News Release

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


GPTC Announces GOAL/Rick Perkins Award Winners
Stephanie Love Selected as GOAL Winner / Maria Johnson is Rick Perkins Winner

Clarkston, GA - January 31, 2013

Stephanie LoveStephanie Love

Maria JohnsonMaria Johnson

Each year Georgia Piedmont Technical College selects its student of the year and faculty of the year. The rigorous selection process resulted in the selection of two people that will represent the college in various formats within the next year. Stephanie Love, a human resources management student at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), of Tucker GA. has been named as the College's winner of the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL). Maria Johnson, a general studies faculty member is the Rick Perkins winner for 2013.

The announcement was made by GPTC President Dr. Jabari Simama at the 2013 GOAL/Rick Perkins Recognition Dinner Celebration held January 29, 2013, at GPTC Conference Center on the DeKalb Campus in Clarkston, Ga. Love was chosen by a panel of local leaders over three other nominees for the award. The GPTC GOAL runners-up were: Patrick McDaniel, a business information systems student; Odelia L. Parsell, an air-conditioning technology student; and Leitonya Edwards, an accounting technology student. Johnson was nominated by her peers and selected by a panel of administrators and last year's Rick Perkins winner. Other Rick Perkins nominees were Kye Haymore, a Paralegal Studies instructor; Sam Mitchell, and Air Conditioning Technology instructor; Ernest Pauley and Automotive Tech instructor; Mike Sachs a Motorcycle Service Tech instructor.

The Georgia Piedmont Technical College Foundation presented Love with a $500 scholarship, and each of the three GOAL runners-up received a $100 scholarship. A prize will also be presented to Johnson at a later date.

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

The Rick Perkins award for Excellence in Technical Education has been an ongoing statewide achievement award for many years and honors faculty who have made a significant contribution to technical education through innovation and leadership in their field.

Love and Johnson will now proceed to regional judging. All college GOAL and Rick Perkins winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Atlanta for two days in April. Nine finalists, three regional finalists from the three regions, will be announced while in Atlanta; and if chosen, Johnson and Love will compete with the other eight GOAL and Rick Perkins finalists from the other state technical college campuses. A panel of leaders from the business, industry and government sectors will interview them and choose one to be the 2013 state GOAL winner and one will be the 2013 State Rick Perkins winner.  The grand prize also includes a new car for the GOAL winner.

"Representing GPTC is a tremendous honor. I've learned so much from my experience here, such as effective time management, team building and collaboration, focused study habits and presentation skills," said Love during her acceptance speech. She goes on to say, "These are skills that will serve me well in my future career aspirations and as I represent GPTC."

Love has attended not only GPTC, but Kennesaw State University and The Georgia Institute of Technology, where she has studied several aspects of human resources and project management. During her time at GPTC, she has been on the Dean's List, in 2010 and 2012. Love spends some of her limited free time volunteering at a homeless shelter and providing job training to individuals recently released from prison. She enjoys traveling, painting abstract art pieces and listening to jazz.

Johnson has been a part of the GPTC faculty since 2006 and serves as a General Studies faculty member and Learning Support Redesign Specialist. Prior to that she was an adjunct faculty member at Clayton State University and worked as a contract technical writer. For a decade she taught high school language arts, journalism and test skills classes at Miami Coral Park Senior High School in Florida. Prior to that, she worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a technical writer.

Photo: Stephanie Love – GPTC 2013 GOAL winner / Maria Johnson – GPTC 2013 Rick Perkins winner

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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.