Technical College System of Georgia names 2023 Adult Education Student of the Year and 2023 Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year
Kayla Hill from Lanier Tech and Tara Jenkins from Augusta Tech take top honors
ATLANTA, GA–The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) named the 2023 Dinah Culbreath Wayne Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Award winner for outstanding achievement in the state’s adult education program. 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.
TCSG State Board Chairman, Trey Sheppard, TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier, and TCSG Assistant Commissioner for Adult Education, Dr. Cayanna Good, presented the awards during the annual Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE Institute at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia on March 2.
“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.
“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.”
Over the coming year, Kayla 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.
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.
To learn more about TCSG’s Adult Education program, visit www.GeorgiaOpportunities.com
About the Technical College System of Georgia
The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in more than 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED® testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit TCSG.edu.
Mark D’Alessio – Executive Director of Communications
Technical College System of Georgia