December 18, 2023
Gainesville – Lanier Technical College, a Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG),
annually announces an Exceptional Adult Georgian in Adult Literacy Education (EAGLE) Student of
the Year and an Outstanding Teacher of the Year. These awards are bestowed based on leadership,
academic excellence, belief in adult education, and a passion for bettering oneself or for making a lasting
impact on their students’ lives.
Summer Barnhart, a recent Lanier Tech GED® graduate, transitioned into the college’s Healthcare
Information Management Technology Degree Program. Completing all of these monumental tasks has
granted Barnhart with the opportunity to become Lanier Tech’s 2024 EAGLE Student of the Year.
EAGLE, a statewide program for all 22 of TCSG’s Colleges, honors excellence and perseverance in
pursuit of one’s literacy education. Barnhart was nominated by a Lanier Tech Adult Education teacher
for her exceptional ability to focus on and achieve her GED® throughout adverse conditions.
“The road to getting my GED® was not an easy one. From an abusive boyfriend who got me addicted
to opiates, to working as an adult entertainer to pay for my opiate habit, I eventually found myself a
single mother who was struggling to find a job. Lanier Tech’s Adult Education program opened more
doors for me than I could ever imagine. In just seven months I gained my GED®, a Nurse Aide
Certification and most importantly self-confidence! I now believe in myself,” said Barnhart when
questioned about her new title.
Terri Greene, a teacher in Lanier Technical College’s Adult Education Program, has been named the
2024 Adult Education Outstanding Teacher of the Year. The Adult Education Outstanding Teacher of
the Year Award, like EAGLE, is a statewide program for all of TCSG’s 22 Colleges that aims to
showcase outstanding Adult Education teachers within the college system. Greene was nominated by
one of her students.
Greene built the foundation for her career with a degree in social work and by working in the public school systems as a grant writer. Her coworkers were finally able to convince her to become a certified teacher and has been ever since.
“As an adult educator I have seen them all: The dejected teen whose parents are making them come to
class, the students who have kids, work two jobs but still some how make it to class and even those who
work third shift and come to school in the mornings and are barely awake but somehow make it through.
These students amaze me with their resilience and determination to change not only their own lives but
their families’ lives as well. For me, nothing compares to the feeling of watching these students
Both Barnhart and Greene will go on to compete against other regional technical colleges. Following
the regional competition, winning students and teachers will compete for the title of TCSG’s Overall
Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE Student of the Year and the Adult Education Outstanding Teacher of
the Year during 2024.