News Release

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Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


GPTC Announces GOAL and Rick Perkins Award Winners

DeKalb County - February 17, 2016

LaShonda Jenkins
LaShonda Jenkins
Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is pleased to announce the recipients of two prestigious college competitions.  LaShonda Jenkins, an accounting student, has been selected as the college’s 2016 GOAL Award winnerAndrea Strommen, an automotive technology instructor, has been named the 2016 Instructor of the YearThe Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) is a statewide program administered by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). It honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. 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.

“LaShonda Jenkins and Andrea Strommen exemplify the educational excellence that can be found at Georgia Piedmont,” stated Dr. Jabari Simama, President, Georgia Piedmont Technical College. “We wish them the best, and we know these two outstanding individuals will represent the college well in their regional and state competitions.”

Andrea Strommen
Andrea Strommen
The Rick Perkins Award (RPA) honors the Technical College System of Georgia’s most outstanding instructors. The award has been an ongoing statewide event since 1991 and is designed to recognize technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.  Both Jenkins and Strommen will automatically advance to the regional judging competitions scheduled March 1, 2016. The regional finalists will then compete at the state level.  

Originally from Screven, Georgia, LaShonda has resided in the Metro Atlanta area for the past 20 years. Not only is she a GPTC student, but her children are as well.  Her son is pursuing his associate’s degree in computer programming.  Her daughter, although not currently enrolled, has taken classes at Georgia Piedmont and plans to return next semester.

LaShonda Jenkins is a billing specialist and plans to someday work in a corporate accounting department.  She ultimately wants to become a certified professional accountant, with the goal of opening her own firm. 

Andrea Strommen has been an instructor at Georgia Piedmont Technical College for almost five years.  Her primary objective in teaching automotive technology is to affirm the notion that women can succeed in non-traditional fields.  “I am proud to be a catalyst to help students reach their potential,” Strommen said.  “I’ve witnessed the positive impact of technical education on people’s lives, both as a student and as an instructor.  I am a product of, and an instrument for, technical education,” she concluded.  

Finalists for GOAL and Rick Perkins competitions are interviewed by a panel of judges representing business, civic and higher education organizations in Georgia. The selection criteria includes community involvement; commitment to the college and the mission of TCSG; and regarding the RPA - teaching experience and use of innovative learning techniques.

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.