News Release

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


Georgia Piedmont Technical College Names GOAL Award Finalists

Clarkston, GA - December 10, 2012

Ten Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) students have been selected as the school's finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Amanda Taylor-Rodriguez, coordinator for the GPTC's GOAL program.

Chosen as finalists are the following students:

Willie Blair – Welding & Joining Technology
Iyeshu B. Dunnigan – Cosmetology
Leitonya Edwards – Accounting
Tangelia Elder – Business Administrative Technology
Sharonda Lewis – Practical Nursing
Stephanie Love – Human Resources Management
Patrick A. McDaniel – Business Information Systems
Ricardo R. Narvarrette – Automotive Technology
Odelia L. Parsell – Air Conditioning Technology
Patrick Stevens – Marketing Management

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state's technical college students. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state's 25 technical colleges as well as one Board of Regents college with technical education division.

All the college GOAL winners will compete in regional judging, which will include students from the other 26 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia as well as the two Board of Regents colleges with technical education divisions.

GOAL winners from each college will compete in regional judging in February 2013. In April, all college winners will convene in Atlanta, where the nine semi-finalists–three finalists from each of the three regions–will be announced and compete at the state level in April, and one student will be named as the statewide GOAL winner.

"The purpose of the GOAL program is to spotlight the outstanding achievement by students in Georgia's technical colleges and to emphasize the importance of technical education in today's global workforce," said Taylor-Rodriguez, who is also Georgia Piedmont Tech's acting vice president of student affairs.

According to Taylor-Rodriguez, a screening committee of administrators at GPTC selected the 10 finalists from a list of students nominated by the students' instructors. Taylor-Rodriguez was named coordinator of the College's GOAL program last month by the Georgia Piedmont Tech President Dr. Jabari Simama. President Simama simultaneously appointed Dr. Debra Gordon, GPTC's dean of academic support, as coordinator of the school's 2013 Rick Perkins Award–GOAL's "sister" program.

"The next step in our GOAL program is for a panel of business, civic and industry leaders from the community to interview and evaluate these four students and select one to be the college's 2013 GOAL winner," explained Taylor-Rodriguez. "The one judged most outstanding will compete in north regional judging. Three finalists from north region will compete in the state GOAL competition in Atlanta and vie to be named as the 2013 statewide GOAL winner."

The state GOAL winner becomes the student ambassador for the Technical College System of Georgia and receives a grand prize of a new car.

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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.