The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) today announced the state’s top technical college instructor for 2021. Casey Corbett, a Fish and Wildlife Management instructor from Ogeechee Technical College was chosen as the winner of this year’s Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction.
“I’m among the best instructors in the world here in TCSG,” said Corbett. “I want to thank Ogeechee Tech for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream and help my students live out theirs. I want to dedicate this award to late Senator Jack Hill, he had a front row seat watching me grow up and knew the passion I had for wildlife – I would not be here if not for him.”
After being selected as one of three finalists from the southern region on May 10th, Corbett joined the eight other finalists from other regions and competed for the top prize in the statewide TCSG competition whose winner was announced today at 1:00 p.m.
“Anyone that meets Casey can quickly see that she has a passion for wildlife and the environment,” said TCSG Commissioner, Greg Dozier. “But it’s her ability to take that passion and inspire her students for a career in Fish and Wildlife management that earned her this top honor. I know everyone at Ogeechee Tech is excited for her. Casey will be a wonderful ambassador for technical education in Georgia this year.”
The Rick Perkins Award, now in its 30th year, highlights excellence in technical instruction and recognizes the most outstanding instructors at the 22 TCSG colleges. As the award winner, Casey Corbett will make public appearances as a representative for technical education during the next year, including meeting with Governor Brian Kemp and addressing the Georgia General Assembly.
Each year, selection for the Rick Perkins Award begins with the naming of the top technical education instructors at each college. Regional competitions follow and narrow the field to nine finalists for the award. Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, a panel of judges interviewed this year’s nine finalists virtually.
“I could not be more proud of Casey for being selected as this year’s Rick Perkins Award winner out of an incredibly competitive group of well qualified instructors,” said OTC President Lori Durden. “Her passion for Fish & Wildlife Management is evident in everything she does. Not only is she a great instructor, but her love for her field extends well beyond the classroom. Casey embodies everything the award stands for and she will make a wonderful advocate for technical education across the state.”
Corbett, who has taught at OTC since 2017, has previously worked as the Tech Prep and School to Work Coordinator at Southeastern Technical College, science teacher at Tattnall County High School, small business owner, and the Education Coordinator at the Georgia Southern University Center for Wildlife Education. She is a certified Hunter Education Instructor for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and holds Georgia Master Naturalist certification from the UGA Cooperative Extension Service and the UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources.
Corbett expressed that what she does goes well beyond teaching and has a global impact.
“My students are the future stewards of wildlife and our natural resources. They are the future conservationists that our state, nation, and world really need. I am teaching them, not just to prepare them for a successful career, but more importantly so they can teach others how to be better stewards of our planet,” she said.
As the 2021 Rick Perkins award winner, Corbett will serve the next year as an ambassador for technical education in the state of Georgia.
To learn more about the Fish & Wildlife program at Ogeechee Technical College, please visit www.ogeecheetech.edu/FWMT.
The first runner-up for instructor of the year was Joycelin Primus, a Barbering instructor from Savannah Technical College.
The nine 2021 Rick Perkins Award finalists were:
- Amber Brazile, a Dental Hygiene instructor from Columbus Technical College
- Daniel Brown, a Barbering instructor from Atlanta Technical College
- Jeremiah Cooper, a Welding and Joining Technology instructor from Georgia Northwestern Technical College
- Casey Corbett, a Fish and Wildlife instructor from Ogeechee Technical College
- David Maryniak, a Chemical Technology instructor from Augusta Technical College
- Joycelin Primus, a Barbering instructor from Savannah Technical College
- Cherylyn Sands-Anderson, an Adult Education instructor from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
- Jennifer Staton, an English instructor from Chattahoochee Technical College
- Mary Walker, a Physical Therapist Assistant instructor from Central Georgia Technical College
Sources: Technical College System of Georgia, Ogeechee Technical College