Employees of the Year Announced


February 26, 2014

Nikki Ogletree
Kathrine "Nikki" Ogletree

Valdosta, GA – Two Wiregrass employees were recently honored for their dedication, hard work and leadership skills by the faculty and staff of the college. Wiregrass employees annually nominate a staff member and a supervisor for their exemplary performance on the job. The nominations are narrowed down by a committee and the finalists are interviewed by a panel of judges to decide who will be honored.

Kathryn “Nikki” Ogletree, allied health advisor/interim curriculum coordinator, was awarded the third annual James A. Bridges Vanguard Award for the staff member of the year. Nikki is described by her peers as being knowledgeable about her job, dedicated to the students and always willing to help. One nomination for Nikki stated “Nikki is dedicated to the students and works hard to ensure that they are valued. She has a great attitude and never complains. She stresses over doing her job to her high standards, but this stress just makes her a better employee.” As the allied health advisor Nikki is responsible for advising all allied health core students on all four Wiregrass campuses. As the interim curriculum coordinator Nikki ensures that the college’s academic programs are administered according to SACS accreditation policies. She works closely with faculty, deans, and administration to ensure the college is meeting and exceeding accreditation standards.

The James A. Bridges Vanguard Award was created in honor of former Valdosta Technical college president, James A. Bridges. Bridges served the people of Valdosta and Lowndes County for 40 years, first as the vocational director of Valdosta High School and then as president at Valdosta Tech. During his tenure Bridges provided leadership as Valdosta Technical Institute became Valdosta Technical College. A strong believer in work ethics, he was the co-author of Georgia’s renowned work ethics curriculum. Thanks to his leadership work ethics is not only taught at every technical college in Georgia, but also at post-secondary institutions all over the world.

Angela Hobby
Angela Hobby

Angela Hobby, executive director of community and college relations, was awarded the third annual Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. Leadership Award for the supervisor of the year. One nomination for Angela stated “I have yet to meet anyone who has a work ethic that surpasses that of Angela Hobby. Mrs. Hobby has taken on several new job responsibilities in an effort to support the vision of the new administration. All tasks that have been assigned to her have been met with a passion and determination that will assure that these tasks are not only accomplished but also surpass all expectations. She is described as “going above and beyond what is required of her in her job to make sure that the students, faculty, and staff are up to date on the latest happenings and goings on at the college.” As the executive director for community and relations, Angela is responsible for the overall marketing and recruiting functions of the college including planning, developing, and implementing advertising and public relations campaigns, coordinating recruiting events, and overseeing early college credit programs.

This award was named in honor of Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. for his visionary leadership, his unquestionable integrity, and his passion for technical education. Brinson was the founding director (president) of Ben Hill-Irwin Tech. The World War II veteran taught in the Ben Hill County School System for twenty years. During these 20 years he served as the vocational director at Fitzgerald High School. Based on his integrity and outstanding leadership qualities, in 1968, the Board of Directors of Ben Hill-Irwin Tech selected Mr. Brinson to serve as the first director of the school, a position he filled for the next 15 years, retiring in 1983. Brinson was responsible for overseeing the construction of what is now the 100 through 400 wings of the Charles Harris Learning Center as well as hiring the original faculty and staff of the college.