Macon, Ga. – More than 20 years of work in graphic design helped Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) and Hutchings College and Career Academy (HCCA) instructor, Paige Welch, transition into a teaching career, but it was innumerable conversations with mentors that helped her get her stride.
“People who know me in and outside of teaching say that it was what I was supposed to be doing all along,” Welch said. “I had teacher mentors throughout. Having them helped me come to this place.”
In July, at the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (GACTE), Welch was honored by being named Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association of Career Education for Special Needs Population (GACESNP), which recognizes career and technical educators who provide significant contributions to professional associations and programs for youth and adults in their fields.
Additionally, the Trade & Industrial Educators of Georgia recognized her for achieving industry certification for the previous academic year, and this week Welch was named runner-up for Bibb County Teacher of the Year.
Welch is moving into her fourth year at HCCA, second as a Move on When Ready instructor at CGTC for high school dual enrollment, and first year as an evening, adjunct instructor in the Design and Media Production program at the College. In all of those years, mentors like former teachers, and current colleagues have helped form her style, and contribute to her career goals.
Involvement is a key component of her teaching goals and is pivotal to how she works with special needs populations.
Each one of her courses is a hub of pricing, producing, printing, and packaging; active and engaging. The courses are more of a challenge for some, but an opportunity for all.
“What I try to do is find what a student is good at. I monitor them at their best, doing what they excel at for their abilities. I sit down and talk with them, take them around and through the lab and build confidence in each of their projects.”
The confidence she builds in her students ultimately drives them to competition. Her students actively compete in SkillsUSA, the national membership organization for career and technical education.
“I am an extremely competitive person, and I encourage all my students to compete. Sometimes I have to dial it back, but I think it is important for them to experience.”
Welch holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Middle Georgia College, a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and IT from Macon State College, and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Georgia College and State University.
Classes taught by Welch at HCCA include Introduction to Graphics, Graphic Design, and Production, and Advanced Graphic Output Processes. CGTC courses include Introduction to Design and Media Production, Vector Graphics, and Raster Graphics.
Paige Welch, a Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) and Hutchings College and Career Academy (HCCA) instructor.