Two Wiregrass employees were recently honored for their dedication, hard work and leadership skills by the faculty and staff of the college. Wiregrass employees annually nominate a staff member and a supervisor for their exemplary performance on the job. The nominations are narrowed down by a committee and the finalists are interviewed by a panel of judges to decide who will be honored.
Paulette Brown, Advisement and Retention Center Specialist, was awarded the seventh annual James A. Bridges Vanguard Award for the staff member of the year. Paulette is described by her peers as one who goes above and beyond to help students and faculty and staff. One nomination for Paulette stated, “She’s always willing to help in any way and strives to serve the students in the best way possible. Professionally and personally she pushes herself and others to be the very best.” As the Advisement and Retention Center Specialist, Paulette assists new and returning students with registering for classes each semester and offers career guidance.
The James A. Bridges Vanguard Award was created in honor of former Valdosta Technical college president, James A. Bridges. Bridges served the people of Valdosta and Lowndes County for 40 years, first as the vocational director of Valdosta High School, and then as president at Valdosta Tech. During his tenure, Bridges provided leadership as Valdosta Technical Institute became Valdosta Technical College. A strong believer in work ethics, he was the co-author of Georgia’s renowned work ethics curriculum. Thanks to his leadership, work ethics is not only taught at every technical college in Georgia but also at post-secondary institutions all over the world.
Katrina Royal, Testing and Special Populations Coordinator, was awarded the seventh annual Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. Leadership Award for the supervisor of the year. One nomination for Katrina stated, “She displays a positive attitude in working with her colleagues, subordinates, and especially our students.” She is dedicated to Wiregrass, as the Testing and Special Populations Coordinator in overseeing all Wiregrass test centers, as well as planning, organizing, and coordinating student support programs for special population students. Special Populations services include acting as a student advocate to assist students with issues as they arise, developing plans and working with faculty to ensure implementation for students with documented disabilities, providing workshops and resources to students who identify in a special populations group.
This award was named in honor of Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. for his visionary leadership, his unquestionable integrity, and his passion for technical education. Brinson was the founding director (president) of Ben Hill-Irwin Tech. The World War II veteran taught in the Ben Hill County School System for 20 years. During these 20 years, he served as the vocational director at Fitzgerald High School. Based on his integrity and outstanding leadership qualities, in 1968, the Board of Directors of Ben Hill-Irwin Tech selected Mr. Brinson to serve as the first director of the school, a position he filled for the next 15 years, retiring in 1983. Brinson was responsible for overseeing the construction of what is now the 100 through 400 wings of the Charles Harris Learning Center as well as hiring the original faculty and staff of the college.
For more information about the Advising and Retention Center, Testing Services or Wiregrass, or to apply for Fall Semester, visitwww.wiregrass.edu to learn more.