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Impact Update: 1st Quarter 2024

Text reads: The Technical College System of Georgia concluded its Accreditation Review Process on Wednesday, March 20th and awarded Greene College & Career Academy with a perfect score.

A Perfect Score


Every five years all 55 technical colleges in the Georgia system undergo a rigorous accreditation review from the State. On March 20th of this year the Greene College & Career Academy (GCCA) located within Greene County High School was awarded the State’s highest honor - a Perfect Score of 100!


Typically, these reviews highlight findings that require additional effort to correct. In the case of GCCA there were no findings!. The final report mentioned what a“Welcoming Culture” permeated every level throughout GCCA including students, teachers, staff and career coaches.


The review also commented favorably on the career coaching partnership with the Thillen Education Foundation (TEF) saying, “We have never seen a program like this anywhere else in the State of Georgia.”


Kudos to everyone involved in achieving this level of perfection – especially all the students.


GCCA Students Recognition Receptions


During the four February receptions (senior, junior,sophomore and freshman), over 100 students were publicly recognized. The categories were Career Coach Recognition,Teacher Recognition, Community Service and Tiger of theMonth. The students all receive Dave Dollars (DD) totalingover $5,000 DD.


During the November and April receptions every student’s career plan (over 400) is reviewed and progress measured.Those making excellent progress earn $50 DD and those making good progress earn $25 DD. Over 100 students earn an additional $5,000 DD for Career Plan Progress.


Dave Dollars turn into real dollars upon graduation and can be used for continued education or starting a career.


a group of students present the money they've earned

Welcome New TEF Board Members


During the January 2024 TEF board meeting, four new board members were welcomed to the team. Two to replace retiring members and two additional to grow the board from seven members to nine. Pictured from left to right are:

  • Kara Latz, a bilingual Team Leader for our Hispanic speaking students as well as a career coach for the past five years. She serves on the Board as our Career Coach Liaison.

  • Ted Zillmer, a retired consulting actuary and a career coach for four years, takes over as Treasurer.

  • Dipti Steele, a retired I/T executive at several Fortune 100 companies, will take on the new role of Salesforce Implementation.

  • Jacqueline Evans, special education teacher and GCHS Parent Mentor, is our new Parental Liaison.

To see the entire Board of Directors as well as the Board of Advisors, visit our website at www.ThillenEducationFoundation.com/meet-the-team.


a group of four adults

Graduate Spotlight


Melani Sotelo-Leon (right in photo) graduated from Greene County High School in 2023 and is now a freshman at The University of North Georgia. She joined ROTC and is focused on a career in military intelligence. Melani plans to expand her Spanish and English skills to include Russian and Portuguese while developing an expertise in simultaneous interpretation.


She was chosen to study abroad in Lithuania during her second semester freshman year and plans to intern in a foreign embassy as a junior. After graduation she hopes to secure an overseas assignment and use her linguistic expertise in military intelligence.


Melani credits her career coach, Jenny Santee, the overall GCCA career coaching program and various scholarships, including those from the Thillen Education Foundation with helping make college a financial life changer for her and her family.


two students pose in front of a sign that reads: University of North Georgia, The Military College of Georgia, University System of Georgia, Founded 1873

College & Career Expo


GCCA hosted the College and Career EXPO on Feb. 29th in the gymnasium. This event offered students a comprehensive overview of college and career options, and importantly, connecting them with representatives from several local industries and post-secondary schools.


Students learned about educational and career trends, were able to ask a multitude of questions, and gained insights into college admissions. Attendees included businesses and schools including Caterpillar, Georgia Power, NIBCO, Athens Technical College, Georgia College, and the University of North Georgia. Special times were set aside so each grade from Freshman to Senior had a chance to learn more about opportunities available after they graduate.


students at a career expo held in a gymnasium

CTAE Month


In February, GCCA hosted a month-long series of engaging and educational events to celebrate Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) opportunities available to students for skills-based learning. Highlights included a Career Day with industry guest speakers, hands-on workshops and career exploration activities. There were also experience trips, an Alumni Success Stories Panel, and a Pathway Professional Dress Day.


It’s now official. In a special event Mayor Corey Williams of Greensboro, Georgia signed a proclamation recognizing February as Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Month. This proclamation validates the commitment and partnership between the City of Greensboro and GCCA in preparing our students for successful futures.


This recognition also highlights the importance of CTAE programs to our community and the valuable role they play in equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. CTAE month was a resounding success and we look forward to another meaningful student experience in February 2025!


a group of students

If you would like to know more about the Thillen Education Foundation, are interested in becoming a career coach, would like to become a partner or simply make a donation, please go to our website www.ThillenEducationFoundation.com.


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A student holds two Dave Dollars

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