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State Thanks GOAL Winner
Friday, 02 April 2010

April 2-–  Michelle Smith Lank, a student in the early childhood care and education program at the Swainsboro campus of Southeastern Technical College, was honored by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue for her achievement as Georgia’s technical college student of the year.

Image Gathered in the Governor's Office for the appreciation presentation (L-R) are Cindy Phillips, 2009 GOAL Coordinator, STC President Dr. Cathy Mitchell, GOAL winner Michelle Lank, Governor Sonny Perdue, STC Provost Larry Calhoun and Early Childhood Instructor Kay Wilson.

Governor Perdue presented Lank with a commendation recognizing her as the Technical College System of Georgia’s 2009 GOAL (Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership) winner during a ceremony held in his office on March 31. He noted that her educational accomplishments and proven leadership ability should serve her well in her chosen career.

“Mary and I are excited to congratulate Michelle Lank on her selection as Technical College System of Georgia’s GOAL winner and student of the year,” said Governor Perdue. “Being chosen as the top student from among the more than158,000 men and women who attended our state technical colleges last year is an outstanding accomplishment. We are especially thrilled that she chose a course of study in the field of early childhood care and education.  Michelle will be a great student ambassador for technical education and her fellow students who are learning the highly specialized skills that will make them a vital part of Georgia’s 21st Century workforce.”

Also in attendance for the ceremony were TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson, Southeastern Technical College President Cathy Mitchell and the Southeastern Tech Swainsboro Campus Provost Larry Calhoun, Kay Wilson, the instructor who nominated Lank for the award, and Cindy Phillips, last year’s GOAL coordinator for the Southeastern Tech Swainsboro Campus.

“Michelle has been a great ambassador for technical education this year,” said Dr. Cathryn Mitchell.  “As the owner of a childcare center, she has let others know how she has used what she has learned in the classroom to improve the educational experience for the children at her center.  Although she is very hands-on at Kids World Learning Center and extremely busy running the center, she has been able to complete her program of study thanks to the flexible schedule at the college.”                                            

This was Lank’s second visit to the state Capitol in less than three weeks. On March 11, members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate invited her to the floor of their chambers to receive resolutions honoring her achievement.

Lank thanked the representatives and the senators for their support of the Technical College System of Georgia and she praised the quality and value of technical education.

This winter quarter enrollment in technical education increased 26% to almost 110,000 students in the state of Georgia,” said Lank. “What does this mean? Thousands of students are in search of an improved job outlook. Those same students are taking advantage of technical colleges’ affordable educational costs, hands-on experience, small classes where we receive personalized attention, and focused instruction.”

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