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Summer Fun at NGTC
Therapeutic Massage Students Need Hands-on Experience
Expansion Project Approved for NGTC’s Currahee Campus
Office of Workforce Development Visits NGTC Campus
Horticulture Department Holds Annual Plant Sale
Design Landscaping for Future Leon and Rachel
Gathany Museum of Natural
Practical Nursing Students Read Books to Children
Abbott Looking Forward to Waking in Turkish Shoes
Environmental Horticulture Students Ready Thousands of
Plants for the Spring Plant Sale
Program to Offer Night Courses
Foundation Scholarship Funds Still Available
Boasts 54 Years of NAACLS Accreditation
Send 3 PBL Students to National Competition
Plans Fun for Funds Day
School Students Get First-hand Look at Hands-on
Photography Artist Richard
Smith Speaks to Professionals,
Alumni Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon
Summer Fun at NGTC
Summer camp fun is here! All three campuses of North Georgia
Technical College will be home to children six years and older
with two opportunities to learn and enjoy the summer.
Lego camp will encourage campers to be creative while learning
and having a blast all at the same time. This class will help
children utilize their energy on a project that can help teach
them motor skills, creativity and also help develop social
skills. Children simply learn better when they are having fun
and this hands-on class is a perfect way to build active minds.
Lego camp will be on the Blairsville Campus July 11 -15, on the
Currahee Campus July 18 – 22, and on the Clarkesville Campus
July 25 – 29. Camp times are 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM; class will
dismiss at noon on Friday. Cost is $150.
New this year, NGTC will offer a Children’s Art Camp with
activities and projects based on the philosophy that camp should
be simultaneously recreational and instructional. Art projects
will be age appropriate and geared to each student’s personal
ability level. Art Camp will be on the Currahee Campus July 11-
15, on the Clarkesville Campus July 18- 22, and on the
Blairsville campus July 25 – 29. Camp times are 9:00 AM –
noon for the morning session and 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM for the
afternoon session. Cost is $139, including supplies.
Both camps are separated by age group to ensure children are
comfortable with their peers. Lego Engineering Junior is
designed for children ages 6 to 8 and Lego Engineering is
designed for children ages 9 to 12. For the Art Camp,
rising 1st – 8th graders should enroll in the morning session
while rising 9th – 12th graders should enroll in the afternoon
session. Detailed information is available at
Register online at the link above, or call 706-754-7737 for more
information. Class limit is 24 so register early!
Massage Students Need Hands-on Experience
The Therapeutic Massage Clinic at North Georgia Technical
College affords local residents a great way to enjoy the luxury
of a massage while helping out the students with hands-on
“The students will be giving full body Swedish massages,”
Instructor Deborah Smith. “They can also add in some
techniques from Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release.”
There is even one student who specializes in foot massage.
The students in the program have a required number of massages
to complete in order to satisfy the state curriculum
requirements. Therefore, the evening clinic will be
running during June, July, and the first part of August.
The Student Massage Therapy Clinic on the Blairsville Campus
will run Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
from June 8th to Aug. 8th. The cost is $20 per massage.
Payment can be made with cash or check at the time of your
appointment or in advance with a credit card at the Blairsville
Campus bookstore from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
“Come support us and have a great one-hour massage,” invites
Smith. “The students are ready to pamper you!”
Massages are $20 per hour. To reserve an appointment,
Expansion Project Approved for NGTC’s Currahee Campus
Gov. Nathan Deal has signed an $18.3 billion budget for the
State of Georgia in 2012. Included in this budget is $3.2M
for an additional wing to house expanded allied health program
offerings on the Currahee Campus of North Georgia Technical
“We greatly appreciate the commitment and support of our
community leaders including Senator Butterworth, Representative
Michael Hardin, Wendy Bailey and her team at the Chamber and the
Development Authority,” said NGTC President Steve Dougherty.
“The focus of North Georgia Technical College is to provide our
students with the best possible education and hands-on training
to give them the tools necessary for successful careers, and
with this expansion, we will be major contributors to the
economic growth of this area.”
