THOMASVILLE, Ga. — Charles “Andy” Semones, director for adult education at Southern Regional Technical College, has been nominated for the Department of Community Supervision (DCS) Stakeholder Award for the work he has done with students seeking to earn their High School Equivalency at the Thomasville Day Reporting Center.
Each year, the award recognizes a DCS stakeholder who is performing acts that further the DCS mission, or makes a significant contribution to offenders or the public, and that increase public safety and/or the community good, according to a press release from SRTC.
Dawn Hurst, director of the Thomasville Day Reporting Center, nominated Semones. Across the state, DRCs provide a non-residential prison diversion program targeted at high-risk, high-need persons under supervision with a history of substance abuse and non-compliant behavior, the press release said. DRCs seek to address the root problem of substance abuse, rather than the non-violent crimes that result from addiction. Those under supervision who are placed in DRCs complete an intensive, highly structured, non-residential addiction recovery program lasting six months or more.
In Hurst’s nomination letter, she said in part, “Andy has been extremely instrumental with our GED program here at the Thomasville Day Reporting Center. He has a passion for education and it shows in our GED Program. Andy is very devoted to the success of our program and cares deeply for those in our community. He shows that through his involvement to help our participants in the next step of their life. Through Andy’s dedication to our program, we have had several participants successfully obtain their GED and become productive members of our community.”
Semones began working with the DRC participants in Thomasville as an SRTC Adult Education instructor in 2011, the college said. The Adult Education program at SRTC has served 200 students at the Thomasville DRC in the past four years alone. As he was promoted within SRTC’s Office of Adult Education, he remained involved with the Thomasville DRC program.
Hurst said that his efforts to support students went far beyond his job requirements. Semones has helped to provide educational materials and supplies for the students, including computers, desks, printers, and books. He has paid for the GED pre-test out of his pocket for several students, provided display frames for students that obtained their GED, and used his personal vehicle and time to help move large furniture and equipment for the program.
“It is an honor be recognized by agencies like Department of Community Supervision and a privilege to work with their program participants,” said Semones. “I have always had a special place in my heart for our corrections sites. I am thankful to be a part of the SRTC team and to have this opportunity to represent the College.”
In 2021, SRTC promoted Semones to director for adult education. In his new position, he is responsible for SRTC’s expansive Adult Education program, which serves students in the college’s 11-county service delivery area. Adult Education is provided at no charge to students, the college said, and includes adult literacy, English language acquisition, career training, and GED test & HiSET exam preparation classes in the areas of math, science, social studies, and English language arts. The Office of Adult Education at SRTC offers classes online and at various locations in Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas, Tift, Turner, and Worth counties. For more information about Adult Education at SRTC, visit online: southernregional.edu/adult-education.
DCS Commissioner Michael W. Nail said in a letter to Semones, “The Department of Community Supervision recognizes that the incredible task of preserving public safety and transforming communities cannot be accomplished without the unwavering support of partners and stakeholders such as you and your organization. As an external stakeholder, we know that you provide services to our supervisee population simply on the merits of your love for public service, and for that, we are grateful. Your nomination for this award is a reflection of the meaningful work you are performing to make a difference in your community.”
The DCS Annual Awards Ceremony is held each fall. During this event, the DCS honors exemplary employees and external stakeholders. In addition to recognizing the award recipients listed, the DCS will celebrate the service of many other individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond in service to their communities. This years’ ceremony will be held virtually on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Gov. Brian Kemp will serve as the keynote speaker, with special recognitions by Commissioner Michael W. Nail and Assistant Commissioner Scott Maurer.