Clarkesville, GA – North Georgia Technical College (NGTC) announced the college’s distinguished award winners for the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction and the Employee of the Year at the college’s recent annual awards holiday gathering.
Allyson Smith, English instructor from Cleveland, was named the 2020 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction for NGTC. The Rick Perkins Award honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors and has been an ongoing statewide event since 1991 for the Technical College System of Georgia. The award is designed to recognize technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields. Formerly known as the Commission’s Award of Excellence, the Rick Perkins Award was renamed in memory and honor of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at West Georgia Technical College who received the award prior to his untimely death.
Smith has been employed by the college since 2005 as the lead English instructor, and she also serves as the Employability Skills Project Coordinator for the college. Smith previously was the pharmaceutical technology program director and instructor in 2004 and has also worked as a graduate teacher of record at Clemson University assisting and evaluating students in their development of visual and textual rhetoric.
Smith earned a master of arts degree in English from Clemson University, a bachelor of arts degree in English from Hood College in Frederick, Md., and an associate of arts degree in general studies from Montgomery College in Rockville, Md.
Students, along with faculty and staff members, were encouraged to nominate eligible faculty members for the first time this year at NGTC. Smith was anonymously nominated by one of her students who stated, “Her class study plan is laid out very well, and she works extremely hard with student in expanding their knowledge.”
When asked what her reason for teaching at a technical college is and how has teaching changed her life, Smith replied, “We offer in two years what many spend a lifetime trying to achieve – a comfortable salary without college loan debt and a promising career. To watch our graduates achieve such success is not only life changing for them but for those who were lucky to play a small part in helping them get there.”
“We are thrilled to have Allyson represent North Georgia Technical College,” said Mindy Glander, NGTC vice president of academic affairs. “Allyson is a talented instructor that truly cares for her students. She works hard to provide interesting lessons that continuously engage her students. Allyson also gets involved in many campus activities that encourage and support fellow faculty members. She serves on the college success committee which has provided staff development training for faculty for the past five years. We are so proud of her amazing accomplishments and are thankful that she is an amazing asset in so many ways.”
Other finalists for the award included Dr. Bob Sather, computer science instructor; Pam Segers, criminal justice instructor; and Derrick Hogan, computerized numeric control (CNC) instructor.
In March, Smith will compete at the region level among other technical college RPA winners within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), and the state finalists and winner will be announced in April at the TCSG annual conference in Atlanta.