In the fall of 2010, the First Citizens Foundation donated
$15,000 for the pre-design plan on the desired 12,000 square
foot expansion to the relatively new Currahee Campus in Toccoa.
When the campus opened five years ago, it seemed improbable that
full capacity would be reached so quickly. With an eye
toward future enrollment growth, the present building was
designed to accommodate additional wings when course and student
numbers dictated the need for increased space. Because of
the financial advantages of attending a local college and the
changing economic environment, the present facility has reached
capacity and enrollment continues at record levels.
The need for additional health care professionals has increased
significantly in the area with the announcement of a new 56 bed
hospital near Lavonia. This $52,000,000 investment will be
located 10 miles from the Currahee Campus and is expected to be
completed in 2011. The newly-renovated Stephens County
Hospital contains a 96-bed medical care facility, personal care
home and assisted living units. There are nine nursing
homes within a 50-mile radius of the campus and numerous
rehabilitation and home health care businesses that require
trained medical personnel. In addition, the area supports
both dialysis and cancer facilities along with several clinics
and numerous private physicians. Over a third of the
students attending the Currahee Campus are currently enrolled in
medical related fields.
For more information on programs of study at North Georgia
Technical College, visit
www.northgatech.edu or call 706-754-7700.
Office of Workforce Development Visits NGTC Campus
Most employers want to see evidence that an applicant has
sufficient skills to be employable. The Georgia Work Ready
workforce training initiative assesses the skills of Georgia's
workers, determines valuable job training opportunities and
assures companies that Georgia can provide a long-term,
qualified labor supply.
During the last two years, Franklin, Stephens, and Habersham
counties have been designated as Work Ready Communities by the
Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, and several others
will be soon. This qualification gives a locality a
credential that helps with all aspects of economic development.
Melvin Everson, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office
of Workforce Development, recently spent a morning touring the
college facilities and talking to the Work Ready team about
working with the local businesses to fulfill their expectations
for a qualified labor pool.
“The Work Ready program has come a long way,” affirmed Mr.
Everson. “Now my goal is to take it up to the next level.”
He was delighted to meet Ruth King, NGTC’s Job Profiler whose
duties are to carefully match job tasks to job skills so that an
employer may fine-tune the job description for qualified
applicants. Ms. King invited him to consider presenting at
some of the upcoming Rotary meetings and meet business people in
“We enjoy our partnership,” said NGTC President Steve Dougherty.
“Our Work Ready team has enthusiastically embraced this
campaign, taking on these additional responsibilities and really
helping to move our communities forward.”
The program is free and is offered locally through North Georgia
Technical College. Participants can take a free job
assessment and then become eligible to receive a certificate
indicating their skill and knowledge levels to potential
employers. The certificate guarantees that job seekers have the
portable skills - applied math, locating information and reading
for information - to serve as a solid foundation for more
NGTC offers Work Ready testing during weekly testing sessions as
well as individual appointments. Testing is typically held
from 9:00 a.m. until about 1 p.m. Registration is easy,
but must be done in advance to taking the test. For more
information, contact NGTC at 706-754-7869.
Landscaping for Future Leon and Rachel Gathany Museum of Natural
In a pristine new building
with a magnificent stacked stone fireplace and gleaming wood
walls, floors, and ceilings, Mr. Leon Gathany was presented with
quite a dilemma – choosing between two extraordinary landscaping
designs for the future Leon and Rachel Gathany Museum of Natural
Students from the Advanced Landscaping class in North Georgia
Technical College’s Environmental Horticulture program took
turns presenting two intriguing and complete designs. With Tom
Kelleher of the Toccoa Falls College maintenance staff and
museum proponent Jerry Snell, Mr. Gathany listened to the
presentations detailing the ideas and choices made for each
“This was a great opportunity for us to take on a real-world
project that benefited our community. When Jerry asked that our
class get involved with this project, I jumped at the chance to
assist because Mr. Gathany was one of my former teachers who
heavily influenced me to enter into the green industry,” said
NGTC Instructor Craig Thurmond. “The students are applying every
aspect of design that we’ve covered in class.” Long before
pen was put to paper, or the computer-aided design program was
fired up, the class spent time doing site observations including
sun angles, wet areas, micro climates, as well as collecting
information on budget constraints and particular customer
Specific requests from Mr. Gathany included a memorial garden
for his wife Rachel, the use of native plants, and the presence
of azaleas. While these may seem like simple requests, the
students took his desires to heart and the resulting drawings
cleverly display not only his wishes, but the personalities of
both Leon and Rachel.
