packages that complement their chosen vocation. Fincher took home thousands of dollars in tools and equipment for his first place finish in Louisville. “It’s just a great opportunity for this next generation of skilled worker,” said Scott Carter, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Electrical Systems Technology Instructor. “Our college really performed excellent. But it’s about more than the competition itself. One of our students heard that industry recruiters at this event will sometimes make job offers to specific contestants they would like to hire.  Before the event, the student said he was moving to Bakersfield, California this fall and didn’t want to take any new jobs right now. Then, one company rep approached him during the competition to offer a job. He told the rep he was moving to California soon. The rep asked him if he would be moving anywhere near Bakersfield because that’s where I was going to offer you a job!”
Each year, the National SkillsUSA Competition takes place during the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. Now, in its 53rd year, the competition saw more than 6,000 high school and collegiate qualifiers compete in front of nearly 1,500 judges in more than 100 categories ranging from Advertising Design to Welding and everything in between. SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and educators across the nation.

For details on enrolling at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, or to ask questions about any of the more than 200 programs the college offers on-campus or online, call the college at 866-983-4682. If you are interested in applying to GNTC for fall semester, applications are due by July 24. You can also visit the college at GNTC.edu. Plus, the college’s Student Help Centers can help you with any question you have. Visit a Student Help Center on the Catoosa, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, or Whitfield Murray Campuses Monday through Friday between 7:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

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, 14,151 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,956 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,195 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For additional information, you may also visit GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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