Georgia Northwestern's Bobcat Blog

Get Focused. Get Hired.

GED® Is Ready For You!

Turn knowledge into a GED® diploma. Your future starts here. GED® preparation classes are FREE! Text MyGED to 70700, call 866-983-4682 or visit to learn more and find a testing center near you.

GNTC Police Force Gets New Rides

Georgia Northwestern is proud to unveil the first of the new GNTC Police fleet.

Brandon Neighbors and Leyner Argueta named GNTC’s 2019 GOAL and Rick Perkins Award winners

Automotive Technology student Brandon Neighbors was named Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) 2019 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner and Leyner Argueta, program director of Business Management, was selected as the college’s 2019 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year.

GNTC instructor Leyner Argueta, left, and GNTC student Brandon Neighbors pose for the cameras moments after being named the college’s Rick Perkins Award (top instructor) and GOAL Award (top student) winners, respectively.

The winners were named during a reception at GNTC’s Floyd County Campus in Rome on Friday, Feb. 1. The awards were sponsored by the Rome Floyd Chamber, the Seven Hills Rotary Club of Rome and GNTC.

“Technical education has allowed me to take the first steps toward fulfilling my dream of one day owning my own business,” said Neighbors, a resident of Ringgold. “It is equipping me with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the Automotive Technology field.”

Harley Chastain, a resident of Calhoun who was chosen in December to represent Georgia Northwestern at the EAGLE Leadership Institute, was also recognized during the presentation. The Leadership Institute recognizes and honors those students who have demonstrated superior achievement in Adult Education classes and programs.

Neighbors is a student on the Walker County Campus and was nominated by Troy Peco, assistant dean of Industrial Technologies and director of GNTC’s Automotive Technology program. Peco was the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Instructor of the Year in 2013.

“Brandon is an exceptional student that has a work ethic and passion for learning and his drive and ambition is contagious to other students,” said Peco. “He has always risen to the occasion and has taken the leadership role on group assignments with other students.”

Neighbors was selected from a group of four semi-finalists for his presentation on technical education by a panel of judges representing business, industry and higher education in the northwest Georgia region.

“As a husband and father, I needed to attend a school close to me rather than moving my family to pursue an education,” said Neighbors. “Technical colleges are right in our communities.”

“I wanted a school that can work with my family’s busy schedule, that offers classes day and night, especially at the age of 38 with two children in school,” continued Neighbors.

Neighbors was the director of Youth Ministry at Rock Spring United Methodist Church, 2013-17, and was an Officer in the United States Marine Corps, 2002-10. 

He attended the United States Naval Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in General Engineering in 2002. As a U.S. Marine, Neighbors was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2009 and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in 2010.

Neighbors has served as a volunteer for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) disaster response team, 2010-present; leader for the Hurricane Maria humanitarian relief team in Puerto Rico, 2018; and a participant in the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian relief team in New Orleans, 2006.

“For the past five years, I have spent one to two weeks each summer as a team leader for our church’s mission in Puerto Rico,” said Neighbors.

As the 2019 GOAL Winner for Georgia Northwestern, Neighbors will move to the regional competition and if chosen as a regional winner he will compete at the state level against winners from the other regions of Georgia. A panel of leaders from business, industry, and government will choose the Technical College System of Georgia’s GOAL winner for 2019 and recipient of the GOAL medallion. The 2019 Student of the Year and state GOAL winner will serve as TCSG’s student ambassador during a number of system and college functions throughout the year.

As the grand prize, a new automobile provided by Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia will be awarded to the state GOAL winner.

An instructor at Georgia Northwestern since 2015, Leyner Argueta teaches Management and Supervisory Development on the Whitfield Murray Campus in Dalton. He is a resident of Calhoun and is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

The son of immigrants, Argueta had to overcome many obstacles growing up including being born with only one hand and being diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of 21.

“Every now and then when my life gets tough, I remember the reason for my passion,” said Argueta. “My father always said to me as a child ‘I came to this country to give you a better opportunity,’ an opportunity that he didn’t have.”

From 2010 to present, Argueta has served as the pastor and founder of Faith Moves Church in Calhoun.

Prior to becoming a resident of Georgia, Argueta was a government sales account manager for CDW in Chicago. In this role he oversaw the logistics of all international sales, which included negotiating a multimillion dollar contract with the Department of Education of the Virgin Islands.

He was a senior real estate agent for JMAC Real Estate in Chicago, 2004-07; sales manager for D&K International in Elk Grove, Illinois, 1998-2003; and managing partner of golf manufacturing and distribution for Argado Inc. in Chicago, 1998-2000. 

Argueta earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Management from Dalton State College in 2014 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Shorter University in 2017.

An active member of the community in Calhoun, he has served as vice chair of the Governing Team at Red Bud Middle School, 2014 to present; chairperson for the Board of Directors of Voluntary Action Center, 2010-16; and Governing Counsel at Red Bud Elementary School, 2011-14.

“Just like my father, I see my struggles and challenges as a platform,” said Argueta. “Today I tell my students, just as my father told me, stand on my shoulders I promise you’ll get a better view.”

As GNTC’s Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year, Argueta will compete in the regional competition. If chosen as a regional winner, he will compete at the state level in the competition. A panel of leaders from business, industry and government will choose one instructor to be the 2019 Technical College System of Georgia’s Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

The Rick Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. He or she will make many public appearances throughout the year, including addressing both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly.

