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Newton business, educator win 'Dreams' award

James Woodard, principal and CEO of the Newton College and Career Academy, pictured third from left, recently won a top award at the Investing in Dreams gala at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

James Woodard, principal and CEO of the Newton College and Career Academy, pictured third from left, recently won a top award at the Investing in Dreams gala at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

COVINGTON -- A Newton County business and an educator at the Newton County School System recently were presented top awards at Georgia Piedmont Technical College's 2012 Investing in Dreams gala.

Nearly 300 people attended the third annual black-tie event. The fundraising event supports the GPTC Foundation; the theme of this year's gala was "Come to the Emerald City, where dreams come true."

A total of 24 individuals or businesses were nominated. Organizations or individuals were nominated based on their support of education and sustainability.

Four businesses and two individuals were given the award. They include: Rema Tip Top from Morgan County, General Mills from Newton County, Golden State Foods from Rockdale County and MARTA from DeKalb County. Individual honorees were James Woodard, the principal and CEO of the Newton College and Career Academy, and DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon.

The other organizations that were nominated for this award were Georgia Power, Dixie Industrial Finishing Company, The Pepsi Bottling Group, Oglethorpe Power, Trojan Battery, Dart Container, Solo Cup Company, Bio Lab, A Chemtura Company, Pratt Industries, Madison-Morgan Conservancy, Flambeau Inc. and Anthony International. Individual nominees also included Sheriff Thomas E. Brown of DeKalb County, Nick Goebeler of Chick-fil-A, Roger House of Axiom Corporation, Sharon Barnes-Sutton, commissioner of DeKalb County, LeRoy Tanker of Freedom Financial Services and Lu Arthur Woodson of Alpha Climate Control.

The William Hawes Lifetime Achievement Award was given to retired Georgia Piedmont Technical College President Robin Hoffman for her 38 years of service to the college. DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis accepted the Chairman's Award, and 100 Black Men of DeKalb was given the President's Award by GPTC Acting President Larry Teems.

The Investing in Dreams Gala was the culmination of the college's 50th anniversary celebration.

The event co-chairs include Kevin Greiner from the DeKalb County Chamber, Michelle Bryant-Johnson from the Covington-Newton Chamber, Lorraine Harrison from the Rockdale Chamber and Erik Thompson from the Madison-Morgan Chamber.

The Georgia Piedmont Technical College Foundation, a 25-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, assists in raising funds and securing resources to support the college's strategic initiatives and is managed through a volunteer board of trustees. The college serves DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton and Morgan counties.