The class was divided into two teams which took two approaches:
similar but different. Both went with low maintenance and took
into consideration water drainage issues. Both used river
birches and maples. Both allowed for lush lawns to invite
picnicking and accommodating the pent up energies of young
classroom children, and provided foundation plantings for the
main building with a variety of plants including hollies to
attract birds, one of Mr. Gathany’s loves.
Although there were many similarities, there were just as many
differences. For example, one focused more on a natural
environment with special touches like natural gathering spots
along sidewalks as natural conversation areas, and flowering
cherry trees for added color and height variations. The other
used a more whimsical approach shaping the memorial garden as a
guitar since music is a love of Gathany, and incorporating a
plant palette boasting hydrangeas, pansies, knock-out roses,
wisteria, crepe myrtle and Abelia.
“Once the design is chosen, the construction class will take the
next step which will be cost estimating and assisting with the
installation,” explained Thurmond.
“Oh, I don’t want to have to choose, so if you put both of them
together, I’ll be tickled pink!” said Mr. Gathany.
“Blessings on you. I deeply appreciate what you’ve done.
The drawings have heart.”
They did indeed, and to underscore the moment, the students all
joined Mr. Gathany in a touching round of “Swing Low, Sweet
For more information on the Leon and Rachel Museum of Natural
History, call Jerry Williamson at 706-886-6831. For more
information on the Environmental Horticulture program at North
Georgia Technical College, call 706-754-7794 or e-mail to
Students Read Books to Children
It is often said that reading is the best
way to prepare a child both academically and personally.
As a class project, the Practical Nursing students at North
Georgia Technical College took this advice one step further –
they created the books that they would read to children.
“Their criteria was to use one of the topics that we studied in
class that would be appropriate for a child three to five years
of age,” said NGTC Practical Nursing Instructor Nancy Morris.
The nursing students each designed and created a book about diet
and nutrition, safety, dental health, or germs and hand-washing
that they then presented to the Habersham Head Start Children.
The students were very inventive in their approach. Some
books were made of cloth while others used construction paper,
notebooks, or even file folders. Many pictures were colored with
crayons and markers and some even used foam type stick-on
letters or puffy foam markers for added texture. Still
others used computerized pages printed off and then hand colored
with drawings added.
“The Head Start children loved the book presentations,” said
Morris. “They showed their appreciation back to our
students through their own presentations of song and
dance! Both age groups learned much from one another during this
For more information on the nursing program at NGTC, visit
Jesse Abbott Looking
Forward to Waking in Turkish Shoes
John “Jesse” Abbott, son of John and Stephanie of Demorest, is
ready for a new cultural experience. As a recent winner of
the Art and Essay contest for the Istanbul Center for the Arts,
he will be spending 10 days fulfilling the title of his winning
entry: Walking in another’s shoes.
“The contest theme was empathy,” he explained. “It was
about thinking how other’s feel or to walk in some else’s shoes
– so that’s what I titled my drawing.”
Abbott has entered many contests in the past, and has enjoyed
success in several. His Habersham Central High School Art
teacher, Amber Kerr, found this contest and encouraged him to
enter. His prize is an all expenses trip to Istanbul,
Turkey, in June, accompanied by Ms. Kerr. “This is the
biggest award I have ever gotten,” he said.
The two are looking forward to their educational excursion,
travelling and experiencing the culture of an extraordinary
country. “We’re trying to learn the language,” he smiled.
