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GNTC’s Skates Wins Liberty Bell Award

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Dr. Patricia Skates, center, shortly after being award the 2015 Liberty Bell Award in Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 1. Nominating Skates for the award was Judge Clarence Shattuck, left, and attorney Sam
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Dr. Patricia Skates, center, shortly after being award the 2015 Liberty Bell Award in Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 1. Nominating Skates for the award was Judge Clarence Shattuck, left, and attorney Sam

Community Service Honor For Long-Time Educator


(Northwest Georgia) – For more than 25 years, Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Dr. Patricia Skates has been a pro-active voice in the drive for quality education in the Tennessee Valley. In a May 1 ceremony, the Chattanooga Bar Association awarded Skates the Liberty Bell Award for public service, the highest honor the association awards each year.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive the award,” said Skates. “It was a total surprise. Words cannot begin to convey my thanks to those involved in this process.” According to the Chattanooga Bar Association, the group accepts nominations every year for the Liberty Bell Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize community service that has strengthened the American system of freedom under law.

Skates, who holds many titles across the Tennessee Valley, serves as a Career Transition Specialist at Georgia Northwestern (GNTC). In her position with GNTC, she helps students do everything it takes to get into college successfully. From helping students do testing to finding the resources needed to do well once they are in the classroom, Skates is dedicated to the future.

When trying to determine what a high-school student may wish to consider as a career path in the future, teachers and counselors often pose the question, “If you didn’t need to earn money, what job would you like to do?” It’s a question that sets up the respondent to really look at where their interests lie. “If you love what you do as a job, then it will never be a job,” said Skates.

After teaching teenagers for more than 27 years, Skates says her line of work is always full of surprises. “After all these years in education, I still ‘reap’ those surprises,” said Skates. “The job I have at Georgia Northwestern is basically what I did in the classroom each and every day of my career; encouraging students to get a head start on their professional lives. Working with all the high schools has just moved it up a couple of notches.”

Of the more than 50 people who have earned this honor through the past six decades, the Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee resident is truly among those deserving of the honor. Beyond teaching in the high schools of Georgia and Tennessee for during the past four decades, Skates has served on 15 different professional or civic associations. Whether it be a group dedicated to education, or a project to register young voters in our region, Skates has tirelessly served the Greater Chattanooga area most of her adult life.

The current Vice-Mayor of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee first worked for the City of Chattanooga Police Department in 1979 as a dispatcher and major crimes transcriber. Since her first days in public service, Skates has won dozens of honors. Among those accolades are four different Teacher of the Year awards.

“To be rewarded for what I love doing is icing on the cake,” said Skates about the May 1 event. “I even got surprised by a former student who attended the ceremony. She had made the decision to become a lawyer and said that a mock trial I once sponsored was the push for her to go into law practice.”

Skates is a graduate of the University of Chattanooga and Trevecca Nazarene University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master’s of Education Administration, and a Doctorate of Education. Skates retired from the Hamilton County (TN) Board of Education in 2010. She then went into Georgia to teach at Ridgeland High School in Walker County. The 60-year-old educator has visited 39 countries in her travels around the globe.

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities.  Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC.  This past year, 14,562 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,249 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,313 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

Georgia Northwestern Honors Basic Law Enforcement Graduates

Rome’s Crosby Named Top Gun, Top Graduate

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(Calhoun, Georgia) – Rome, Georgia’s Tyler Crosby received Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) “Top Gun” and top student awards at GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony November 20.

GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger recognized Crosby as the top student by awarding him the program’s Academic Award. Crosby also received the “Top Gun” Award which recognizes excellence in marksmanship amongst his peers.

Justin Bohannon, Crosby, Amethyst Dunn, Patrick Dupree, Aaron Grant, Alejandro Hernandez, Wesley Holland, Luis Otalora Murcia, and Johnny Peterson were the nine recruits who made it through the duration of the academy’s program held on the Gordon County Campus of GNTC in Calhoun, Georgia.

Rep. Trey Kelly (R-Cedartown), an attorney with the Parker and Lundy Law Firm in Cedartown, Georgia, was the ceremony’s guest speaker. Kelly began his public office service with the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012.

Recruits receive training in everything from criminal investigation to firearms to ethics and liability issues. For more information on the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, call (706) 378-1728. You can also e-mail the program’s director at jpledger@gntc.edu.

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.

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Basic Law Enforcement honored their most recent class of graduates on November 20. Shown, from left, are GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Administrative Assistant Delores McClellan, GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger, Amethyst Dunn, Aaron Grant, Luis Otalora-Murcia, Alejandro Hernandez, Tyler Crosby, John Peterson, Patrick Dupree, Keith Holland, GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Class Coordinator Jonathan Parker, Alex Bohannon, and Calhoun Police Department Detective Sergeant Tom Petty.”
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Basic Law Enforcement honored their most recent class of graduates on November 20. Shown, from left, are GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Administrative Assistant Delores McClellan, GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger, Amethyst Dunn, Aaron Grant, Luis Otalora-Murcia, Alejandro Hernandez, Tyler Crosby, John Peterson, Patrick Dupree, Keith Holland, GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Class Coordinator Jonathan Parker, Alex Bohannon, and Calhoun Police Department Detective Sergeant Tom Petty.”

