Education: GNTC’s Board of Directors name new board chair, vice chair. Rome City Schools on handling COVID cases. Berry professor releases recording project showcasing Appalachian region. 

Education: GNTC’s Board of Directors name new board chair, vice chair. Rome City Schools on handling COVID cases. Berry professor releases recording project showcasing Appalachian region. 

Dr. Michele Taylor of Calhoun City Schools.
Cassandra Wheeler of Georgia Power.


Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Board of Directors has elected a new board chair and vice chair for the 2020-21 Academic Year.

Dr. Michele Taylor of Calhoun was selected as chair out of the 13-person board and Cassandra Wheeler of Rome was selected to serve as vice chair. GNTC’s Board of Directors is comprised up of representatives from its nine-county service area.

“I am looking forward to serving as the chair for GNTC’s Board of Directors,” said Taylor. “GNTC’s mission to provide quality technical education and workforce development opportunities, while supporting student success throughout the communities of northwest Georgia, is fully supported by our Board of Directors and we are proud to serve alongside Dr. Heidi Popham.”

Taylor is the current superintendent for Calhoun City Schools, a role she has held for the past 14 years. She was selected as Georgia Superintendent of the Year in 2014 and was a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Shorter University, a master’s degree from West Georgia College as well as an Ed.S. and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Sarasota University.

Since 2017, Wheeler has served as the northwest regional director for Georgia Power Company and is stationed in the Rome Region Office. Previously, she was the plant manager for Plant Hammond in Rome and Plant Gadsden in Alabama.

“We are privileged to have Michele Taylor and Cassandra Wheeler lead our board in advising the college of local business and industry needs throughout the communities of northwest Georgia,” said GNTC President, Dr. Heidi Popham. “Their expertise, knowledge and understanding of the college’s mission will be invaluable. With the commitment and support of our full Board, GNTC can meet any challenge that comes our way.”

Popham also extended her thanks to Rhonda Beasley who served as board chair for the 2019-20 Academic Year. Additionally, she extended her gratitude to the three board members who recently transitioned off the board and for their years of service to GNTC. The following board members served nine years on GNTC’s Board of Directors: Vann Brown, Whitfield County; Brittany Pittman, Murray County; and Dr. Phil Williams, Chattooga County.

Listed are members of GNTC’s Board of Directors showing (left to right) the Board member’s name, county, place of employment and title:

  • Rhonda Beasley, Walker, Roper Corporation, manager of Human Resources
  • Robert L. (Bob) Berry, Floyd, Brinson Askew Berry
  • Robert Bradham, Whitfield, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, president and CEO
  • Dr. James Cantrell, Dade, Dade County Board of Education, retired
  • James “Jay” Henry, Catoosa, Shaw Industries, director of Operations Support
  • Albert “Al” Hodge, Floyd, Hodge Consulting, founder and CEO
  • Paul Meredith, Chattooga, Mohawk, director of Manufacturing
  • William “Terry” Nesbitt, Gordon, U. S. Army, retired Major General
  • Robert “Bob” Owens, Floyd, OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc., chief financial officer
  • Kenna Stock, Floyd, Harbin Clinic, chief executive officer
  • Michele Taylor (chair), Gordon, Calhoun City Schools, superintendent
  • John Thomas, Whitfield, Dalton Utilities, chief energy services officer
  • Cassandra Wheeler (vice chair), Floyd, Georgia Power, northwest regional director

As chair, Taylor will preside over the board meetings with the authority to vote as well as appoint members to committees as necessary. As vice chair, Wheeler will have the powers of the chairperson during any absence or disability of the chair.

Above, from Rome City Schools:  The School Board approved a “decision matrix” for handling potential COVID-19 situations when school is back in session

A Berry College professor has announced the international release of a recording project showcasing America’s Appalachian region

Associate Professor of Music Adam Hayes’ multi-media project “Appalachian Shadows” features original compositions set against a backdrop of photos capturing the spirit of the Appalachian region. Hayes’ goal for the project was to highlight the natural beauty of Appalachia against the historic social and economic struggles of its people. 

The project contains all original music, including a commission by composer Robert Bradshaw, set to period photos capturing a bit of the ethos of Appalachia,” Hayes said.

Hayes, on trumpet, is joined by Berry artist affiliates Sean Thrower, guitar and Steven Wooddell, piano. The piece was made in part through a Berry faculty scholarship grant.

To view Appalachian Shadows, click the above image.


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