March 1, 2011
For Immediate Release: A 36-year-old mother has been named Columbus Technical College’s Student of the Year for 2011. Trecia Sutton boasts a grade point average of 3.75 in the nail technician program. Once she completes the program, Trecia will add her certification to associate’s degrees in general studies and physical therapy assisting, a bachelor’s degree in information systems and a master’s degree in management. Trecia wants to eventually open her own salon and incorporate education and nail care into the business plan.
This active duty military mother of three grew up in Macon. When she was just 14 years old, Trecia Sutton found herself in a hospital experiencing "the worst pain I ever felt – delivering my first child. I was a baby myself," she remembered. "I heard nurses talking outside my door about how young I was and I’d likely never amount to anything. I’d probably not even graduate from high school. From that point on, I knew I had to make something of my life and encourage my baby to do the same."
That baby is now 22 and a student at Central Georgia Technical College in Macon.
The student of the year program is known as GOAL, or Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership. There were two other finalists for the GOAL student honor; William Kes from the welding and joining technology program and Heather Ellerbee from the (associate degree) nursing program.
Also announced today was the college’s instructor of the year, known as the Rick Perkins Award. Early childhood education instructor and program manager, Susan Hollingsworth, was the big winner. She has 11 years experience teaching at Columbus Technical College. When combined with her fellow finalists (Alicia Anderson/chemistry, John Lipham/major appliance technology, and Carl Sandy/surgical technology), a total of 33 years teaching experience is brought to Columbus Technical College. When asked why she chose to teach in technical education, Susan replied, "For me, it is the most efficient and enjoyable way to change the world. Education is the best route for self-improvement."
Both winners will represent Columbus Technical College at their regional level competition later this month. If they win at that level, it’s on to compete for the State title in May.
The Columbus Tech winners were announced at the regular meeting of the North Columbus Rotary Club.