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'It's an incredible honor': A Middle Georgia college recognized for helping veterans

Macon Telegraph - 2/3/2019

Feb. 02--MACON, Ga. -- Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) was ranked No. 8 in the top Military Friendly Schools list, according to a press release. Military Friendly is owned by VIQTORY, an organization that works to connect veterans to resources.

"It's an incredible honor," said Patricia Ross, the chief operating officer for the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource (VECTR) Center. "Being in the top 10 of literally hundreds of institutions across the nation just shows the emphasis and the amount of support that this community and Central Georgia Tech has placed on military members and their veterans."

The VECTR Center is one of the ways CGTC serves veterans, and Ross said the center's goal is to provide resources to veterans from education to job opportunities.

"We have combined primarily with other state agencies as well as the VA (Veterans Affairs) to offer kind of comprehensive, wrap-around services for our veterans," she said.

The schools are chosen for the list based on data collected from a survey the schools submit and from public data. This year 766 institutions earned the designation, according to the release.

Ross said when the VECTRE Center moved under CGTC, it received tremendous support from the administration and faculty at the college.

"That is what this recognition kind of depicts is, you know, support from the very most senior leadership in the college to do whatever we need to do to help our military and our veterans succeed through education," she said.

Georgia had two other technical colleges in the top 10 for that category: Gwinnett Technical College and Chattahoochee Technical College. There were seven other Georgia institutions that made the top 10 list in their respective categories, according to the list.

"All of the colleges work together, and especially on the military front, we help create that synergy," Ross said.

Warner Robins High School Beta Club

The Warner Robins High School Beta Club and four of the students in the organization received awards at the Georgia State Senior Beta Club Convention in Savannah, according to a press release.

Lane LaBranche, a senior, won first place in the Division 2 woodworking competition. Zander Narum, a sophomore, won second place in the Division 1 photography competition, and Holly Bass, a senior, won third place in the Division 2 photography competition. Senior Marta Bourdon won fifth place in the Division 2 12th grade social studies competition, according to the release.

WRHS Beta Club also won the Growing Opportunities by Leadership Development (G.O.L.D.) Key Award for 10 percent growth, according to the release.

Middle Georgia State University Coding Team

Middle Georgia State University's coding team won first place at the Collegiate Cup coding competition in Atlanta, according to a press release.

Michael Koohang and Deep Patel created an app called Spark, which is a tool that gives educators the resources and support they need to teach computer science, according to the release.

"When they called our names, Deep stood up and pointed at me and said, 'Did they just call our names?'" Koohang said in the release. "It was a thrill."

The Collegiate Cup, hosted by Sandbox Communities and HackGT, was the first of its kind in Georgia, and it was open to student teams from any Georgia college or university. The focus of the project was to improve the quality of life in Georgia, according to the release.

2018-2019 Innovation in Teaching Competition

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) announced the winners of the 2018-2019 Innovation in Teaching Competition, and one of the educators teaches in Middle Georgia.

Terra McMillan, a sixth grade Earth science teacher at Thomson Middle School in Houston County, won the 2018-2019 Innovation in Teaching Competition, which awards teachers for creating innovative ways to educate their students, according to a release.

McMillan won the grant to enhance their STEMulate Learning Program. The grant will provide funding to purchase equipment for students to study long-term space travel, according to the release.

"The winners of the Innovation in Teaching Competition are model educators for teachers both in Georgia and across the country," said Rebecca Ellis, director of innovation at the GOSA, in the release. "We are excited to honor them for their continued dedication to the art of teaching and to their students' academic achievement, as well as share their resources with educators across the state."

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