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HGTC Employees Honored for Statewide Innovation Awards

HGTC Employees Nominated, Honored for Statewide Innovation Awards

(Conway, SC) 2/21/2022
Charles Granger and Robert Vermeland

Robert Vermeland, HGTC Associate Professor Electrical Lineman Technician Program (left) and Charles Granger, HGTC Professor/Chair Golf and Sports Turf Management and Engineering Technologies (right).

Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is proud to announce the nominees and statewide winner for the A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year Awards 2022. HGTC nominated Becky Hubbard, Chair of the Teacher Education Department and Professor of Education, to represent the College for the A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year for her innovation to develop the Teacher Education Associate in Applied Science degree program, the only one of its kind in the South Carolina Technical College System.

HGTC also nominated Scott Shoemaker, Professor of Electrical Lineman; Charles Granger, Professor/Chair Golf and Sports Turf Management and Engineering Technologies; and Robert Vermeland, Associate Professor, Electrical Lineman, to represent the College for the A. Wade Martin Innovation Team of the Year for the vision and innovation to complete the largest lineman yard in the state.

The A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year Awards are presented annually by the SC Technical College System Foundation at an Awards Ceremony held at the South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) Conference in February. The A. Wade Martin Award recognizes individuals in the technical college system who employ innovative approaches to meet the ever-changing needs in the technical education arena and whose achievements impact most positively in the system’s statewide efforts in economic development and the education of technical college students. A. Wade Martin was the executive director of South Carolina’s first technical and industrial training program.

Becky Hubbard

Becky Hubbard, Chair of the Teacher Education Department and Professor of Education: HGTC Innovation of the Year Nominee & Winner presented by the SCTEA.

HGTC is proud to announce that Program Chair and Professor of Education, Becky Hubbard, received the statewide award as the A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year 2022. A notable authority in the field of teacher education, her number one goal is to address the teacher shortage in SC with hopes of providing pathways for those interested in the field of teacher education to help fill the demand for new teachers by actively recruiting students, offering financial aid opportunities, and providing a high-quality transfer program. Professor Becky Hubbard has been a member of the faculty for 18 years.

Through her years of service at HGTC, she has worked to create articulation agreements between Coastal Carolina University (CCU), Francis Marion University (FMU), and the University of South Carolina-Columbia (USC) establishing a teacher education transfer agreement aimed at addressing a teacher shortage in the state. These partnerships provide smooth transition options for education students and provide substantial cost savings along the way. All credits earned at HGTC transfer to CCU, FMU, and USC-Columbia.

“Mrs. Hubbard has been instrumental in aligning the two-year college curriculum for education students with the requirements of CCU. Mrs. Hubbard epitomizes strong, intelligent, courageous servant leadership. She is passionate about her work and committed to changing the environments in which she lives and serves,” said Jamia Thomas-Richmond, Chair, Department of Foundations, Curriculum, and Instruction Coastal Carolina University.

Chair Becky Hubbard has also created an innovative and unique partnership with the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA). She is currently serving as the coordinator for ProTeam sites in the Pee Dee area – Region 4 in SC. As the only two-year technical college in the state with a Teacher Education program, Becky works with teachers and 8th grade students who are interested in going into the field of education, serving as the liaison between ProTeam and the schools in the Pee Dee.

ProTeam is the pre-collegiate middle school teacher recruitment program. It is designed to help students set realistic goals for the future that include the steps to prepare for successful completion of high school and college. It is the beginning course in the education and training career cluster model. ProTeam places an emphasis on character development, career readiness skills, and an exploration of teaching and education professions.

“We are elated that HGTC overwhelmingly agreed to partner with CERRA to support the ProTeam Program in this way. This partnership has the potential to remedy various challenges in urban, suburban, and rural education and the teacher preparation pipeline. These universal ills include mitigating school drop-out/push-out factors among specific demographics, addressing the developmental needs of marginalized youth, reducing achievement gaps, and addressing the disparities in the distribution of highly qualified educators. We appreciate HGTC leading the way in this endeavor and look forward to our ProTeam students discovering There's More at HGTC,” said Dr. Marcella Wine-Snyder, Director of Pre-Collegiate Programs.

Becky continued the unique partnership with local school districts to develop a “grow your own” teachers’ program, and the College was recently awarded a $750,000 SC CREATE grant. The HGTC/CCU partnership is the only CREATE partnership with a two-year technical college. SC CREATE provides funding for all non-instructional staff who do not hold a bachelor’s degree to earn a degree in Special Education. This program is fully distanced/online and serves all 98 local educational agencies in the state of SC. HGTC/CCU is one of three options for CREATE recipients who are seeking a bachelor’s degree in Special Education. Becky is serving as the CREATE site Director for HGTC.

In addition to the creation of new partnerships, earlier this year, Chair Hubbard was sworn in as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for SC. As a GAL volunteer, Becky works with the SC Department of Children’s Advocacy to advocate for the best interests of abused/neglected children in SC.

GAL volunteers are caring individuals with a passion for service from a wide range of backgrounds who lend their voices to speak up for the state’s most vulnerable children. Hubbard has committed her time to helping ensure each child she serves has a promising future. Her recommendations to the court will help the judge make an informed decision about a child’s future.

GAL volunteers provide a stable presence in a child’s life, remaining on each case until the child finds a safe, permanent home. According to the SC Department of Children’s Advocacy, “this is one cause where the actions of a single person mean everything. One volunteer trained and empowered, will help ensure every child can thrive.” Children need a voice in court proceedings and the GAL provides that voice, by building trust and rapport with the child and advocating for their best interest. Volunteers must be compassionate and have a desire to help children and be willing to commit 4-6 hours a month to the program.

Prior to joining HGTC, Becky was a high school English teacher in Horry County Schools.