SGTC’s Mincey and Visage recognized at TCSG EAGLE conference

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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From Staff Reports

AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College’s 2023 Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) student Zackary Mincey of Buena Vista and Adult Education Instructor Tonya Visage of Americus attended the Technical College System of Georgia Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE Institute at the Crown Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravina recently.

Top Adult Education students and instructors from across the state were present at the event.  Kayla Hill from Lanier Technical College was named TCSG’s 2023 Adult Education Student of the Year. Tara Jenkins from Augusta Technical College won the 2023 Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year award.

“As the adult education student of the year, Kayla reminds us that it is never too late to turn your life around by getting an education, even after years of tremendous struggle and challenge,” said TCSG Commissioner, Greg Dozier. “As the adult education teacher of the year, Tara is changing the lives of students every day in her classroom and in turn, is impacting the lives of families. Congratulations to both for their well-deserved honors.”

TCSG’s Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE Award recognizes and honors students from throughout the state who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in TCSG’s adult education programs. Each March, the local EAGLE winners are the guests of a three-day conference in Atlanta. Kayla, who was selected by a panel of judges from business and education, will receive a full scholarship to the technical college of her choice. In addition, her fees and books will be paid for through a stipend from the Brenda Wise Scholarship Fund, established in 2014 in memory of Brenda Wise, a lifelong supporter of adult education.

Over the coming year, Kayla Hill will travel the state as Georgia’s Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE ambassador for adult education, speaking to students, civic groups, legislators, and others about literacy and lifelong learning. The runner-up for the adult education student of the year is Danyale Williams from Atlanta Technical College. Twenty-six adult learners were celebrated at the event by hundreds of guests who applauded the students for overcoming obstacles that once stood in the way of their education.

“Kayla overcame enormous obstacles in her life to get where she is today,” said Lanier Technical College president, Tim McDonald. “She dropped out of high school, had her first child at 15 years of age, lost her brother, and suffered from addiction before earning her high school equivalency through Lanier Tech. She is now enrolled in our Welding and Joining program, found her passion, and is on her way to a fulfilling career. Kayla is an inspiration to us all.”

This year also marked the second annual Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year Award, which was given to Tara Jenkins from Augusta Technical College.

“Tara is tireless in her work to help students achieve their dreams through adult education,” said Augusta Technical College president, Dr. Jermaine Whirl. “She has a passion for teaching and a gift for getting the most out of her students so they can reach their full potential. Congratulations to Tara for being named the 2023 Adult Education Teacher of the Year!”

The 2023 Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year runner up was Yolanda Usry from Gwinnett Technical College.

The EAGLE award was established to recognize and reward excellence among students who are studying for or have completed their high school equivalency. Every EAGLE delegate is considered an ambassador and spokesperson for literacy serving local communities and the state by promoting lifelong learning. In addition to serving as volunteer role models for family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, EAGLE delegates serve as mentors, peer tutors, and recruiters of other students into local adult education programs.

SGTC’s Mincey graduated from SGTC’s adult education program in June and is currently enrolled in the college’s welding program. He anticipates graduating in December 2023.  “He displays exemplary leadership qualities,” SGTC adult education instructor Angie Kauffman said of Mincey. “He is an excellent example of how a person can strive to achieve dreams because of his hard work and determination.”

South Georgia Technical College offers adult education/high school equivalency classes in seven counties: Sumter, Marion, Crisp, Schley, Webster, Macon, and Taylor. Morning, afternoon, evening, and online classes are available. For more information, contact the SGTC adult education office at (229) 931-2565.