Gwinnett Technical College Names 2015 Instructor of the Year

January 29, 2015

Gwinnett Technical College Names 2015 Instructor of the Year
Sherron Murphy Wins Rick Perkins Award of Excellence in Technical Education


Sherron Murphy, a veteran early childhood care and education instructor, has been honored with Gwinnett Technical College’s 2015 Rick Perkins Award of Excellence in Technical Education.

Sherron Murphy

The Rick Perkins Award of Excellence in Technical Education honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors. The award has been an ongoing statewide program since 1991 and the recipients are technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.

“Sherron is an outstanding educator and instructor who cares deeply about her students and their success,” says Dr. Victoria Seals, vice president of academic affairs, Gwinnett Tech. “Her willingness to contribute to her students’ education not only through teaching, but also as a mentor is what ensures their preparedness and capability when entering the professional workforce. She is very active with both state and national associations devoted to excellence in early childhood education and her students benefit from her understanding of best practices in the field.”

As Gwinnett Tech’s honoree, Murphy will represent the college in the statewide competition. “Sherron’s commitment to the relevance and value of technical education make her an excellent representative of Gwinnett Tech,” adds Dr. Seals.

“Teaching at a technical college offers a platform for me to impact lives beyond the four walls of a classroom,” says Murphy. “Through technical education, I empower students with relevant knowledge, essential skills and practical experience making gainful employment within reach. Further, their success stimulates our economy and enhances our collective desire to create viable and sustainable communities where citizens thrive. It is rewarding to play a meaningful role in such a powerful ripple effect.”

Murphy began her career in education in 2011 as a kindergarten teacher for New York City Public Schools. She went on to work as a master teacher for Easter Seals North Georgia before joining Gwinnett Tech in 2006 as the associate director/academic curriculum coordinator for the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center on campus.

Outside of the classroom, Murphy contributes her talent and energy to GTC through her participation as a faculty advisor for the Early Childhood Care and Education Student Club, as co-chair of the Faculty and Staff Professional Development Organization, as a mentor in the GTC Mentorship Program and through her service on the college Program Review Committee. 

Murphy is also a Governing Board Member, Congressional District 7 of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, an accreditation reviewer for early childhood associate degree programs and a conference chair for the Georgia Association on Young Children.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Clark Atlanta University and her master’s degree from New York University. An active member of her community, she regularly volunteers for several charities, including Gwinnett Great Days of Service, Gwinnett County Adopt a Highway Clean-Up Team and the Atlanta Ronald McDonald Charities Transition House.

Other faculty members nominated for this year’s Perkins Award include:

  • Kristen Buoy, program director, Cardiovascular Technology

  • Kerri Crean, program director, Culinary Arts

  • Umber Hanief, program director, Learning Support

  • Charles Hardnett, program director, Computer Programming

  • JJ Hogan, instructor, Criminal Justice

  • Joanna Key, instructor, Psychology

  • David Newton, instructor, Emergency Services Education

  • Dr. Mark Newton, program director, Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Management

  • T.C. Parker, program director, Surgical Technology

  • Rita Patel, dean, Computer Sciences

  • Courtney Ross, instructor, Biology

  • Kimberly Strong, program director, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

  • John Thacher, program director, Website Design & Game Development

  • Padma Vedula, program director, English


GTC offers more than 50 degree, diploma and certificate program options that you can finish in two years or less.  For more information on all programs, visit or call 770-962-7580.


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