2018 Southeastern Technical College GOAL and Rick Perkins Award of Excellence Winners Announced
February 13, 2018 – Southeastern Technical College (STC) held its annual awards ceremony on Jan. 23 in STC's Tattnall Auditorium. School administrators announced the recipients of the Rick Perkins Award of Excellence in Technical Instruction and the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL).
Noelia Santana, a Dental Hygiene student from Reidsville, won the 2018 GOAL for Southeastern Tech.
Santana is a first-generation student, and a graduate of Tattnall County High School. Her parents immigrated to the country 20 years ago and worked every day so that Santana and her older sister could attend school. Her father encouraged her to put all her energy into school so she would not have to "suffer in the sun like us."
"They instilled values in us that I will always carry with me: work hard, value your education, if you fall down eight times, get up nine times. And be thankful," Santana said.
Santana admitted that she was scared and overwhelmed at the thought of a college career. Most of her family only had a middle grades education and very few a high school degree. However, her older sister, a nursing student at STC, encouraged her to meet with Jennifer Gramiak, Director and Instructor of the Dental Hygiene program to learn more about it. After the meeting, Santana was sold on STC and a career in Dental Hygiene.
"Being enrolled in such a prestigious program provides me with cutting edge, hands-on training as well as individualized instruction to ensure that I reach my highest potential. I know this is my calling, and I'm thankful for this opportunity to fulfill my calling through Southeastern Technical College," Santana said.
Other nominees honored this year were Christy Edge in Welding and Joining Technology, Kourtney Gay in Business Management, Tracer Gould in Associate of Science in Nursing, Lori Harrelson in Dental Hygiene, LaToya Jackson in Business Healthcare Technology, Callie Johnson in Dental Hygiene, Jennifer Jones in Associate of Science in Nursing, Sydney Rhoney in Dental Hygiene, Regina Stewart in Dental Hygiene, Joyce Stockdale in Healthcare Management, and Jason Wilcox in Associate of Science in Nursing.
Santana will now proceed to regional judging. All college GOAL winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to Atlanta for two days in April. Nine regional finalists, three from each of the three regions, will be announced in April. 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.
Pete Frost, English Instructor from the Vidalia campus, won the Rick Perkins Award of Excellence in Technical Instruction. She has taught at STC for nearly 20 years.
"I am very humble and very honored," Frost said. "The people I come in contact with on a regular basis in this community are more often than not people I have taught at Southeastern Tech. These people draw my blood, fix my car, work on my air conditioner, clean my teeth, wired the room I recently added on to my house, work on my taxes, and they may or may not color my hair.
They do what others cannot. They are specially trained. They not only perform their jobs well and professionally, they're good to their clients and they give back to their communities. And they're not stopping."
Frost will now compete against the winners from other technical colleges in the region. Each region will select three finalists, whose names will be announced in April at the annual Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership and Rick Perkins Award conference. Those finalists will participate in an additional round of competition before the state Rick Perkins Award winner is named. The state winner will be announced on the evening of the closing banquet of the conference and will be awarded a $1,000 first prize.
The State Rick Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. They will make many public appearances throughout the year, including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor, and the TCSG State Board, as well as civic organizations, schools, and similar groups.
For more information on Southeastern Technical College, call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200 or visit www.southeasterntech.edu.
Photo (L to R): STC’s GOAL winner Noelia Santana, STC President Larry Calhoun, and Rick Perkins Award winner Pete Frost