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Grads Finding Careers

 Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Back row (from left to right) Robert T. White, Joshua  W. VanDyke, Tisha M. Owens, James D. Holland, and Robin W. Graham. Front Row (from left to right) James T. Davis, Matthew F. Cowan, Matthew B. Byars, and Marcus J. Alford

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Back row (from left to right) Robert T. White, Joshua W. VanDyke, Tisha M. Owens, James D. Holland, and Robin W. Graham. Front Row (from left to right) James T. Davis, Matthew F. Cowan, Matthew B. Byars, and Marcus J. Alford

 

 

(Calhoun, GA) – On July 3, friends and family gathered at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor the students graduating from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy and now, less than two months later, every graduate of that training class is working in law enforcement.

 

“One-hundred percent of our graduates finding employment this quickly is a sign that we are producing quality officers,” said Tom Bojo, Gordon County Campus Manager at GNTC. “Local police chiefs and sheriffs are now depending on our graduates to fill their vacancies as quickly and professionally as possible.”

 

The graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are employed with police departments, sheriff offices, and in security. Some of the graduates had already secured employment before they crossed the stage in July.

 

“I am pleased that our students are taking their education and training seriously and are being sought after both locally and outside the GNTC service area,” said Jim Pledger, director of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC.

 

The Basic Law Enforcement certificate program provides students with the necessary skills, standards, and knowledge in order to become qualified, proficiently trained, ethical and competent peace officers in criminal justice careers. Successful completion of the program will make the student eligible to be certified as a Georgia Peace Officer.

 

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Marcus J. Alford, Matthew B. Byars, Matthew F. Cowan, James T. Davis, Robin W. Graham, James D. Holland, Tisha M. Owens, Joshua W. VanDyke, and Robert T. White.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College 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. 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.

GNTC Law Enforcement Graduation

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Back Row (from left to right) Robert T. White, Joshua  W. VanDyke, Tisha M. Owens, James D. Holland, and Robin W. Graham. Front Row (from left to right) James T. Davis, Matthew F. Cowan, Matthew B. Byars, and Marcus J. Alford.
Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Back Row (from left to right) Robert T. White, Joshua W. VanDyke, Tisha M. Owens, James D. Holland, and Robin W. Graham. Front Row (from left to right) James T. Davis, Matthew F. Cowan, Matthew B. Byars, and Marcus J. Alford.

(Calhoun, GA) – On Thursday, July 3, friends and family gathered at the Conference Center located at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor the students graduating from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.

During the ceremony, nine law enforcement officers graduated from the program. Advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, and fellow law enforcement officers from the Northwest Georgia region also were in attendance at the ceremony.

The keynote speaker was Kenneth A. Vance, executive director of Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Vance also has served as the director of Public Safety at Georgia College and State University, as councilman for the city of Milledgeville, as a deputy sheriff for Baldwin County, and as a police officer for the Monroe Police Department.

“You have a duty to protect and serve, that is your responsibility now,” said Vance. “It is obvious to me that you got this far because you care and I think you will be successful in the future because of that fundamental value.”

Vance also has been active in numerous civic and professional groups including serving as chairman and vice-chairman of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, chairman of the State of Georgia Municipal Training Institute, and has served on the board of directors for the Georgia Municipal Association.

Robert White was the student speaker for the ceremony. White said that he developed a special bond with his fellow graduates during training.

“Twenty-one weeks ago me and these guys came together in a classroom as strangers,” said White. “Today I will leave looking at these guys as my brothers and sisters.”

Marcus J. Alford was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship. Alford also received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Marcus J. Alford, Matthew B. Byars, Matthew F. Cowan, James T. Davis, Robin W. Graham, James D. Holland, Tisha M. Owens, Joshua W. VanDyke, and Robert T. White.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College 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. 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.

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY GRADUATION

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY GRADUATION (CLASS #201401) Date: Thursday, July 3, 2014 Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: The Conference Center on GNTC’s Gordon County Campus
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY GRADUATION (CLASS #201401)
Date: Thursday, July 3, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: The Conference Center on GNTC’s Gordon County Campus

Date: Thursday, July 3, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: The Conference Center on GNTC’s Gordon County Campus
Nine Basic Law Enforcement recruits will graduate from Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) on Thursday, July 3. The ceremony will be held in the Conference Center on GNTC’s Gordon County Campus at 11:00 a.m.

The guest speaker at the ceremony will be Kenneth A. Vance, executive director of Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Vance also has served as the director of Public Safety at Georgia College and State University, as councilman for the city of Milledgeville, as a deputy sheriff for Baldwin County, and as a police officer for the Monroe Police Department. Vance also has been active in numerous civic and professional groups including serving as chairman and vice-chairman of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, chairman of the State of Georgia Municipal Training Institute, and has served on the board of directors for the Georgia Municipal Association.

