Wiregrass student chosen as GOAL winner | #education | #technology | #training

VALDOSTA – Ryan Degner, a Wiregrass Welding and Joining Technology student, was announced as the state’s 2022 top technical college student.


The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) announced the state’s top technical college student for 2022. Ryan Degner, a Welding and Joining Technology student from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College was chosen as this year’s Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner.

“Ryan’s hard work, leadership, and passion for his college and TCSG makes him a tremendous ambassador for technical education all across Georgia,” said TCSG Commissioner, Greg Dozier. “We are excited for him to be named the 50th Statewide GOAL winner and I know he will do a remarkable job spreading the word about how technical education is vital to the health of  Georgia’s economy. Congratulations to Ryan and to the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College community.”

The GOAL program, now in its 50th year, recognizes the most outstanding technical education students at the 22 TCSG colleges. As the award winner, Ryan Degner will make public appearances as a representative for technical education during the next year, including meeting with the Governor and addressing the Georgia General Assembly.

Each year, selection for the GOAL program begins with the naming of the top technical education student at each college. Regional competitions follow and narrow the field to nine finalists for the award. As the grand prize winner, Ryan Degner from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College received a brand new, made-in-Georgia, 2022 KIA K5, courtesy of KIA Georgia and delivered by Carriage KIA of Gainesville.

“This is an exciting day for the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College family,” said Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President, DeAnnia Clements. “Ryan has a tremendous passion for technical education and the power it has to truly change the lives of our fellow Georgians. We are thrilled that he was chosen to represent TCSG this upcoming year!”

The first runner-up for the technical education student of the year was Letisha Smith, a Nursing student from Gwinnett Technical College.

The nine 2022 GOAL finalists were:

  • Brian Carlucci, a Nursing student from North Georgia Technical College
  • Riley Corner, a Nursing student from Southeastern Technical College
  • Ryan Degner, a Welding and Joining Technology student from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
  • James Gibney, a Paramedicine Technology student from Albany Technical College
  • Ann Hester, a Business Technology student from Ogeechee Technical College
  • Iveta Kral, a Mechanical & Industrial Engineering student from West Georgia Technical College
  • Shelley Le, a Biology student from Columbus Technical College
  • Tatiyana Matthews, a Dental Hygiene student from Atlanta Technical College
  • Letisha Smith, a Nursing student from Gwinnett Technical College

About the Technical College System of Georgia  

The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in more than 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED® testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit www.tcsg.edu.  

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