Skylar Huggett, a welding and joining student at Savannah Technical College, has been named the states’s top technical student for 2017.
Gov. Nathan Deal made the announcement Thursday in Atlanta.
Ashley Strong-Green, a general education instructor at Augusta Technical College, was named winner of the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction.
“Georgia is fortunate to have a strong technical college system that molds a workforce capable of filling the demands of an ever-evolving economy,” Deal said. “Enthusiastic students like Ms. Huggett put forth the hard work and exemplary performance that makes the Technical College System of Georgia so successful, and devoted instructors such as Ms. Strong-Green guide students on their journey to success.”
As Georgia’s top technical student, Huggett received the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership and the GOAL program’s grand prize — a new, made-in-Georgia 2017 Kia Optima, courtesy of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia and delivered by Ed Voyles Kia of Chamblee.
Strong-Green received a $1,000 cash award.
The GOAL program, now in its 46th year, recognizes the most outstanding technical education students at each of the 22 technical colleges and the technical division at Bainbridge State College. Regional competition narrows the field to nine finalists, who are then interviewed in Atlanta by a panel of judges. At each step, student finalists are scored on their academic accomplishments, leadership qualities, involvement in their local communities and future aspirations.
As the 2017 award winners, Huggett and Strong-Green will make public appearances as ambassadors for technical education during the next year.
“The passion that Skylar and Ashley have for technical education shines through, not just in their remarks and in their work, but in their lives,” said Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin. “Their passion is contagious, and each has a remarkable ability to inspire their peers and motivate all of us to greater achievements. There are no better advocates for technical education than our students and our instructors, and that includes not only Skylar and Ashley, but each and every one of our GOAL and Rick Perkins college winners.”
Huggett said her goal is to weld in a job that contributes to Georgia’s infrastructure.
“Skylar is the perfect student to represent Georgia’s technical college students as the 2017 GOAL winner,” said Kathy Love, president of Savannah Technical College.
“She represents the thousands of students who come through our doorways each year, seeking something other than the traditional pathway to higher education and find their true passions among our technical college programs.
“As Skylar says, because she found her love of welding, her future is on fire. I could not be prouder of her.”