The ceremony will honor a graduate with an award for academic distinction and the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship.

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Marcus J. Alford, Matthew B. Byars, Matthew F. Cowan, James T. Davis, Robin W. Graham, James D. Holland, Tisha M. Owens, Joshua W. VanDyke, and Robert T. White.

GNTC Graduates Law Enforcement Students

Nine Basic Law Enforcement recruits will graduate from Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.  The ceremony will be held in the Conference Center in Building 400 at GNTC’s Gordon County Campus.

 The speaker at the ceremony will be Lt. Jeffery Scott Ford, Training Officer for the Polk County Police Department and GNTC Night Academy Coordinator.

 The ceremony will honor a graduate with an award for academic distinction and the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship.

 

Basic Law Enforcement Graduates:

Brandon C. Broome

Charles A. Bufford

Matthew T. Monica

Randy F. Pyles

John R. Stein

Courtney L. Taylor

Javier Villalobos-Olmedo

Dustin W. Wade

Dustin L. Willingham

The Ins and Outs of Basic Law Enforcement Training at GNTC’s BLE Academy!

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY GRADUATION

GEORGIA NORTHWESTERN TECHNICAL COLLEGE
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY GRADUATION
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Raymond F. King Auditorium
on GNTC’s Gordon County Campus

Sixteen Basic Law Enforcement recruits will graduate from Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) on Thursday, December 8. The ceremony will be held in the Raymond F. King Auditorium at GNTC’s Gordon County Campus at 11:00 a.m. The guest speaker at the ceremony will be Dr. Craig McDaniel, president of Georgia Northwestern Technical College. McDaniel has served as president of GNTC since April 1, 1998 and has been employed with the college since 1979. McDaniel has been involved in a number of community and civic activities including: member of Rome Rotary Club, having served as president in 2009; served as chairman of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce in 2002; member of the Redmond Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, having chaired the Board from 2005-2008; and is a 2009 recipient of the Heart of the Community Award.

The ceremony will honor one graduate with an award for academic distinction and the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship.

Basic Law Enforcement Graduates:
Justin S. Ashworth Matthew A. Howren
Cole D. Autrey Thomas I. Morris
Tyler J. Bojo Fernando V. Olmedo
Dallas L. Bryant Blake D. Scheff
James R. ‘Jamie’ Dukes, Jr. Danny K. Streetman
Wendell E. Flood Lorenda D. Vandergriff
Richard A. Greaves Gregory J. Webb
Derick M. Grimes Dylan D. Hodges

GNTC Celebrates New Law Enforcement Academy Graduates

On May 25, friends and family gathered at the auditorium located on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Gordon County Campus to honor the students graduating from the Basic Law Enforcement Day Academy.

During the ceremony, 16 law enforcement officers graduated after completing the 19 week course.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Barbara Massey Reece, state representative for Chattooga and Floyd Counties.

Reece began the ceremony by saying a special thank you to Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, GNTC, and the graduates for inviting her to be part of the ceremony that is a milestone in the life of the graduates.

Reece then shared an article that she had read with the students discussing recent statistics and the direction students were going in their careers. “Most students wanted to go the business route where they could make a lot of money,” said Reece. “But you chose to serve your community and I am glad that you are going to be part of that public service.”

According to another article Reece read, every government should consider public safety the number one priority and she agrees. “If the citizens are not safe in their own home, everything else is meaningless,” commented Reece. “As you pursue your duties as peace officer, and I emphasize the word peace, I challenge you to be the best that you can be, to do what is fair and right, to gain respect from the community, and to be the kind of officer that a little child can look up to.”

Reece encouraged the graduates to continue their education and better their skills. She wished them success in their journey and congratulated them for their accomplishments.

In closing, she left them with an Irish blessing. “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rain fall softly all around you. Congratulations and God speed.”

The student speaker for the ceremony was Dustin E. Stroup. Stroup joked with the crowd as he shared the ups and downs the class faced together. “We’ve been up the hill then back down the hill and told to do it again. We’ve been up in pushups then down in pushups and told to do it again. But this has been a great program,” said Stroup. “I could have chosen to attend other colleges but I decided to come here. Not only did we get our basic mandate, we received a college education which in today’s economy takes you further than anything else you can obtain.”

Stroup then addressed his fellow graduates by saying, “I’m proud to say these are my brothers sitting here with me. If you ever need me, you have my number and I will be there to back you up.”

The students presented a plaque to GNTC with a group picture of the graduating class.

Two graduates were recognized during the ceremony. The first award presented was the Academic Award, an honor presented to the student with the highest average. The award was given to Dustin E. Stroup. The second award presented was the Top Gun Award, an honor given to the student with the highest score on the firing range. The award was given to Stephen C. Murphy, who set a school record by scoring a perfect 300.

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