Pictured left to right: TCSG Deputy Commissioner Matt Arthur, TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, SRTC Distance Education Specialist Katie Harrison, and TCSG Assistant Commissioner for Adult Education Beverly Smith
ATLANTA – The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) recognized the most outstanding GED graduates of the year at its annual Fall Adult Education Conference awards luncheon on Sept. 29. Four students secured the state’s three highest awards for GED achievement. Numerous educators, volunteers and academic institutions were also honored during the conference, which featured a keynote address by Randy Trask, president and CEO of the GED Testing Service.
The GED Graduate Outstanding Achievement Award honors a GED graduate who has made outstanding contributions within their community. This year, the state recognized two community leaders for their remarkable service to Georgia: Sheknita Smith-Davis of Macon and Guillermo Hernandez of Savannah.
Smith-Davis dropped out of high school in the 10th grade after becoming a parent at the age of 15, but made the life-changing decision to pursue a GED, which she achieved at age 22. She later graduated from Mercer University as the first and only Georgian to be selected for a fellowship with the Aspen Institute-Sector Skills Academy. She continues to serve her community in a variety of positions that provide resources for employment opportunities to her fellow Macon citizens, including as a member of the Mayor’s Champion Council and as the Director of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission’s Workforce Development.
Fellow GED Graduate Outstanding Achievement Award winner Guillermo Hernandez obtained his GED diploma in 2011 before transitioning to Savannah Technical College to achieve his barbering diploma two years later. In 2014, he was appointed to the adjunct teaching position within the barbering department at the college, after volunteering to help current students. In addition to his adjunct position, Hernandez works in a barbershop in Pooler. He also participates in a multitude of service projects for his Savannah community, which includes providing free haircuts for students and senior citizens.
Ruby Wilson, a 60-year-old graduate from Moultrie, was recognized as the Golden GED Graduate of the Year, with more than 380 hours of instruction at Southern Regional Technical College. She earned her GED diploma in October 2014, personifying the fact that education can transcend age.
The Highest Overall GED Test Scores were achieved by Jonathan Hopkins, who attended class and tested at Lanier Technical College. He earned a total score of 755 out of a possible 800 points, with a perfect score on the Mathematical Reasoning Test.
The 2015 Fall Adult Education Conference also recognized excellence in adult education for overall achievement, postsecondary transition, citizenship obtainment, testing centers and advocacy awards, among others.
Southern Regional Technical College was also honored for having the largest number of GED® completers for fiscal year 2015 among centers serving 25-200 test-takers. The award was accepted by SRTC Distance Education Specialist and Chief Pearson Vue Test Administrator Katie Harrison.
“We are incredibly proud of all our graduates, but especially Mrs. Wilson who has completed nearly 400 hours of instruction. Receiving the Testing Center Award is a testament to the hard work of our teachers and administrators as we work together to achieve our goal of a fully literate Georgia,” commented Dale Aldridge, Executive Director of Adult Education at Southern Regional Technical College.
The annual conference is a two-day event that brings together nearly 500 adult education and GED testing professionals, practitioners, administrators, supporters, business and community leaders, volunteers and literacy ambassadors from all over Georgia. The event highlights yearly achievements for adult education and provides further scholastic opportunities for attendees with workshops, luncheons and speakers.
SRTC offers over 155 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to www.southernregional.edu.
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