“I bought a book at Barns & Noble and we’ve been practicing
Jesse rendered his entry in graphite, but he is well versed in a
variety of mediums. As a senior at Habersham Central High
School, he is also dual-enrolled at North Georgia Technical
College in the Commercial Photography program. “I love
art, but my long-term goal is to become a missionary.”
Abbott will be graduating from Habersham Central this May, and
plans to complete his studies at North Georgia Technical College
Horticulture Students Ready Thousands of Plants for the Spring
- Bright and early one morning last week the students of the
North Georgia Technical College Environmental Horticulture
program found themselves working furiously to quickly transplant
3,200 fledgling plant plugs that had arrived via Federal
“We’ve been doing a lot of preliminary work like sterilizing
recycled pots and concocting the perfect soil mixture,” said
instructor Craig Thurmond. “Now they’ve got to get this
delivery organized and the next step will be to calculate
Never missing a learning opportunity is one of Thurmond’s
teaching philosophies. “We’ve been revamping the
curriculum and the focus of the Spring plant sale project is
shifting from growing to the overarching business of greenhouse
management.” Students work through the entire process of
planning, estimating, ordering, cost analysis, preparing,
planting, growing, and finally setting the parameters for the
The thousands of plants for sale at the college this spring
arrived as plugs from Knox Nurseries in Wintergarden, Florida,
and will be carefully tended for several weeks prior to the sale
the third week of May.
The annual Spring Plant Sale will boast the standard vegetable
offerings of tomatoes and peppers; a wide variety of flowering
annual and perennials such as Alyssum, Begonia, Coleus, Dahlia,
Dianthus, Gerber Daisy, Impatiens, Pentas, Wave Petunias, Vinca,
and three types of Hosta and Astilbe; and an assortment of woody
material such as Dapple Willow, Nightingale Hydrangea, Burning
Bush, and Weigela. The plants will be in containers
ranging from 4-packs and 6-packs to individual pots ranging from
4 inches to 1 gallon, with prices generally between $2.00 and
“We can keep the prices low for a couple of reasons,” explained
Mr. Thurmond. “First, the students are working for
the learning experience rather than a salary. And, second,
our overhead costs for this one sale are relatively low.”
The varying schedule of the academic calendar with term breaks
is problematic for the 24/7 care required for proper plant
growth and propagation that a full-time year-round nursery must
The dates for the sale will be the third week of May, Monday the
16th through Thursday the 19th. The greenhouse on the
Clarkesville Campus will be open from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM during
those days. Sales are cash and check only. For more
information, call 706-754-7794 or e-mail to
CNC Program to Offer
“If you brushed your teeth this morning, you can thank a
machinist for creating the mold for the toothbrush,” grins North
Georgia Technical College Machine Tool Instructor Shannon Gary.
In his classroom and lab, students learn how to use a wide
variety of technology to create an unending variety of machined
parts. “Right now, I don’t have enough graduates to fill the
employment requests I get,” he says.
Computerized Numerical Control, or CNC, is one of the methods
for creating parts or even molds or die casts for parts used in
nearly every industry from automotive to aerospace to
As the college has progressed in its plans to convert from
quarters to semesters, several of the curriculums have been
revised and refreshed based on changing trends in the
industries. The CNC Diploma is one of those outcomes as it
incorporates both the Machine Tool Diploma and the CNC
Certificate. “This will help our students move through the
key aspects of both programs, while also making the best use of
HOPE benefits,” explains Gary. This program, which will be
offered in the evenings, will also allow those with a day job to
pursue their career goals at night.
“It is a challenging program,” commented Mr. Gary. “You
have to use your hands and your brain together to come up with
the different creative applications of machine tool design.”
Shannon’s students are not only in high demand in the workplace,
but they regularly achieve high rankings in contests. For
example, at the recent Georgia SkillsUSA contest, NGTC’s
students took first place in both CNC Milling, and CNC Turning –
and both will be traveling to the national competition in St.
Louis, Missouri, this summer.
