Moultrie Technical College (MTC) practical nursing instructor and program director Robin Kern of Norman Park was recently selected by her peers at MTC as the school’s nominee for the state Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction. Kern teaches at the college’s Industrial Drive campus in Moultrie.

“I am truly honored that my coworkers nominated me as MTC’s Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year,” Kern said. “I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a great faculty and staff the past 11 years. I look forward to representing Moultrie Tech in the regional and state competition.”

MTC radiologic technology instructor Alfred Jones of the Moultrie Campus and cosmetology instructor Donna Waters of the Turner County Campus were also finalists for the 2011 award at Moultrie Tech.

“Robin is an outstanding instructor whose constant focus is student success,” MTC Executive Vice President Jim Glass said. “She is committed to producing the best trained, most qualified nursing graduates and is an integral part of the overall success of Moultrie Tech’s allied health programs. We are very fortunate to have Robin as a Moultrie Tech faculty member and are extremely proud to have her as our representative in the regional Rick Perkins competition.”

Named in memory of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at West Central Technical College who received the Department of Technical and Adult Education Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death, the award is the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) version of an “instructor of the year” honor. It is presented to the person who has shown the most dedication to the job, commitment to students, and skill in the classroom.

Annually, all 26 technical colleges, plus the two Regents system schools with technical divisions, nominate an instructor to represent their colleges for the statewide honor. Nominees then compete on a regional basis.  

Kern will compete with instructors from Albany, Altamaha, Ogeechee, Okefenokee, Savannah, South Georgia, Southwest Georgia and Wiregrass Georgia technical colleges, as well as Bainbridge College, for the South Georgia regional title on March 24 at Altamaha Tech in Jesup. Two finalists from each technical college region will be announced prior to the TCSG’s GOAL awards week in May and will go on to compete for the state honor during that week in Atlanta.

The state Rick Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. He or she will make public appearances throughout the year including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly and the Georgia Technical College System Leadership Conference in the fall.

Kern graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Valdosta State University. She continued in the Masters of Nursing Leadership program through Regis University and graduated in 2010 earning an additional certificate in nursing education.

Prior to joining the faculty at Moultrie Tech in 2000, Kern worked as a registered nurse for six years at hospital facilities including South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton, Colquitt Regional Medical Center, and Peachtree Hematology & Oncology Consultants in Atlanta. Her areas of focus in hospital nursing included care to patients in intensive care units, outpatient surgery and chemotherapy departments, as well as in patient and family education.

 In addition to her current role as MTC’s practical nursing program director, Kern has served in various capacities in the Allied Health division, to include practical nursing instructor, medical assisting program director, and adjunct allied health online and nurse assisting instructor. She was honored with MTC’s Virtual Star Award for her excellence in online instruction and customer service in 2005 and with the Excellence in e-Learning Award from Georgia Virtual Technical College (GVTC) in 2006. She was also nominated for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for three consecutive years beginning in 2001.

Her additional professional activities include sitting on the MTC Instructional Faculty Curriculum Committee, the state committee to revise the Practical Nursing Curriculum, and the MTC Online Steering Committee as well as serving as the regional chair of the Instructional Faculty Curriculum Committee for Medical Assisting. She acted as Skills USA advisor for the on-campus student organization at Moultrie Tech and is also currently an instructor for the American Heart Association in basic life support and first aid.

Kern’s community activities range from church ministry for children at both Memorial Baptist and First United Methodist churches in Moultrie to serving on the board of directors at the Colquitt County Arts Center and volunteering at the Hope House Women’s Clinic & Thrift Shop.

She and her husband Travis, a music educator in the Colquitt County School System, have two sons, Kellen and Aidan.

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