Lanier Technical College names 2024 Student and Instructor of the Year

By AccessWDUN Staff
Posted 2:01PM on Monday 20th November 2023 ( 7 months ago )

Lanier Technical College in Gainesville recently announced its 2024 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership Student of the Year and Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year.

A release from Lanier Tech said the awards are given based on leadership, academic excellence, belief in technical education and a passion for entering the workforce or for workforce development.

Jennifer Perez-Bacilio, who is enrolled in the Construction Management program, was named Lanier Tech's GOAL Student of the Year.

GOAL is a statewide program for all of the Technical College System of Georgia's 22 colleges. It honors excellence in academics and leadership among their fellow cohort. Perez-Bacilio was nominated by Lanier Tech Instructor Rushia Cooper for her leadership, decorum and dedication to her studies.

“I was extremely honored to have won Lanier Technical College’s 2024 GOAL competition," Perez-Bacilio said. "After hearing such amazing stories from my peers, I have learned from each one how determination and discipline have influenced their lives. I am grateful for the opportunity to tell my story as a first-generation Mexican American. It is my hope that my story gives inspiration to others like me, whether they are children of immigrants, women in construction or even a student that has made mistakes in the past,” 

Kerry Caron, an instructor in Lanier Tech's Nurse Aide Program, was named the 2024 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year. The award is part of a statewide program within TCSG's 22 colleges that aims to showcase outstanding instructors. 

Caron was nominated by one of her students, who said: “She is an exceptional instructor that shows care, empathy, and enthusiasm about the healthcare field. She is also top-notch and works diligently to be sure all of her students graduate the program with the skills they need to be successful.” 

Caron has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southern Connecticut State University. She also has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University. She holds over two decades of healthcare experience, with the last 10+ years within education institutions in Georgia. 

“I was truly shocked to hear that I had been selected to be Lanier Tech’s Instructor of the Year," Caron said. "As an instructor, I am a student's first interface with the health care field. I do my best each and every class to bring enthusiasm and energy and hope it’s contagious. I love making real-world connections to what they’re learning. I love teaching in a hands-on practical way using a variety of methods to reach every learner. I tell the students that I will always believe in you- even when you don’t. My career-driven optimism stems from visualizing these students being successful in their chosen career field.” 

Perez-Bacilio and Caron will compete against other regional technical colleges. Following the regional competition, winning students and instructors will compete for the title of TCSG’s Overall GOAL Student of the Year and Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year. The final competition will be held in Atlanta in April 2024

From left to right: Kerry Caron (Lanier Tech's 2024 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year), Jennifer Perez-Bacilio (Lanier Tech's 2024 GOAL Student of the Year), Lanier Tech President Tim McDonald.

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