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Daniels is Selected As 2008 Outstanding Instructor

Dr. Steve Pearce, vice president for academic affairs at Okefenokee Technical College (OTC), gave the sealed envelope containing the name of the 2008 Rick Perkins winner to OTC President Gail Thaxton. Thaxton, after several false starts for suspense, opened the envelope and announced to OTC staff that Cathy Daniels had been selected as the winner of the 2008 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Education at OTC.Dr. Gail Thaxton and Cathy Daniels

In this, the first phase of the competition, instructors are nominated by their peers, and then business and community leaders determine the winner from the qualified nominees. The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors the Technical College System of Georgia’s most outstanding instructors.

The award has been an ongoing statewide event since 1991 and is designed to recognize technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields. Formerly known as the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence, the award was renamed in honor and memory of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at West Central Technical College, who received the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death.

Mrs. Daniels, an OTC adult education instructor for Ware County since 1995, is very deserving of this award. She was described by one of her nominating peers as an instructor who “really cares about her students and goes above and beyond to help build their confidence and help them earn their GED.” Daniels encourages all of her students to continue their education. She supports Work Ready Ware, as well, encouraging all of her students to take the Work Ready assessment and get their certificate.

The announcement caught Daniels by surprise. She later emailed her colleagues to say, “To have been awarded the winner to represent the college is indeed an honor and a privilege. I pray that I will emulate the best qualities of all who make their lives a vocation in improving the future of others. I am nervous and excited about the coming weeks and months in anticipation of the events to come. Pray for me, and I will do my best to make all of you proud to have nominated me.”

Prior to teaching adult education classes at OTC, Daniels worked as a PEACH case worker with the Department of Family and Children Services in Waycross.

Daniels holds a M.Ed. from the University of Phoenix and a B.A. in psychology from Syracuse University.  

Mrs. Daniels will go on to compete on the consortium level in July at Southeastern Technical College in Vidalia. The state winner will be announced in September.

The Rick Perkins Award is a true partnership between business, industry and education. Technical colleges work in partnership with local business, industry, and community groups to sponsor the Rick Perkins Award activities. Accordingly, Thaxton and Pearce would like to extend their appreciation to community leaders Frank Bannamon, Cindy Eblin, Scott Moye, and Toni Nelson, who served as judges for the local competition.


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