News Release

For media information, contact:
Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


Georgia Piedmont Wins Big at Statewide Student Competition

DeKalb County - April 17, 2017

Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is pleased to announce 13 students won medallions during the 2017 Statewide SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference, April 23-25, 2017.  Georgia Piedmont students participated in over 14 competitions and earned gold, silver and bronze medals in 6 of them.  In the Motorcycle Technology competition, Georgia Piedmont students swept the category, winning gold, silver and bronze. The statewide competition serves as a forum for technical college students to exhibit the technical expertise they have gained through their coursework.

 “Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s success at the statewide SkillsUSA Conference is to be commended. It illustrates not only the commitment that students have to learning their craft, but also the faculty’s commitment to providing quality instruction that leads to excellence at our college,” said Dr. Jabari Simama, President, Georgia Piedmont Technical College.  “I’m proud of all the students who participated, and I’m confident those who are advancing to the national contest this summer will represent the college and the state well,” stated Dr. Simama.      

The 2017 SkillsUSA Statewide Leadership and Skills Conference showcases students’ skills during hands-on competitions in the following areas:  leadership development; occupational-related; skilled; and technical science.  All Gold Medal recipients will represent the State of Georgia during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, June 19-23, 2017, in Louisville, Kentucky.  

Christine Harden Hamilton, Georgia Piedmont’s SkillsUSA Lead Advisor, was delighted with how well their students fared in this year’s contest.  “I always tell our students excellence is a standard - not a hobby,” she said.

GOLD Award Winners:
Career Pathways, Human Services: Jacquelyn Durgan, Montanna Marts, Adreinne Thompson
Motorcycle Service Technology: Octavius Terrell
Practical Nursing: Crystal Wright

SILVER Award Winners:
Architectural Drafting: Emeraude Amedegnato
Job Skills Demonstration Open: Sydnee Jordan
Motorcycle Service Technology: David Payne
Occupational Health and Safety- Multiple: Essence Jones, Michael O’Neal, Nikeion Wynn

BRONZE Award Winners:
Early Childhood Education: LaTasha Rankine
Motorcycle Service Technology: Joshua McLain

About SkillsUSA:
SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training. SkillsUSA enhances the lives and careers of students, instructors and industry representatives as they strive to be champions at work.  More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 18,000 sections and 52 state and territorial associations. In 2015, more than 17,000 teachers and school administrators served as professional SkillsUSA members and advisors.  SkillsUSA has served more than 11.9 million members since its founding in 1965.

Front row L-R: LaTasha Rankine, Adreinne Thompson, Ebony Whitehead, Jacquelyn Durgan
Second row L-R: Nikeion Wynn, Michael O’Neal, Essence Jones, Crystal Wright, Sonja Felton,
Third row L-R Joshua McLain, David Payne, Octavius Terrell

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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.