Two individuals awarded Smarr-Smith scholarships at South Georgia Technical College LEA graduation
Americus, GA – Two Smarr-Smith scholarships were awarded at the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Class 18 – 02 graduation ceremony held in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the SGTC Americus campus recently.
Cora K. Baker of the Terrell County Sheriff’s Department and Dalton Lee Windham of the Montezuma Police Department, were both awarded Smarr-Smith Criminal Justice Scholarships to continue their education.
The Smarr-Smith endowed scholarships at South Georgia Technical College were created in memory of fallen Americus Police Officer Nicholas R. Smarr and Georgia Southwestern State University Campus Safety Officer Jody C. Smith. The endowments were created by the Smarr-Smith foundation, private individuals, and an anonymous donor. Sharon Smith Johnson, mother of fallen officer Jody Smith, and her husband, Paul, were on hand at the ceremony to help award the two scholarships. Both Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith attended the criminal justice program at South Georgia Technical College.
Baker and Windham graduated from the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy and made the decision to return to school and secure their associate of applied science degrees in Criminal Justice from their Alma Mater.
“Every day that I put on my uniform I am proud to protect and serve the people of the community in which I am employed. This is my calling and I plan on continuing my education because every day is an adventure and I am always eager to face it,” said Cora Baker. She graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy in December of 2017. “It is such a great honor to receive the Smarr-Smith Scholarship and I would like to thank the individuals who helped make this scholarship possible and extend my condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.
“In January of 2018, I decided to go back to SGTC to obtain my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. Since I only needed three classes to graduate, I thought it would be a simple process,” laughed Baker. However, life got in the way and she almost gave up that dream. This scholarship along with the encouragement from the South Georgia Technical College faculty and staff has kept her going.
Dalton Lee Windham graduated from the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy in May of 2018 and served as the Class Representative for the 18-01 class. He recently earned his associate’s degree from SGTC and plans to continue at Troy State University. “After earning my associate’s degree, it pushed me to want to finish all the way. Nick and Jody were both great Law Enforcement Officers. I was saddened at the loss of both of them. There are true examples of brothers for life and true American heroes. They had each other’s backs all the way to the end and never gave up on one another. I look up to both of them and am inspired by the officers they were. I am honored to be chosen for this scholarship,” said Windham.
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford thanked the family for attending the graduation and scholarship award ceremony. “We all regret that this scholarship opportunity had to come at the expense of the lives of two outstanding South Georgia Technical College students and law enforcement officers,” said Dr. Watford. “Our hearts will continue to go out to the family and friends of Officers Smarr and Smith. But it is our prayer that this gift will assist other POST certified officers who wish to continue their education. We hope that the fine men and women who earn these scholarships will honor the memories of Officers Smith and Smarr through their service to our citizens and that the memory of Nick Smarr and Jody Smith will continue to live on through the lives of these scholarship recipients.”
Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith, both attended the South Georgia Technical College Criminal Justice Program. Smarr attained his Associate of Applied Science Degree in June of 2011 and became a certified law enforcement officer in 2012. Jody Smith had attended South Georgia Tech in 2010 and had returned in 2016 to begin completing his Criminal Justice associate degree.
Seven Smarr-Smith scholarships have been awarded since the scholarships were endowed. Charles Kinnamon and Adam O’Neal were the first two scholarship recipients. King W. Mitchell, Antoinette L. Johnson and Emerson R. Lundy were the second three recipients and now Dalton Lee Windham and Cora K. Baker are continuing their education as Smarr-Smith Scholars.
For more information about making a donation to the SGTC Foundation or endowing a scholarship at South Georgia Technical College, contact Su Ann Bird, Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at 229.931.2110 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions may also be mailed to the SGTC Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus, GA. Additional donations can be added to the Smarr-Smith Scholarship fund and all donations will be recognized and shared with members of the Smith and Smarr families.