Christian Johnson, an Industrial Systems and Technology student at Lanier Technical College, has been named as the College’s winner of the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership.
The announcement was made at the College’s GOAL recognition luncheon Wednesday at Gainesville Civic Center.
The Hall County resident was chosen by a panel of local leaders over three other nominees for the award. The runners-up were Rodica Nemes, Forsyth County, Practical Nursing; David Tapia, Hall County, Cosmetology; and Melissa Thornton, Dawson County, Accounting.
GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges as well as one Board of Regents college with a technical education division.
Johnson will now proceed to regional judging. All college GOAL winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Atlanta for two days in April. Nine regional finalists, three finalists from the three regions, will be announced in Atlanta on April 25. A panel of leaders from the business, industry and government sectors will interview them and choose one to be the 2018 state GOAL winner and the recipient of the GOAL medallion.
The grand prize also includes a new car, courtesy of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, the statewide corporate sponsor of the GOAL program.
Johnson said he “was shocked when he heard his name but is excited about representing Lanier Tech.
RICK PERKINS AWARD WINNER
Meanwhile, Damien Anderson, Program Director and Lead Instructor for the Lanier Technical College Automotive Collision Repair Program, has been named the College’s Rick Perkins Award Winner for 2018.
“Damien exemplifies the kind of teacher we pride ourselves in at Lanier Technical College,” President Dr. Ray Perren says. “He not only engages and trains his students in the classroom, but also brings a healthy background of industry knowledge and experience. We know he will make Lanier Tech proud as he moves forward in this competition.”
Anderson joined the Lanier Tech team in 2013.
“I had zero teaching experience,” Anderson says of his time before Lanier Tech, “and there’s no public speaking in an auto shop!” He credits his students over the past four years for helping him learn to become a great teacher worthy of the nomination for this competition. He says he has constantly been asked “why do you teach?” throughout the competitive process, to which he replies, “I teach because I really believe in what we’re doing here.”
The Rick Perkins Award is given annually by the Technical College System of Georgia to the Outstanding Instructor of the Year. Regional competition will be held in March, and from each region in the state, three representatives are sent on to the state competition which will be held in April at the Spring TCSG Leadership Conference.
The other three finalists in the Rick Perkins Award Competition at Lanier Tech this year were: First Runner-Up Annette Baker (Program Director/Instructor for Health Information Management Technology); Vanessa Jones (Dental Hygiene Clinical Coordintor/Instructor) and Dr. Sravanti Kantheti (Program Chair/Instructor for Anatomy and Physiology).