South Georgia Technical College’s Pablo Castaneda honored by TCSG at 2017 EAGLE Conference

March 16, 2017
South Georgia Technical College 2017 EAGLE winner Pablo Castaneda
South Georgia Technical College 2017 EAGLE winner Pablo Castaneda

Atlanta – South Georgia Technical College’s Pablo Castaneda was one of the 26 EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) adult learner students recognized by the Technical College System of Georgia for outstanding achievement in the state’s adult education program in Atlanta recently. Jonathan Swinsburg, a delegate from Athens Technical College, was named as TCSG’s 2017 adult education student of the year.

The awards were presented by TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and Beverly E. Smith, TCSG assistant commissioner for adult education, during the event at the Evergreen Conference Center in Stone Mountain.

“These are individuals who have committed to changing their lives and who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their adult education classes,” said Commissioner Corbin. “We are proud of Jonathan, and of all our EAGLE students, for their dedicated pursuit of their goals and for inspiring others in their community to follow in their path.”

Patlo Castaneda, from Ellaville, was selected by South Georgia Technical College as its 2017 EAGLE representative. He is currently enrolled in the South Georgia Technical College Welding program and is thankful for the SGTC Adult Education Department and the doors that they have opened. His adult education instructor Is Tonya Visage.

“I am so thankful to South Georgia Technical College for helping me to earn my GED,” said Pablo Castaneda, who had to overcome English and education barriers to secure his GED. Since that time, he has obtained five welding certificates and secured employment at the Ellaville Recycling Company as a welder.

When asked, what are the three things that he would like to accomplish as the SGTC Eagle representative, Pablo replied, “I would like to encourage other adult education students to work hard to obtain their GED diploma. I would also tell them to believe in yourself and never give up.”

Athens Tech’s Swinsburg, who was selected by a panel of judges from business and education as the top EAGLE student, will receive a full scholarship to the technical college of his choice. In addition, his fees and books will be paid for through a stipend from the Brenda Wise Scholarship Fund, established in 2014 in memory of Brenda Wise, a lifelong supporter of adult education.

Over the coming year, Swinsburg will travel the state as Georgia’s EAGLE ambassador for adult education, speaking to students, civic groups, legislators and others about lifelong learning and the importance of earning a GED® credential.

The runner-up for the adult education student of the year is Raquel Mohammed from Gwinnett Technical College. Winner of the “Spirit” award is Haylie Bailey from Lanier Technical College. About 200 guests applauded the students for overcoming obstacles that once stood in the way of their education and then excelling in the classroom while preparing for their GED® credential.

Now in its 24th year, the system’s EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) Award acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments of Georgians who enroll in the TCSG’s adult education programs in order to study for and earn their GED® credential. More than 44,000 men and women took part in Georgia’s adult education programs last year. Each March, the local EAGLE winners are the guests of a three-day conference in Atlanta that ends with a lunch banquet in their honor.

The complete list of the EAGLE delegates for 2017 and the TCSG college, school system or local authority that delivers their adult education and GED® program follows.

Elouise Williams, Albany Technical College
Jonathan Swinsburg, Athens Technical College* (winner)
Marquita Hixon, Atlanta Public Schools
Iona McCoy, Atlanta Technical College*
La’Treciya Harris, Augusta Technical College
Selena Wells, Bainbridge State College
Jaquetta Coleman, Central Georgia Technical College*
Andrea Newsome, Chattahoochee Technical College*
Tara Moore, Clayton County Public Schools
Shawn Turberville, Coastal Pines Technical College
Frederic Mulika, Cobb County School District
Natalie Miller, Columbus Technical College*
Emily Connell, Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Habtamu Wilson, Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Raquel Mohammed, Gwinnett Technical College*
Haylie Bailey, Lanier Technical College
Andrew Hudgins, North Georgia Technical College
Candice Carroll, Oconee Fall Line Technical College*
Hyun Hwa (Ellie) Chi, Ogeechee Technical College
Elizabeth Genard, Savannah Technical College
Pablo Castaneda, South Georgia Technical College
Sherita Stokes, Southeastern Technical College
Adrienne Dore, Southern Crescent Technical College
Ashley Spears, Southern Regional Technical College*
Maria Hernandez, West Georgia Technical College
Anthony Urrabazo, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

* Denotes finalist.

About the Technical College System of Georgia
The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED® testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit