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Okefenokee Tech Names Finalists for GOAL Award

Three Okefenokee Technical College students have been selected as the college’s finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Karen Boyle, coordinator for OTC’s GOAL program.

Finalist Brandi Balbach of Pierce County is enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program and was nominated by her instructor, Derrell Harris. She is the PBL President and chair of the student activity funds committee for the Student Government Association (SGA). She holds a degree from Waycross College in Criminal Justice. Her parents are Bill and Mary Balbach.Goal Finalists

Finalist Randy Driver of Ware County is enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program and was also nominated by Derrell Harris. He plans to work as a network administrator upon graduation and is an active member of PBL, with plans to compete in several upcoming PBL competitions. His parents are Randy and Phyllis Driver.

Finalist Gary Mikel of Bacon County is enrolled in the Respiratory Care Technology program and was nominated by his instructor, Faye Mathis. Mikel holds a BBA from Georgia Southern University and serves as the president of SkillsUSA. His parents are Earlene Mikel and the late Feldon Mikel.

Finalists were chosen by a screening committee who reviewed nominations and conducted personal interviews. Students then took part in another round of interviews and evaluations at the Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce on February 18, where a panel of representatives from local business and industry considered the students’ academic achievement, personal character, leadership abilities and enthusiasm for technical education.

The student judged most outstanding will be designated as the college’s GOAL winner and introduced at the Waycross Exchange Club on March 12. This student will then participate at another level of competition through consortium groupings. The top two students of each consortia will go to Atlanta in May to compete for the state GOAL title.

The title of state GOAL winner earns the student the responsibility of traveling the state as the ambassador for the entire technical college system. To make that travel easier, the winner receives a new car from Chevrolet, the statewide corporate sponsor of Georgia’s GOAL program.

The 2009 finalists for OTC’s Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) are (L to R) Randy Driver, Brandi Balbach, and Gary Mikel.

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