ATC Celebrates Adult Education Student and Instructor of the Year

Katherine Herc has been named Athens Technical College’s finalist for the Dinah Culbreath Wayne Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Award, and Maria A. Davis has been named the College’s Adult Education Instructor of the Year.

The EAGLE program recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in statewide adult education classes. It’s designed to create a greater awareness of educational opportunities that are available in local communities across the state and to foster involvement in lifelong learning pursuits.

From a homeless woman burdened with addiction to becoming a successful mentor and college student, Katherine Herc is a perfect example of how enrollment in the Adult Education High School Equivalency program has helped her transform her life. Katherine is focused, motivated, and goal-oriented. She has never tried to use her past experiences as a crutch but instead as opportunities for growth and to guide others.

Herc, who intends to enroll in the college’s Radiography program, and Davis will represent the College at the Technical College System of Georgia’s state competition and EAGLE conference in Atlanta March 14-16.

She frequently assisted classmates who might have been struggling with a certain skill, and I often heard her say, ‘If I can do this, you can, too!’

“Katherine’s confidence, desire to learn and her passion for assisting other women through Divas Who Win is nothing less than contagious, and witnessing her transformation and growth has been phenomenal! We are extremely proud to have Katherine representing Athens Tech as our EAGLE student,” Davis said.

Davis of Madison, Georgia, has been an instructor at ATC since January 2019. Prior to that, she taught in both private and public secondary schools as well as Adult Education at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. She received a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from Mercer University.

“All students learn differently, and my goal as an educator and a mentor is to build strong relationships with my students while reaching them through unique differentiated instructional strategies while sparking their natural curiosity,” Davis said about her teaching philosophy. “Keeping students’ hands and minds busy while receiving instruction both involves the student and encourages life-long learning once he/she leaves my classroom.”

In her position, Davis teaches at several locations in our service area and works with students from a wide range of educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. She teaches at the college’s main campus in Athens, the Morgan County center, and at the Athens Day Reporting Center, which is a part of Athens-Clarke County Corrections.

“Since coming on board with Athens Technical College, Maria has demonstrated her dedication by working with a wide range of socioeconomic status students in our Adult Education program to help motivate them for continued success, despite their challenges,” said President Andrea Daniel in her statement of support. “Maria has great people skills and always gives her all for the benefit of the student and the program. She has received recognition through our Adult Education program, including being a nominee for the Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year Award.”

As an example of her dedication, when one of her students earns a High School Equivalency diploma, Davis takes a picture of the students under the College’s Adult Education banner and sends the picture to the entire division to recognize the student’s achievement. This small effort has had a tremendous impact on her students by motivating them to pursue their educational and career goals.