Walker’s enthusiasm earns EAGLE Spirit Award from peers
Dental Assisting student Markey Walker, who was Athens Technical College’s delegate for the statewide EAGLE Award with the Technical College System of Georgia, was given a new iPad for winning the program’s Spirit Award, as voted by his follow delegates March 27 in Atlanta.
“His peer group of EAGLE delegates voted him tops in enthusiasm for the EAGLE program,” said Gwen Evans, executive director for Adult Education with Athens Technical College. “Markey received a standing ovation after a heartfelt delivery of his speech highlighting the impact Adult Education has made in his life.”
The opportunity to represent Athens Technical College in the EAGLE program was a “positive learning experience,” said Mr. Walker.
He plans to use the new iPad for his studies at Athens Technical College, he said.
Officials with the TCSG presented the special award to Mr. Walker during a ceremony honoring the 28 adult learners who were selected as delegate finalists in the EAGLE Award program. Each delegate was presented with an EAGLE Award statue at the event held in the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Now in its 21st year, the system’s EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) Award acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments of Georgians who enroll in the TCSG’s adult education programs in order to study for and earn their GED® credential. More than 71,000 men and women took part in Georgia’s adult education programs last year, and 15,450 received their GED credential.
Each March, the 28 local EAGLE winners are the guests of a three-day conference in Atlanta that ends with a lunch banquet in their honor. Almost 300 guests applauded the students for overcoming obstacles that once stood in the way of their education and then excelling in the classroom while preparing for their GED credential.
The awards were presented by TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson and Beverly Smith, the TCSG assistant commissioner for adult education. Jackson praised the students for their achievement and asked them to share their positive message in their hometowns.
“Your success makes you great role models for the 1.2 million adults in Georgia who still do not possess a high school diploma,” Mr. Jackson said. “We need you to spread the word to your fellow Georgians that obtaining a GED credential is an important step toward discovering your potential, getting a better job, and improving the future for you, your family and your community. ”
Jackson then announced that a panel of judges from business and education had selected Unique Bunch, an EAGLE delegate from Atlanta Technical College, to be the TCSG’s 2014 adult education student of the year. He handed her a set of keys to the grand prize, a new 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer ES that was donated by Jeff Smith, the owner of the Jeff Smith Mitsubishi, Chevrolet and Ford dealerships in Byron, Georgia; the Jeff Smith Kia and Dodge Chrysler Jeep in dealerships in Perry; and the Jeff Smith Automotive Group in Warner Robins.
Over the coming year, Bunch will travel the state in the new car while she serves as Georgia’s EAGLE ambassador for adult education. She will be speaking to students, civic groups, legislators and others about lifelong learning and the importance of earning a GED credential.
Photo caption: Left to right, TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson, Athens Technical College EAGLE student Markey Walker, TCSG Deputy Commissioner Josephine Reed Taylor, TCSG Assistant Commissioner of Adult Education Beverly E. Smith.