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Gay and Kelly named Wiregrass employees of the year

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Featured Wiregrass’ Employees of the Year Roxanne Gay – James A. Bridges Vanguard Award Winner, and Dr. Bonnie Kelly – Lewis I. Brinson, Sr.  Leadership Award Winner. Submitted Photo Wiregrass’ Employees of the Year Roxanne Gay – James A. Bridges Vanguard Award Winner, and Dr. Bonnie Kelly – Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. Leadership Award Winner.

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.

Roxanne Gay, Institutional Effectiveness Specialist, was awarded the sixth annual James A. Bridges Vanguard Award for the staff member of the year.  Roxanne is described by her peers devoted and dedicated employee who works hard and efficiently.  One nomination for Roxanne stated “Over the past two years Roxane has been instrumental in assisting with the accreditation of Medical Assisting, Pharmacy Tech, Paramedicine, and Automotive. Her highly developed skill set assists instructors and program coordinators in putting their evidence crates, paperwork, and exhibits in order for on-site reviewers to evaluate. We have had excellent on-site reviews consistently with compliments on each exit interview on how well the documentation has been layed out and exhibited.” As the Institutional Effectiveness Specialist, Roxanne is in charge of providing administrative support to the college’s accreditation and strategic planning processes.

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.

Dr. Bonnie Kelly, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness, was awarded the sixth annual Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. Leadership Award for the supervisor of the year. One nomination for Dr. Kelly stated, “She is by far one of the finest leaders I have ever met.”  She is dedicated to Wiregrass, working hard behind the scenes to make sure the college is in compliance with SACS/COC. She helps and guides us to collect data that needs to be reported. Dr. Kelly researches, finds and writes grants that help Wiregrass give students the best opportunities and experiences so that they are prepared to be the highly trained workforce our mission says we provide for community businesses.

As the Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness, she in charge of research and development projects, including applications for grant funding, capital outlay proposals, accreditation reports, maintaining the institutional document library, and policy and procedure manual.

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.

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