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Lanier Technical College names Dr. David Byers as winner of 2014 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction

Dr. David Byers explains a process to students, Dana Page (L), Jessy Rattanaxay (C), and Heather Parks (R).
Dr. David Byers explains a process to students, Dana Page (L), Jessy Rattanaxay (C), and Heather Parks (R).
Lanier Technical College names Dr. David Byers as the winner of the 2014 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction, a statewide program of the Technical College Systems of Georgia to honor outstanding instructors at the System’s 25 member institutions.

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Education honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors. Started in 1991, the statewide award is designed to recognize and honor 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 Rick Perkins Award was renamed in memory of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at Carroll Technical Institute, who received the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death.

Other finalists for the title included Mrs. Joan Ivey, Business Administrative Technology instructor, and Dr. Cheree Madison, Psychology instructor.

Byers will compete against the winners from other technical colleges in the North Georgia Region in March. Each region will select three finalists whose names will be announced in April at the annual Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership and Rick Perkins Award conference. Those finalists will participate in an additional round of competition before the state Rick Perkins Award winner is named. The State winner will be announced on the evening of April 24, 2014 at the closing banquet of the conference. Each college winner receives an Apple iPad at the ceremony. The State winner is also awarded a $1,000 first prize.

The State Rick Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. He or she will make many public appearances throughout the year including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor, and the TCSG State Board, in addition to civic organizations, schools, and other groups.

Dr. Byers is a life-long resident of Clarksville, GA and teaches dental hygiene at the Oakwood Campus of Lanier Technical College. Dr. Byers has taught at Lanier Technical College for fourteen years, serving as Program Director and Co-Director. Since 2008, Dr. Byers has been the Director of the Dental Hygiene program. Prior to teaching at Lanier Tech, Dr. Byers owned his own dental practice in Clarksville, GA.  Byers and his wife, Terri, who works for the Habersham School System as a Media Specialist, have a son, Nathan, and a daughter, Erin.

Melba Daniels, Lanier Technical College's Rick Perkins’ Coordinator said, “The judges have an incredibly difficult job. We have some of the best instructors in the state here at Lanier Technical College, and our judges must choose one from the best of the best.”

Lanier Technical College has a 100% placement rate (83.5% in field)
, an education guarantee, and offers over 40 programs of study in some of the nation's fastest-growing career fields including healthcare, energy, business and industry, and public or private service. More information about Lanier Technical College may be obtained by calling 770-531-6300 or by visiting www.laniertech.edu. Lanier Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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