Cloniger awarded Smallwood-Sondron Law Enforcement Academy scholarship at SGTC

Published 7:06 pm Friday, May 25, 2018

AMERICUS — William Shelby Cloniger of Butler was awarded the Smallwood-Sondron Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship at the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Class 18-01 graduation ceremony held in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the SGTC Americus campus recently. Lou Crouch of Bryon endowed this scholarship to the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy in memory of Peach County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Patrick Sondron and Daryl Smallwood. The two deputies died in the line of duty in November 2016.
Crouch, members of the Sondron family and the Peach County Sheriff’s Office were on hand for the awards ceremony and graduation.
Cloniger is a former full-time firefighter and has been hired as a police officer for his hometown of Butler. He has spent the last six years in public safety positions. When he wasn’t fighting fires, he was working with the Taylor County EMS ambulance service.
“I wanted to be an officer to protect people, to give them a sense of peace and safety, and to be able to do that in my hometown is everything to me. I am finally home doing something I have dreamed of all my life and protecting people that spent a good half of their own life protecting mine and my family’s,” said Cloniger. “I have many plans for the next three to five years and furthering my education to accomplish them is at the top of the list.”
Cloniger plans to continue his education by pursuing an associate degree in criminal justice at SGTC and then hopes to continue on to get his bachelor of science degree.
“This scholarship is an absolute honor. I know there are many deserving applicants but I am extremely honored to be selected,” said Cloniger.
“On behalf of the South Georgia Technical College Foundation and South Georgia Technical College, we would like to thank Lou Crouch for his support of the Smallwood-Sondron families, South Georgia Technical College and our Law Enforcement Academy through the endowment of the Smallwood-Sondron Scholarship,” said SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D. “This scholarship as well as his two previous endowed scholarships are a tremendous help to those young men and women who are training to become public servants and work as law enforcement officers here in Georgia.”
SGTC Academic Dean over the Law Enforcement Academy Vanessa Wall also thanked Crouch for his support of the Law Enforcement Academy at South Georgia Tech.
“Lou Crouch is just awesome,” said Wall, who works with the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy program as well as the college’s criminal justice Program. “Lou Crouch is a unique individual who has a heart for Law Enforcement and it definitely shows through his support of these scholarships and through his work across the state.”
“Partnerships like this one and others are crucial to our success,” explained President Watford. “An investment in an endowed scholarship will continue to give back to students indefinitely. We appreciate what Lou Crouch and others are doing for our students and our state. The students he is helping today with these educational opportunities may be the public servants that we count on tomorrow in our local communities.”