We recently had the opportunity to honor our outstanding instructors at our annual Continuing Education Instructor Celebration night event. Nearly 250 people were in attendance — including about 100 instructors. Prior to the main event, the crowd was treated to delicious array food offerings by several of our restaurant partners. Among these were Bahama Breeze, Chick-fil-A, Chuy’s, Copeland’s of Kennesaw, Longhorn Steakhouse, Marlow’s Tavern, O’Charley’s, Starbucks, Ted’s Montana Grill and Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint.
Education is Freedom
Our Dean, Barbara Calhoun, shared some insightful thoughts on how education can create more freedom in your life:
“Education is freedom, and every one of our instructors and support staff are a part of making that happen. When we look around at what’s happening in the world, I think about how fortunate we are to live in this country.
“We had one of our successful students come to us from a country in Africa. He took the education he learned here and decided to go build wells in one of the villages where he grew up because there was no running water. One person, making a difference.
“Aristotle, along with many famous philosophers, said, ‘Education opens your mind. It gives you an opportunity to know things you didn’t know before. It gives you an opportunity to consider options you didn’t have before.’
“What education does, in whatever form you receive it, is opens your mind for other possibilities. That’s what our College is all about. We are the alternative extension to this University. I’ve been so honored and blessed to have the opportunity to serve in this role and to be able to see people’s lives change and to see the differences we make.”
The dean also highlighted the 17 awards won by the College last year and announced the 16 already won in 2015. Additionally, she stated in the last 15 years the College has served more than 750,000 people.
Laughing the Night Away
Without a doubt, the highlight of the evening was a spectacular comedic performance by the local Atlanta actors from Dad’s Garage. The trio of improv veterans Tara Ochs, Mark Kendall and Matt Stanton performed a variety of skits. The show had the crowd in stitches and was highly interactive with audience participation.
Founded in 1995, Dad’s Garage has grown from a small volunteer-led organization to a thriving mid-size theatre led by a professional artistic and administrative staff. They are based out of 7 Stages Theatre in Inman Park near Little Five Points.
The final scene of the night was a showstopper. The actors asked the audience for the staff member who had been with CCPE the longest. Immediately everyone started chanting, “JU-DY, JU-DY, JU-DY!” From the back of the room, Judy Grancher appeared and headed toward the stage. She has been a continuing education staff member for 20 years and will retire next month.
After Judy was brought on stage, she was asked a few questions about her role at the College. The trio began acting out scenes based on what they thought a day in her life was like. Judy was given a seat on stage and had a bell in one hand and a horn in the other. When the actors were performing accurately she would ring the bell, but if they made any mistakes the horn was blown. When Judy blew the horn, the actors had to re-do the scene in a different way to gain the approval of the bell. It proved to be a hilarious skit that had the crowd doubled over in laughter.
Changing the World: One Student at a Time
Upon conclusion of the night’s event, each instructor was presented with a beautiful globe that serves as a paperweight. The globe will act as a reminder of all the students’ lives that have been touched through their teaching.
It was a memorable night had by all. We look forward to next year’s event!