The CNC Diploma program will start in August and will be held
from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays. For
more information on the CNC or Machine Tool program, contact
Shannon Gary at 706-754-7753 or visit
Dollar General Foundation Scholarship Funds Still Available
If you have dreamed of receiving a GED, the timing has never
been better. Courses are taught through the Adult Education
Department at North Georgia Technical College and funding for
testing for those in financial need is available through the
Dollar General Foundation. The cost for the complete test
is $95 and that amount will increase on July 1 to as much as
$250. For more information, contact the Adult Education
Department at 706-754-7717.
NGTC Boasts 54 Years
of NAACLS Accreditation
5/2/2011 - National
Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences has
announced that for the third time in a row, North Georgia
Technical College’s Clinical Laboratory program will receive a
full seven year accreditation. The NGTC CLT Program has
been continuously accredited by NAACLS since becoming accredited
in 1964 all the way through 2018.
The mission of NAACLS is a commitment to being the premier
international agency for accreditation and approval of
educational programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and
related health professions through the involvement of expert
volunteers and its commitment to public service.
“We have to be accredited in order for our students to sit for
the National exam,” explained CLT Program Director Lauren
Strader. “And to be certified in the state of Georgia, the
students have to sit for the exam. Now you can see how
important this credential is to the employability of our
NAACLS issues accreditation terms in increments of 3, 5, or the
maximum 7 years. The latest accreditation award means that
the CLT Program has received the maximum accreditation of 7
years for the 3rd time in a row or for a total of 21 years
“Our students study here and then they go to work in their
communities,” said Strader. “We have had a very positive
effect on health care in this area and throughout Georgia during
these last several decades.”
“You can’t go anywhere around here (in the health care industry)
without being recognized,” said student Melissa Fassell.
“The reputation of this program is great.”
The official accreditation was awarded for NGTC’s Clinical
Laboratory Technician program at the NAACLS Board of Directors’
April 7, 2011 meeting. The CLT students at NGTC gathered
together during this week of the National Medical Laboratory
Professionals Week to celebrate this reaffirmation of the
“I am so proud of the great history of this and several other
programs,” commented President Steve Dougherty. “When you
consider this program has been in existence, and credentialed,
for more than a half a century, that is quite an
For more information on the Allied Health programs of study at
North Georgia Technical College, visit
NGTC to Send 3 PBL
Students to National Competition
The Georgia Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) State
Competition was held in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 8-10, 2011.
North Georgia Technical College sent four contestants and is
proud to announce that three of them will continue on to the
national competition which will be held in Orlando, June 23-26.
More than 250 PBL members from across Georgia convened to
compete in 46 events. Each event included a written test
and four included a performance aspect as well. Students
were allowed to compete in two events at this state-level
competition. NGTC Advisors Tim Green and Brad Cagle
accompanied the students to this three-day session.
The four Accounting AAS students competed in a variety of events
ranging from a team business presentation to marketing to
Shanoan Luthi competed in Business Law and marketing programs
against very stiff competition. She managed to finish
sixth in both events.
Rocio Montalvo of Clayton and Dove’ Banks of Alto paired up to
do a joint Business Presentation, taking second in the
competition and earning the opportunity to travel to Orlando.
Montalvo also entered the Management Concepts event while Banks
took part in Marketing Concepts.
Kelly Twiggs of Cleveland also competed in two contests:
Accounting Principles and Hospitality. As a second place
winner in Accounting, she, too will be going to Florida this
Phi Beta Lambda is the post secondary extension of Future
Business Leaders of America. With chapters in the majority
of accredited colleges across the state, the NGTC chapter has
been honored to have representatives advance to the national
competition each year.
For more information on PBL, visit
For more information on North Georgia Technical College’s
programs of study or professional organization affiliations,
NGTC Foundation Fun
The North Georgia Technical College Board of Trustees is
sponsoring Fun for Funds at the Currahee Campus on Tuesday, May
17. Everyone is invited to register to tour the facility,
visit the classrooms, have lunch and spend the afternoon playing
games of choice (bridge, canasta, scrabble, backgammon, etc.).
