Karen Bloodworth retiring from South Georgia Technical College

Published 2:16 pm Thursday, December 15, 2022

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College Crisp County Center Marketing Management and Accounting Instructor Karen Bloodworth has decided to retire from teaching after spending 15 years helping students gain the skills needed to enter the workforce.

“I have enjoyed my time at South Georgia Tech.  It is a great school and provides great opportunities for the populations we serve,” said Bloodworth, who plans to renovate and reopen her Rochelle Florist & Gift Shop in the near future.  “I don’t just want to go home and sit, but I am ready to slow down.  I am very proud to have been a part of this school.  People can get a great education here that will help them become employed or be a stepping stone to higher education.”

South Georgia Technical College Dean of Enrollment Management at the Crisp County Center Julie Partain expressed her appreciation of Bloodworth.  “I have really enjoyed working with Karen.  She definitely tries to always do her best for the students.  We are happy for her but we will miss her.”

SGTC President Dr. John Watford also thanked Karen Bloodworth for her service to South Georgia Tech and the students.  “Karen has been a vital member of our faculty and we appreciate everything she has done to help the students on the Crisp County campus.  I wish her all the best.”

Bloodworth began teaching Marketing Management at South Georgia Technical College in the Fall of 2007.  Then in 2018, she expanded her teaching duties to include Accounting and served as both the Marketing Management and Accounting instructor for the Crisp County Center.

When asked which subject matter she liked the best, she smiled and said, “I really think they go hand in hand.  I have crunched numbers all my life and I think if you are going to be successful in marketing or business, you need to have a background in or at least some knowledge of accounting.”

She also added that marketing is varied.  “There are a lot of avenues you can take with the marketing management.  People can become entrepreneurs or they can work for established companies.  Everyone needs marketing skills.”

Bloodworth shared that her fondest memories of working at South Georgia Technical College has been with helping students.  “I love the students.  I have enjoyed working with them and training them for the workforce.  We have had a lot of success and nothing makes me happier than to see my students excelling in their careers.”

She also enjoyed working with clubs and organization such as Phi Beta Lambda where she served as co-advisor with Teresa Jolly on the Crisp County Center. “We had several state and national winners in Phi Beta Lambda and I was really proud to have been a part of their success.  Competing at the state and national levels allowed the students to grow and learn more about the different opportunities that were available in their fields.”

Over her 15 years at South Georgia Technical College, Bloodworth said that she has seen a change in students, especially after COVID-19.  “Students had rather take classes on line now.  They don’t want to be in the classroom.  Sometimes, it seems like school is not their top priority.  They fit the school work in after everything else.”

She added that on-line is fine for some things, but she definitely feels that students benefit from being in-person in a classroom and interacting with the instructor and other students.  “Sometimes it is a struggle to get students to get their heads out of their phones. But to be successful in the workplace, they need to know how to interact with other people.”

Bloodworth began her education at Middle Georgia College in Cochran and earned an Associate of Business Administration.  She transferred to Georgia Southwestern College after that and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration.  Several years later, she returned to GSW and completed her Master of Science in Management.

One of her first jobs was working as a bookkeeper for Coody Dairy Farm.  After she secured her degree, she became an Accounting Assistant with Cargill (now Tyson Foods) in Vienna, GA.  She left there to work at the Warner Robins Air Force Base as a PAC – Professional Administration Career person.  After two years, she went to work for the Dooly County Board of Education as the Business Manager.  She was responsible for the preparation and implementation of system-wide school budgets including local, state, and federal monies.  She also prepared payroll for over 300 employees and implemented the annual employee benefits.

When she left the Dooly County School System, Bloodworth decided to open her own business – Rochelle Florist & Gift Shop.  She continued operating that shop and doing flowers after she accepted the Marketing Management position at South Georgia Technical College.

“As the owner of a retail florist and gift shop, I was responsible for the sales, design, advertising, management, bookkeeping, logistics, customer service duties and hiring and supervising part-time employees.  I feel like all of those skills helped prepare me to teach the marketing and the accounting classes while also sharing real life work experiences,” explained Bloodworth.

When asked what she will miss the most after retiring, Bloodworth quickly said the people she works with and the students.  “We are like a family here.  We help each other out and I will definitely miss my co-workers.”  She also shared that “some of the students are scared or nervous when they first come to school.  My job is to help them and show them they can do this.  The feeling you get from helping others is wonderful,” added Bloodworth.

Now after working with students for over 15 years, Bloodworth says she is thrilled when a former student comes back just to say hello and tell her how she helped change their lives.  “I really like to see our students become successful because I feel like I might have had a part in their success.”

Karen is married to Raymond Bloodworth and they have one grown daughter, Mandee, who is also a graduate of the SGTC Marketing Management program and was the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner for the college.  Mandee and her husband have a son, Thomas, who is 3.  “I enjoy spending time with my family and especially my grandson,” said Karen.  “Now I will have a little more time to enjoy them.”