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2016 Vocational Teacher of the Year Named

Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Salter
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August 9, 2017

2016 Vocational Teacher of the Year Named

Woodrow Whipple recognized

FORSYTH, Ga. - The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) honored Woodrow Whipple as Vocational Teacher of the Year at the 13th Annual GDC Awards ceremony on August 8 at GDC headquarters in Forsyth, Ga.

“We are grateful for the tremendous impact Woodrow has had in our reentry efforts, by providing training in a lucrative field,” said Assistant Commissioner Jay Sanders. “Not only has he helped offenders gain employment upon their return to society, he remains in contact with many returned citizens to assist in their continued success out in their communities.”

This inaugural award recognizes a University System of Georgia (USG) or Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) teacher, or any other partner institution employee. The recipient must be a full-time or part-time teacher who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, has the respect and admiration of students, facility staff, and colleagues, plays an active and useful role in the facility as well as in the school, and is poised and articulate and possesses the energy to withstand a demanding schedule.

Whipple, the Design and Media Vocational Program Instructor, has been at Pulaski State Prison for over 17 years. As a part of his class, he keeps his students updated on the newest technology available to them. He offers offenders a second change upon release by providing them with the tools necessary to start working in the field of Graphic Arts Design. More than 40 returned citizens, who graduated from his program, have been able to maintain a successful career. Whipple, also, designed two new educational programs for GDC and Central Georgia Technical College, which are Design and Media Production Specialist, taught at Pulaski, and Introduction to Video Projects, taught at a private facility.

Several key officials were on hand for the ceremony, which was attended by more than 250 guests.  Making the award presentation with Commissioner Greg Dozier were State Senator Tyler Harper, Board of Corrections member Christopher Clark, Chief of Staff Timothy C. Ward, Assistant Commissioners Ricky Myrick, Scott Poitevint, Jay Sanders, Randy Sauls, and Director of Professional Development Terry Edge and Director of Professional Standards Clay Nix.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit



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