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Mark Deal Receives GGIA Educator of the Year Award

Mark Deal, environmental horticulture instructor at Okefenokee Technical College, was chosen as the 2010 Educator of the Year by the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA).  He was recognized and presented the award at the annual GGIA WinterGreen Conference January 28, 2010, during the WinterGreen 2010 Awards Program.

The Educator of the Year award honors the individual who made an outstanding contribution to ornamental horticultural research and promotion of the industry through academic endeavors.

When a GGIA representative contacted Mark to notify him of the award, she made this statement:  “We are impressed with the growth of your program at Okefenokee Technical College as well as the enthusiasm that you exhibit for educating your students and involving them with green industry businesses at every opportunity.” 

The GGIA is a non-profit association, incorporated in the State of Georgia, representing the interests of the state's nursery, garden center, and landscape industry. Membership in the GGIA is comprised of nursery stock growers, landscape contractors and maintenance firms, garden centers, arborists and allied suppliers. The mission of the GGIA is to advance and promote the horticulture industry by setting the standard for professionalism, excellence, and environmental stewardship.

Deal, a Pierce County resident, is an active member of GGIA and served on the GGIA Board of Directors in 2008 and on the GGIA Education Committee in 2009. He is certified in numerous areas, including Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Georgia Certified Plant Professional, and Georgia Certified Commercial Pesticide Applicator. He is also a Georgia Master Gardener.

In addition to his numerous certifications, Deal participates in several local organizations, such as the South Georgia Hemerocallis Society, the Pinecone Garden Club and the Okefenokee Heritage Center.

Deal was awarded the Governor’s Commendation for Excellence in Customer Service January 29, 2009.  He and his wife, Laura, have four children: Jessica, Jennifer, Joel, and Savannah.

GGIA Instructor of the Year

Mark Deal (right) accepts the 2010 GGIA Educator of the Year award from Dr. Matthew Chappell, assistant professor of horticulture, University of Georgia, and 2009 GGIA Educator of the Year.

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