Pictured (L to R): NGTC 2023 GOAL Winner, Teresa Burton; NGTC President John Wilkinson; and NGTC 2023 RPA Winner Brandy Qualls

(Clarkesville) – Teresa Burton of Cleveland, Ga., was named North Georgia Technical College’s 2023 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner at this week’s Habersham Rotary meeting.

Nominated by her instructor, Alex Bladowski, Burton is a culinary arts student at the Currahee campus.  

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), started in 1971 and continues to honor excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. GOAL candidates are nominated by an instructor and must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher and demonstrate strong work ethics and leadership skills. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges. 

Students representing various programs across North Georgia Technical College’s campuses were nominated as candidates to represent NGTC in the state competition. The top four finalists selected for the 2023 GOAL award included Kristen Henderson, a medical assisting student from Mineral Bluff, Ga., nominated by instructor Mona Williams; Sydney Roberts, a photography student from Statesboro, Ga., nominated by instructor Melissa Henderson; Jana Walker, an early childhood care and education student from Cleveland, Ga., nominated by instructor Kelly Smith; and Burton. 

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction (RPA) was also presented at the Habersham Rotary meeting to pharmacy technology program director and instructor, Brandy Qualls. Qualls has been employed with the college since 2017. 

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors by recognizing instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields. One instructor is chosen each year from the 22 colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia.  

Qualls provides classroom instruction and hands-on training in pharmaceutical calculations, dispensing medications, sterile preparation, measuring proper doses, maintaining files and records, and more. She also serves as the academic advisor for all pharmacy technology students. Qualls holds a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia, and an associate degree in General Studies from Gainesville State College. She resides in Toccoa with her husband, Douglas. 

“I am proud to recognize these outstanding students and faculty for their dedication to technical education in our community and our state,” said NGTC President John Wilkinson. “I commend them each for their hard work and perseverance not only in their chosen fields, but also in competing for these distinguished awards. It is a tremendous achievement to make it this far, and we look forward to supporting Ms. Qualls and Teresa as they move on to represent NGTC at the next level.”  

NGTC is grateful to the following organizations for sponsoring the GOAL and Rick Perkins Award for Excellence with monetary awards: the NGTC Foundation, Habersham Rotary, Habersham County Chamber of Commerce, Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, and Habersham Medical Center.  

Both the GOAL and Rick Perkins Award winners will now advance to represent NGTC at the regional competition, which will be held February 23, 2023.  

For more information regarding North Georgia Technical College programs or admission, visit northgatech.edu or call 706-754-7700.