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June 18, 2008
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Honors GTC’s Hudgens Center
Gwinnett Tech Early Education Center Selected for 16th Bus Trip Across Georgia; Annual Event Showcases Innovative Schools, Emphasizes Best Practices
The D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center on the campus of Gwinnett Technical College has been selected by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) as a stop on the 16th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia.
The Hudgens Center is one of only 12 schools – at all grade levels – in the state to be featured and was chosen from a pool of 100. The bus tour began in 1993 and has been a fixture in state education circles ever since.
The tour showcases achieving public schools, innovative learning techniques and shares best practices with educators, business, government and community leaders from around the state. Schools selected as stops have a proven track record of academic excellence, educational innovation and sustained performance.
Sharon J. Bartels, president of Gwinnett Technical College, says, "It's a great honor for The Hudgens Center to recognized by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education in just our second year of operation. It's also great to see the role of early education highlighted. Quality early education is vital for success in all levels of education and improving early education directly and positively improves our communities."
The Hudgens Center provides childcare and preschool to the community, offering infant and toddler care, preschool, Montessori, Georgia Pre-K classes and before- and after-school care, serving children six weeks to 8 years old. The Hudgens Center is also a model teaching center for Gwinnett Tech's early childhood care and education program.
"As a lab school for Gwinnett Tech's early education program, our sole purpose is to model the best practices in the field and to provide an education at the highest level of quality in a nurturing environment to our children," says Becky Olson, Hudgens Center director. "It's gratifying to know that we're hitting the mark."
Opened in August 2006, the Hudgens Center is a 26,000-square-foot, two-story facility located on the Gwinnett Tech campus. Built with state-of-the-art communications and security features, the Center offers low teacher-to-student ratios and high teacher-education requirements, while also following best practices in Early Childhood Education.
Dr. Stephen Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, says, "The Hudgens Center is a prime example of what can be done when it comes to providing a strong learning foundation for children." He explains the school represents a true partnership between the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning – Bright from the Start – and the Technical College System of Georgia that brings together quality early learning and teacher training.
Dolinger adds that the Hudgens Center - Gwinnett Tech visit, as well as the other 2008 bus trip schools, represents what is right in Georgia's public education system. "In the case of this stop, our bus trip participants will see a dynamic program that will pay long-lasting dividends as these children progress through their learning careers."
He says these annual visits to schools accomplish two things. "While we are bringing much deserved recognition to these schools, their school systems and supportive communities, we are also showcasing best practices to influencers who might adopt or adapt some of these great ideas for use in their own communities."
The event will be conducted in two three-day increments in October and November. The first leg of the trip will visit six north Georgia schools Oct. 28 – 30, followed by another six schools on a southern swing, Nov. 18 - 20. The Hudgens Center - Gwinnett Tech stop is scheduled for Oct. 30. More than 200 riders and local site visitors are expected to participate over the entire schedule.
For more information about the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr., Early Education Center, call 678-226-6510. For more information about Gwinnett Tech and the college's more than 45 program options, including early childhood education, call 770-962-7580 or visit www.gwinnetttech.edu.
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About Gwinnett Tech
Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, is committed to delivering relevant knowledge to meet the workforce training needs of its community. The college offers more than 50 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. GTC is Gwinnett County's largest provider of corporate training and now serves residents and businesses in north Fulton County. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097,404-679-4500, www.sacscoc.org for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu.
A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.