ATLANTA, GEORGIA – For the first time in Albany Technical College history, the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) student and Rick Perkins Teacher of the Year from Albany Tech have been selected as state finalists in their respective competitions. Carpentry student, Julianna Matthews, and General Education instructor, Lashea Dancer, have set a historic milestone for Albany Technical College with this accomplishment. Matthews has been selected as one of nine state finalists in the GOAL State Competition, and Dancer was named one of nine state finalists in the Technical College System of Georgia’s Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction Competition during the 2018 Leadership Summit at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta Hotel in Buckhead.

Matthews, a Lee County resident, will graduate from the Carpentry Program in December and plans to pursue an associate degree from Albany Tech. Dancer has served as a Psychology Instructor at Albany Tech since 2013 and was named Program Chair of the department in 2017. She is a native of Bainbridge.

“We are very proud that Ms. Matthews and Ms. Dancer have represented Albany Tech so well,” said Albany Technical College president, Dr. Anthony O. Parker. “To be named one of the top nine instructors and top nine students in the state is an honor and is very indicative of their hard work.”

Overall state winners will be announced Wednesday night in Buckhead. State winners in both the GOAL and Rick Perkins competitions will serve as official spokespersons for technical education in Georgia for the upcoming year.



About Albany Technical College

A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to or become a fan on Facebook at or on Twitter at You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting .

About the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL)

First launched in 1971, the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) focuses on student excellence in technical education by focusing on academic excellence and personal achievement. A panel of judges selects one student, the state GOAL Winner, to serve as an ambassador of technical education in Georgia. GOAL winners represent the “new image” of Georgia’s technical colleges. Students must recognize technical education’s critical impact on Georgia’s overall economic health, have a strong work ethic, a dedicated sense of loyalty, and a healthy enthusiasm for promoting technical education in Georgia. GOAL winners are the best possible advertisement for technical education. They prove every day that the best technical education consists of more than manipulative skills. Technical education prepares us for the world of work. GOAL students are an indication of what technical education at its best can achieve and of the caliber of individuals who are choosing Georgia’s technical colleges. The winning GOAL student for the state of Georgia serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia and makes many public appearances throughout the year including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, Governor and TCSG’s Student Fall Leadership Conference, to name a few.

About the Rick Perkins Award

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors the Technical College System of Georgia’s most outstanding instructors. The 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 award was renamed in honor and memory of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at West Georgia Technical College, formerly known as West Central Technical College, who received the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death. The Technical College System of Georgia provides oversight for the Rick Perkins Award program through the system’s office, the college presidents’ Academic Affairs Committee and the state planning committee.