Each year North Georgia Technical College recognizes Alumni who have excelled in their professions. Toccoa resident Clint Simmons and Cornelia resident Shannon Gary were chosen as recipients of this year’s Career Achievement Award. Martin resident and retired United States Postal Services employee Linda Dean was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Attending this year’s celebration were former North Georgia Tech Presidents Jim Marlowe and Dr. Judy Hulsey. “They positioned this college for greatness and made possible the success of students and graduates,” said President Dr. Gail Thaxton. “Together they have a long list of accomplishments from accreditations to the initiation of outstanding student organizations such as GOAL (Georgia Occupational Award for Leadership) and HEROES (Having Equity Resources and Opportunities Equals Success). We stand on their shoulders of great leadership as we honor some of our most successful alumni today.”
The Hall of Fame Award is bestowed on a deserving alumnus who graduated from North Georgia Tech at least 20 years prior to nomination. The candidate must have distinguished himself/herself in his/her professional life.
Linda Dean was a student at North Georgia Tech 1971-1973. “These were two of the happiest years of my life,” she said. “I was poor growing up and couldn’t afford college after high school. So, I joined the Navy and then, married George and then went back to school. There were twenty of us in class to start, but only four finished,” she remembered. “Wanda Bentley, JoLynn Ankerich, and Diane Stover – I learned so much from them and they were so eager to learn.”
She graduated with credentials in Computer Programing and Accounting and then interned at Patterson Pump, known at the time as Dubie-Clark. She then embarked on a 30-year career with the United States Postal Service.
Ms. Dean is committed to community service. While a student at North Georgia Tech, she was on the student senate and later served for a number of years on the Alumni Board. She is currently on the Stephens County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and chairs the Women’s Committee. Linda is also the Mayor of Avalon, a volunteer at the Senior Center, and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels. She and her husband, George, annually welcome third graders from four local elementary schools to their farm to ensure children of today know where their food comes from.
“My kids and four grandchildren are my greatest achievement,” she affirmed. Ms. Dean was presented the award by her daughter, Hayley Dean Knight. She was accompanied to the celebration by George, her husband of 49 years; granddaughter Kaitlin Norman; Hayley and her husband Hank Knight and daughters Ann Mariee and Mary Alice; and Hank’s mother and fellow Hall of Fame Winner Mildred Knight.