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

Wear Red Friday!

High School Freshmen Facing College Choices At Younger Age

Focus on Careers and Education in Catoosa County, Georgia

(Northwest Georgia) – College recruits don’t always drive their cars to campuses they want to visit. In Catoosa County, Georgia, one group of future talent, not old enough drive, traveled by school bus to tour Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) as part of the Catoosa County School System’s Career Exploration program.

“Business owner Jonathan Connell speaks with students from Ringgold High Schools’ Career Exploration program during a visit to Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold, Georgia.”

The brand new program, geared towards high school freshman, is in its pilot year at Ringgold High School. More than two dozen ninth-graders from the program took a first-hand look at GNTC January 23. In addition, if the school system’s plan continues to grow, these underclassmen won’t be the last looking so far into the future, so early in their high school careers.

“In Catoosa County Public Schools, we believe we have a responsibility to help students prepare for college and career,” said Catoosa County Schools Communications Specialist Marissa Brower. “It’s more than just walking across a stage to receive a high school diploma these days. It’s about what happens tomorrow. So, we need to do our part today to make sure students are prepared to continue their post-secondary education or credentialed to enter a career.”

GNTC specialists spoke with the students about their collegiate future during their visit with the region’s largest college. Students learned about recruitment, dual enrollment, and future career possibilities available through a GNTC education. The students also took a tour of some of the GNTC Catoosa County Campus facilities during their visit.

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Electronics Technology Instructor Cody Brewer speaks with students from Ringgold High Schools’ Career Exploration program touring GNTC’s Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold, Georgia.”

“This will be the cornerstone for how we market our College and Career Academy to students,” added Brower. “Students in the From HERE to CAREER exploration class take the YouScience aptitude and interest assessment to identify careers that are a good fit. The pilot will be refined, and this will be a required class for all 9th graders in the fall.” The Catoosa County School system currently works with GNTC through Dual Enrollment. Also, the system will open a College and Career Academy in August 2022. It would be built upon nearly five acres of land donated by the county to the school system in 2018.

“Young people need to begin thinking about professional options earlier in their academic careers,” said GNTC Associate Vice President of Special Projects Dr. Ginger Mathis. “Every student has special skills and abilities that would serve them well in specific fields. This Career Exploration program is a valuable tool that will allow Catoosa County students, at a younger age than usual, to begin considering their strengths and matching them to a potential path in the future. It will also help parents and families to look at things such as dual enrollment which would allow students to get college credit at no cost.”

Local entrepreneur Jonathan Connell spoke with the students and administrators before their tours to share his story about coming from Northwest Georgia and finding a career path that not only suited him, but also made him very successful along the way. “I learned to live on half of my paycheck at a very young age,” Connell told the students. “Doing that, I was able to save enough money to begin my own business and begin my own future.” Connell is a Dade County, Georgia native and United States Marine Corps veteran who has owned multiple businesses throughout the past two decades. After selling most of them, he is currently the owner of MedSTAT Medical Supply Company; Xenon Group, LLC, Real Estate; and JTalks LLC which provides training, education, and motivational speaking services.Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Open Wednesday

Attention: GNTC will resume normal business hours and classes will be as schedule on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

GNTC Closed Tuesday

Shredder will be watching the skies over Northwest Georgia all day long.

Attention: All campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College will be closed Tuesday, January 29, following the directive from Governor Brian Kemp that all state offices will be closed. All day and evening classes, events and activities are canceled. A decision regarding delays or closures for Wednesday will be made Tuesday afternoon. Shredder will be watching the skies throughout the day!

Driver’s Education Registration Now Open!

This course meets the requirements for Joshua’s Law, which requires 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of drive time with a certified instructor to receive a Class D license. It also qualifies for the Teen Driver’s Education insurance discount (Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 33-9-42), which is offered by most companies upon successful completion of the course. The cost of the class is $350.

Driver’s Education at Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Class Date/Time/Location:


March 2, 9, 16, 23, 2019


GNTC – Walker County Campus

265 Bicentennial Trail  Rock Spring, GA 30739

Registration will be held:

Thursday and Friday January 24 -25, 2019  1-3pm

Monday and Tuesday January 28-29, 2019  9-11am and 1-3pm

GNTC – Building 400 Suite 400 – on back of campus

You will need to bring…

A copy of your child’s Class C Instructional Permit (CP) License. (Temporary paper copies are accepted to sign-up for the class – the hard laminated license must be provided as soon as it is received.) A copy of your child’s social security card.

At registration you will complete an application and sign a waiver and contract stating you

agree to the terms of the program. Behind-the-Wheel (BTW) training will start prior to the

first classroom meeting. You must sign your student up for drive time at the time of


Drive Times:

 Monday-Friday, 4pm–6pm, 6pm–8pm, and 8pm–10pm

Thanksgiving Week, after class, 4:30-6:30, 6:30-8:30, 8:30-10:30

 Saturday and Sunday, 8am–10am, 10am–12noon, 12noon–2pm, 2pm–4pm,

4pm–6pm, 6pm–8pm, and 8pm–10pm

Classes are offered on a first come first served basis.

Classes are limited to 30 students.

Continuing Education, 706-764-3591

Shorter Classes, Registration Begins Today

Registration is now OPEN for Spring 2019’s “B Term!”Last day to register is February 22.Classes begin March 4.



Powered by

Up ↑