Georgia Northwestern's Bobcat Blog

Get Focused. Get Hired.



GNTC Child Care Scholar To Represent Region at State Conference

Early Childhood Care and Education Student Grabs Attention

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College student Amy McKinnie will represent the region at the Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children Conference being held next month in Alpharetta, Georgia.”

 (Northwest Georgia) – Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) student Amy McKinnie will represent the college at the Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children (GAEYC) Annual Conference October 5-6. McKinnie is an Early Childhood Care and Education major at GNTC.
The Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia resident will serve as an ambassador for the collegiate program. “I won’t be giving a speech, really,” said McKinnie. “I’ll be sharing my story with others and just how this choice has helped my life.” McKinnie has been a part of the DECAL Scholars program since her enrollment at Georgia Northwestern. The program is designed to help provide scholarships and assistance to students choosing the Early Childhood Care and Education field.


“I first heard about the program at work and it has allowed me to pursue college at my own pace while also supplementing my income,” said McKinnie. “I needed to take time off work to go to school and the scholarship program assisted me so that was possible.”


Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, McKinnie relocated to Northwest Georgia in 2012. The 32-year old mother of one has been working childcare for the past four years with Noah’s Ark Christian Learning Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. In addition, with a child in pre-school herself, McKinnie finds a real passion in working in the field. Her four-year-old, Calleigh, attends a North Georgia Pre-K program.


In July 2017, McKinnie was asked to be an Assistant in a Georgia Pre-K program. “It was a salary position and I have been in that same position ever since,” said McKinnie. “Noah’s Ark Christian Learning Center has been such a blessing.” Due in part to her willingness to help her co-workers, as well as keeping up with the DECAL Scholars program, she was invited to be an ambassador at this year’s GAEYC conference. The event is being held at Gwinnett Technical College in Alpharetta, Georgia.


“I originally studied Psychology when I lived in California,” said McKinnie. “When I moved to Georgia, I needed a job and working at a school came so naturally. My mother has been a teacher as long as I have been alive and I believe it’s in my blood! I began classes and I have never had such good grades in my life! It really feels like a good fit.”


A student of Georgia Northwestern Technical College instructors Tracy Wimberley and Susan Kendrick in the college’s Childhood Care and Education program, McKinnie says they have both been important in her career path. “Both of them have been instrumental in my success as a student,” said McKinnie. “They are both the sweetest people and so kind and helpful. I have called them both when I have been overwhelmed by life and unsure of what to do with my education, and they guide me to the best options.”


McKinnie will soon complete her diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education. She is also pursuing her Associate’s Degree in the same program offered at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. She is newly married to her husband, Marcus. “He’s very supportive of my career and our daughter.”


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.

Happy Birthday To Head Start at WCC, Leaders Stop In To Read To Classes

(Walker County, Georgia) – The Head Start program located on the property of the Walker County Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College celebrated a birthday this week.

On Thursday, local government leaders came into the classrooms to read to the students of the Walker County Head Start program in Rock Spring, Georgia. The event was organized in recognition of the 52nd birthday of the National Head Start Association (NHSA).

Judge Christy Anderson
Walker County, Georgia Probate Judge Christy Anderson, sitting in the chair, along with Walker County Head Start teachers, sitting from left, Leslie Kendrick and Ashton Flick, and teacher peer trainee Georgia Tucker sit with the students as they listen to a story.

Walker County, GA Sheriff Steve Wilson, Walker County Magistrate Judge Shelia Thompson, and Walker County Probate Judge Christy Anderson took time out of their schedules this past Thursday to visit the facility. Wilson read to the children in the two and three-year-old room, Thompson read to the children in the three to five-year-old room. Anderson shared with the children in the six weeks to two-year-old room.

The NHSA serves more than 1,000,000 children by way of 200,000 staffers and 1,600 various organizations and people who award grants to the program to help keep the opportunities available to the nation’s children.

The NHSA is a not-for-profit group created to help give all children in the United States, regardless of circumstances, the ability to do well in school and life.

Early Childhood Gets “Wiggled”

Each Spring, as part of the Polk Campus ECCE 1113 Creative Activities class, students stage some form of musical presentation to local daycares. In the past, students have performed Disney’s “Little Mermaid-Kiss the Girl,” last year’s presentation of “Snow White’s-Heigh Ho” to local preschooler’s, and they even flash mobbed other GNTC students in the main lobby to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” This year’s presentation, “Wiggle with the Wiggles,” was presented to a local daycare, Creative Kids Learning Center. Children were served popcorn and invited to watch and dance along to several Wiggles songs. They were provided with a program and a Wiggles activity pack.

Childcare Advocates, Administrators On Hand For Huge NW Georgia Announcement

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


(Whitfield County, Georgia) – The next generation of Northwest Georgia students and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) will benefit from a 1.2 million dollar gift headed their way. The State of Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning officially awarded the Early Education Empowerment Zone initiative grant in a ceremony October 3 to benefit the children of Catoosa, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield counties.

The announcement officially came from the department, also known as “Bright From The Start,” at a Dalton, Georgia event this past week. The grant will help build up the care and education programs in the Peach State, “…reducing the achievement gap for our most vulnerable children,” said State of Georgia Interim Commissioner Amy Jacobs in a recent media release.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College Director of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Susan Kendrick spent time with the visiting grant committee earlier this year and shared the factors behind the need for assistance in Northwest Georgia. “This will enable surrounding day cares, Head Start programs, and Pre-Kindergarten classes to hire additional child care teachers and assistant teachers,” said Kendrick.

With this new increased need for qualified professionals in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education, Georgia Northwestern will play a central role in developing those new specialists. Among the programs which are expected to see growth as a result are the Early Childhood Care and Education Associate Degree and Diploma programs, the Early Childhood Exceptionalities Certification, the Program Administration Certification, the Family Childcare Specialist Certification, the Infant/Toddler Child Care Specialist Certification, and the Childhood Development Specialist Certification programs.

Suzanne Harbin, Coordinator of the Whitfield Family Connection in Dalton, Georgia played a role locally in making the grant become a reality. “The collaboration and commitment to children and families in our community by everyone involved was outstanding,” said Harbin of the grant proposal process. “The cooperative spirit between agencies, businesses, and other interested entities throughout our community was quite evident during this process.”

The program will be implemented over the next 36 months. The new Bright From The Start initiative is designed specifically to help children from birth to eight years of age, as well as their families. Among the programs this state department oversees are Georgia’s Pre-K Program, all center-based and home-based child care facilities, and the state’s Head Start Program.

For those interested in training in the child care and education field to prepare for Northwest Georgia’s newest career opportunities, early registration for Georgia Northwestern is the week of October 13-17. The application and testing deadline is November 25, and final registration takes place on December 9. On-campus and online classes for spring semester at GNTC begin January 5, 2015.

Approximately 16,000 people benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making it the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in Georgia. Georgia Northwestern offers classes on-campus or online throughout the year. GNTC serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties.

Powered by

Up ↑