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Selena Strickland is OTC's 2007 GOAL Winner


Selena Strickland, a Brantley County student at Okefenokee Technical College, was honored with the 2007 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) Thursday. Strickland is pursuing a diploma in Automotive Collision Repair Technology. She was nominated by her program instructor, Jack Dixon. Goal Announcement

Mrs. Strickland was presented the award at the weekly lunch meeting of the Waycross Exchange Club. The annual luncheon is sponsored by the OTC Student Government Association (SGA), the Waycross Exchange Club, and the Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce.

Strickland’s parents are Charles and Yvonne Taylor of Snellville. She graduated from South Gwinnett High School and has a B.A. in Biology from Shorter College and a Master’s in Public Health (Epidemiology) from Emory University. She is member of the OTC National Technical Honor Society and placed 2nd in state in the 2006 SkillsUSA competition in Auto Collision Repair. She was recently presented with the 2007 South Georgia Street Rods, Inc. Scholarship.

In accepting the award, Strickland said that there were at least four things that technical education had done for her; it had given her a well-defined career goal, entrepreneur skills that will help her open and run her own shop, self confidence, and a good work ethic. Along with her auto collision classes, Strickland has also completed several marketing/entrepreneur classes at OTC. Gift Presentation

Strickland said that she is considered a nontraditional student at OTC for several reasons. Most obviously, she is a female in a predominately male occupational field. Also, she holds a master’s degree. Finally, she is older than the average technical college student. For these reasons, Strickland said that she strives each day to prove herself as a good collision repair technician.

Karen Boyle, GOAL coordinator for OTC, introduced and thanked the community leaders and OTC staff who contributed to the success of the 2007 OTC GOAL program. Boyle described the luncheon as a “celebration of OTC’s extraordinary students.”

Charlie Gibson, Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee Chair and OTC Director of Career Placement and Development, introduced the members of the GOAL selection committee and thanked them for their service. The 2007 selection committee members were Regina Morgan OADA director, and the following 2007 Leadership Waycross members: Pete Pyrzenski, Waycross City Manager; Veronica Statin; Sarah Whittaker; and Gary Coleman. Robin Blanchard, Waycross-Ware County Chamber Director, and Gibson hosted the selection committee and nominees during the final competition.

OTC President, Dr. Gail Thaxton, expressed her appreciation to the audience, as well, stating that their support of students, programs, faculty and staff confirms their belief in OTC as an engine for economic viability in this community.Winner of 2007 Goal

Thaxton congratulated all of the finalists and presented them with a framed certificate, commemorating their nomination. The finalists were Barbara Blount, practical nursing, nominated by Debra Downs; Roy Guy, locomotive electrical systems, nominated by Bob Cardwell; Brandi King, respiratory care technology, nominated by Faye Mathis; Selena Strickland, auto collision repair, nominated by Jack Dixon; and Desiree Herrington Suggs, radiologic technology, nominated by Donna Yeomans.

Dr. Thaxton then announced the winner and presented Strickland with a gift and a plaque. The state GOAL competition will be held in Atlanta May 22-25. At this event, Strickland will compete against approximately 37 other students selected from among Georgia’s 80,000 technical students for the state GOAL title and a new car. The GOAL program is sponsored statewide by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education.

Before adjourning the meeting, Ken Carroll, President of the Waycross Exchange Club, said, “It looks as if we may have another state GOAL winner.”


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