VALDOSTA — The lyrics to Wiregrass Tech’s new song, "Giving Work a Good Name," reflect the legacy that President Dr. Tina K. Anderson will be leaving upon her retirement at the end of April, college officials said this week in a statement.
"Devoting years of service to technical education, her passion for what technical education provides led her to write the lyrics to a song that is now Wiregrass’s anthem," college officials said. "The lyrics share how talented Wiregrass Tech and all technical college students are, how they set themselves apart, and how they are dedicated to their chosen trade.
"Just like the students described in the lyrics, after almost 30 years in education Dr. Anderson gave work a good name."
College officials said she is trading her heels and suits for outfits perfect for gardening or riding the motorcycle with her husband, Tony.
Her career began as the director of the Career Resource Center at Middle Georgia College in 1995. She then became vice president of student services at Middle Georgia Technical College in 2000 and vice president of instruction in 2001.
In 2003, Anderson was named president of Moultrie Technical College. She served as interim president at Valdosta Technical College in the fall of 2007 and as acting assistant commissioner for the Technical College System of Georgia, office technical education, in 2008 before being named as the president of Wiregrass in 2013.
Writing her own song is just one of many accomplishments celebrated during her tenure at the college.
College officials listed several achievements during her tenure: No. 1 RN program two years in a row; multiple SkillsUSA state and national awards including being one of the top chapters in the nation two years in a row; first college in Georgia to receive accreditation by the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment for dual-enrollment courses in area high schools; and Military Friendly and Best for Vets College designation every year since 2015.
Wiregrass was also selected as a charter institute for the Excellence in Academic Advising by NACADA and the Gardner Institute. Moody Air Force Base Testing Center for Wiregrass was recognized as a Top 5 Testing Center by CLEP for 2019 and has been among the top 25 since 2012-13, and recognized for greatest growth nationally.
Anderson helped bridge partnerships with the Georgia Department of Corrections and Core Civic to provide college programs in prisons. The partnership has seen 513 students graduate with technical certificates of credit since Fiscal Year 2017.
Under Anderson’s leadership, Wiregrass has awarded more than 18,000 non-credit certificates, has the highest number of apprenticeships in the Technical College System of Georgia, received two separate million dollar donations (first in college’s history), constructed two new health science buildings (Coffee and Valdosta campuses), collaborated on the start of two career academies (Coffee High School and Fitzgerald High School), was the only postsecondary recipient for a safety grant in Georgia that partnered the college with local K12 and law enforcement organizations, lead the college to be the recipient of its first National Science Foundation grant, and had the highest growth in 2019 for dual enrollment in the state.
College officials said Wiregrass "has also seen growth in graduation rates and retention rates leading to more skilled and ready graduates entering the workforce.
In addition to running a college, Anderson served on the board of directors of Leadership Georgia, the Moultrie YMCA, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce, the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce, the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia and the Georgia Southwestern State University School of Business Advisory Council.
She was a 2005 participant of the Leadership Georgia program and is a graduate of the Leadership Warner Robins program. Anderson was named a Georgia Trend Magazine “Top 40 Under 40” list honoree in 2004 and to the South Georgia Business Magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential South Georgians in 2005.
The end of April will be the end of Anderson’s tenure at Wiregrass, but a new beginning for her.
The Technical College System of Georgia is seeking to fill her position and will name a successor at the appropriate time. To learn more about the college, visit https://www.wiregrass.edu. To view Wiregrass’s music video, “Giving Work a Good Name,” please visit the college’s YouTube channel.