We ask that you bring your own games and register by table since
you will not be required to change partners. Registration
begins at 10 a.m. with tours available from 10:30-11:30. A
buffet luncheon will be served from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Games will commence at 12:30 and run until 3:30. Door
prizes will be given.
The purpose of the day is to raise money for Foundation
scholarships that are awarded to students on all three NGTC
campuses. The need for financial assistance has never been
greater with the reduction of HOPE funding that no longer covers
the cost of books or fees and funds only 90% of tuition.
Without scholarships, many of our students will not be able to
complete their education and be employable.
It is a wonderful opportunity to have a day of fun and invest in
the future of our communities. The cost is only $30 and
$22 of that amount is tax deductible. To register, call
706-754-7714 or email
High School Students
Get First-hand Look at Hands-on Training
5/2/2011 - Nearly 450
juniors and seniors from across Northeast Georgia spent a
beautiful day on the Clarkesville Campus of North Georgia
Technical College seeing “NGTC in ACTION.”
The activities of the day allowed high school students to tour
the campus and to receive specific information about NGTC and
the programs available. “We offer tours on a regular
basis,” said Student Services Director Dr. Fran Chastain.
“We also wanted to provide a time that would let the students be
more involved and focused.”
“We know that, due to the recent changes in HOPE, there are a
lot of questions and concerns about paying for college,” said
President Steve Dougherty. “We wanted to take the
opportunity to open up the campus and show rising freshmen the
options they have which are not only very affordable, but with a
quality on par with any major university in the area.”
Instructors were readily available to speak to visitors in
groups or individually about their career goals and the path
that would take them there. North Georgia Tech students
were also on hand to give accounts of their classroom and lab
experiences. Since the tours were being conducted while
class was in session, the activity level was high.
“We have already had positive feedback from the high schools and
many applications were submitted or started on the spot that
day,” said Dr. Chastain. “Based on this overwhelming
success, we are already starting to plan for our next open
For more information on programs of study at North Georgia
Technical College, contact 706-754-7700 or visit the website:
Richard Smith Speaks to Professionals, Students
On Monday April 11, 2011 Richard Smith
spoke to a crowd of 65 people for the Georgia Professional
Photographers Association. “It was a great mix of people
who attended,” said North Georgia Technical College Commercial
Photography Instructor Jeff Gulle. “We had people who
were hobbyists, students, and also working professionals.”
There was something for everyone to learn, ranging from basic
lighting techniques to Photoshop shortcuts. Clarence Wulf,
a GPPA member of Toccoa said, “It was very enlightening to see
someone who knows their way around Photoshop and Painter.”
Richard started the day going over basics then working in
Photoshop and Painter and finally ending with a portrait shot in
front of everyone.
Richard Smith of
www.gladecreekportraits.com has been a professional
photographer and digital artist for over 35 years. He was a
photographic instructor at North Georgia Technical College for
25 years, retiring in 2007. He is a life member of the
Southeastern and Georgia Professional Photographers
Associations. Richard was given the National Award in 1990 by
the Professional Photographers of America for his dedication and
service to education in the photographic industry.
For more information on the Commercial Photography program at
North Georgia Technical College, contact Jeff Gulle,
or Jim Loring,
NGTC Alumni Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon
The NGTC Alumni Board invites you to the
Alumni Luncheon & Annual Meeting to be held Sunday, June 12,
2011, at the Clarkesville Campus. This is an opportunity
to renew acquaintances, share memories and recognize the
accomplishments of outstanding graduates and former faculty and
staff. Reservations are being taken for lunch and the cost
is $7.50 per person.
The annual meeting of the association will include the election
of officers and an update on association activities. The
highlight of the event will be the presentation of awards given
annually by the association to outstanding alumni. The
Hall of Fame Award is given to outstanding alumni who have
distinguished themselves in their professional life and made
outstanding contributions in their communities.
The Career Achievement Award recognizes nominees who are still
working in their major field and have been recognized by their
employers and/or peers for their successful careers and
Please contact Cynthia Brown at 706-754-7714 or
to make reservations. The deadline is Monday, June 6.