Chris Parrish, Computer Information Systems Instructor at Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC), has been named their 2013 Rick Perkins Award winner. Parrish was selected by her peers, along with two other instructors, as a nominee for this Award.
At the College’s board meeting on Feb. 5, they announced that Parrish had been selected from the finalists as the winner and that she would represent SWGTC in the next level of competition for the statewide title.
“I am very honored to be chosen as the Rick Perkins Award winner for SWGTC and look forward to representing this College at both the regional and state levels,” Parrish said. “I see each and every day the impact that technical education has on our community, and I am privileged to be a part of this.”
The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors. Instructors are nominated by their peers, or students, and those instructors with the most nominations are selected as finalists.
“An Instructor’s job is not only about providing the best instruction a student can receive, which Ms. Chris Parrish does extremely well; it is also about being committed to the students and the College,” Dennis Lee, SWGTC Dean for Academic Affairs said. “Ms. Parrish is an outstanding example of that commitment to her students and to Southwest Georgia Technical College. She displays a passion for her students and is an ambassador for technical education and Southwest Georgia Technical College every day.”
This award has been an ongoing, statewide event since 1991 and is designed to recognize 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 and honor of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at West Central Technical College, now West Georgia Technical College, who received the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death.
“I chose to teach in a technical college because I know what a technical education gives back not only to the students, but also to their community,” Parrish said. “I am able to measure my own accomplishment by seeing their success. When they do well, I do, too. It becomes most evident when I see the ‘light bulb’ come on in a student’s eyes and they come to realize they have mastered what they thought was once the impossible.”
Parrish, a Thomasville native, is a graduate of Brookwood School. After high school, she attended the University of Georgia where she earned her Bachelors of Business Administration Degree in Management Science. She continued her education at Valdosta State University and graduated with her Masters of Education Degree.
Parrish has worked for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) for a total of 22 years, in several different positions. She has previously served as the Computer Programming Instructor at SWGTC, the Business and Office Technology Instructor at Coastal Georgia Community College and the Business Administrative Technology (BAT) Instructor at SWGTC for the past 8 years. In January, she began to transition from teaching in the BAT Program to the Computer Information Systems Program, which, after this semester, will be her primary focus.
While at TCSG, Parrish has not only displayed her dedication in the classroom, but outside as well. She has served as an advisor for two student clubs, National Technical Honor Society and Phi Beta Lambda. She has also served on SWGTC’s Faculty Council, SWGTC’s Strategic Planning Committee and Cairo High School’s Business Education Advisory Board. She is currently serving on SWGTC’s Graduation Committee and Thomas County Central High School’s Business Education Advisory Board.
To become the state Rick Perkins Award winner, nominees go through three phases of selection: the local technical college level, the regional level, and the state level. The state Rick Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia and must have made significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in his or her field of instruction. The winner must also exemplify excellence and a commitment to the mission TCSG.
Parrish will represent the College on Feb. 28 at the regional competition to be hosted at Moultrie Technical College Tifton Campus. All regional winners will compete for the title of TCSG Instructor of the Year title, and this winner will be announced at the Rick Perkins Award Ceremony on April 25 in Atlanta.