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OTC student wins state award
Alvie Coes III named student of year for Ga. tech schools
Alvie Coes is addressed by a representative of Chevrolet prior to being presented the keys to a 2011 Chevy Cruze. - photo by Special

    ATLANTA — Alvie Coes, III, a Funeral Service Education student at Ogeechee Technical College, has been named as the Technical College System of Georgia’s 2011 Student of the Year. 
    The award was announced during a banquet honoring the system’s top students and instructors at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta on May 26. 
    Coes competed for the top student honor as part of the system’s annual Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) program, which recognizes the best students at each of the state’s 26 technical colleges and one Board of Regents college with a technical division.
    “To be chosen as the student of the year from among the more than 191,000 students who attend Georgia’s technical colleges is an exceptional accomplishment,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson.
“Mr. Coes made a very strong impression on our judges with his outstanding achievement in his field of study as well as his strong leadership skills and great knowledge of his chosen field of work. The entire Technical College System of Georgia congratulates him on this well-earned award.”
The distinction as Georgia’s top technical college student also means that Coes is the winner of the GOAL program’s grand prize, the keys to a brand-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. Chevrolet and the local Chevrolet dealers are the statewide sponsors of the GOAL program.
    Coes was nominated for the award by his instructor, Jarvis Barnes.  Both were introduced to the banquet audience that included the TCSG leadership, college presidents and their staff, and other dignitaries.
    A contingent of Ogeechee Technical College faculty and staff was on hand to see Coes named 2011 GOAL state winner.  As each level of competition saw Coes progress to the next level, the suspense built until the actual announcement.  Dr. Dawn Cartee, OTC president, said, “This has been a thrilling evening.  We are so proud of Alvie and excited for him!  He is a great representative of the Technical College System and Ogeechee Tech.”
    Ogeechee Tech had another State GOAL winner in 2008 when Radiologic Technology student, Molly Bickerton, also won the title.  OTC’s representatives were finalists in 2009 and 2010.  “It is amazing to have finalists several years in a row, but to have two state winners in four years is just fantastic.  This really demonstrates the quality of students we have at Ogeechee Technical College,” said Cartee.  Coes addressed the large audience of attendees at the banquet following the announcement, saying, “This is a great honor, and I look forward to being an advocate for the
Technical College System of Georgia and Ogeechee Technical College.”  Originally from Unadilla, Georgia, Coes currently makes his home in Statesboro.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgia Southern University, and was recently recognized by the Statesboro Herald with a 20 Under 40 award. 
    Judging for the GOAL program starts at each college and is followed by a regional competition. At the state level, nine finalists are interviewed by a panel of judges representing business, industry and higher education in Georgia. At each step, the students are rated on their academic accomplishments, leadership qualities, involvement in their local communities, and future aspirations.
    As the 2011 Student of the Year and state GOAL winner, Coes will serve as the TCSG’s student ambassador during a number of system and college functions throughout the year.  He will also have a chance to speak before the Georgia General Assembly and receive a personal commendation from the Governor.
Beth Crowley, a Physical Therapy Assistant student from Athens Technical College, was announced as the first runner-up for the award.

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