Photo: 2019 Winner, Katrena Felder

Every year, a new instructor is given the honor of being named the Rick Perkins Award winner for Coastal Pines Technical College (CPTC). The 2019 award winner is Katrena Felder. Katrena is the Lead Psychology Instructor at Coastal Pines Technical College’s Waycross campus where she has been employed for the past seven years. She teaches degree and diploma level Psychology courses on several CPTC campuses along with teaching degree level psychology courses to Dual Enrollment Students at multiple high schools in Southeast Georgia.

After graduating from Ware County High School, Katrena enrolled at Waycross College, now South Georgia State College, earning an Associate of Science degree in Pre-Dental Hygiene in 2002 and an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice in 2005. Katrena always desired to attend a historically black university (HBCU), and made a conscious decision to further her education at Savannah State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavior Analysis graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2006. After receiving her bachelor degree, Katrena went on to successfully complete her Masters of Science Degree in Post-Secondary Education with a concentration in Psychology from Troy University in 2009. She is currently writing her doctoral dissertation and working towards completing her Doctor of Psychology Degree (PsyD) with a specialization in Mental Health Administration from Ashford University.

Katrena states, “The Bible says,in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called but few are chosen.” I believe that God chose this special position for me because it was never in my life’s plan. My desire is to be a present help to others at any capacity. This is a daily goal I wholeheartedly strive towards. I just want to be a better version of who I was yesterday and if I can help someone in the process, then I believe my job is well done.” Katrena’s passion for teaching was instilled in her by her former seventh grade teacher. Ms. Palmer recognized early on that Katrena possessed a natural ability to inspire others and taught Katrena that she had so much to offer the world. Now Katrena is sharing her gift of knowledge to all of those students who come from many different cultures, backgrounds and experiences of the world.

“I am so grateful to be representing the excellent instructors we have here at Coastal Pines Technical College. Sometimes, we are like hidden gems that go undiscovered and people don’t realize how much influence and the wealth of positive change that we bring to our communities. Being selected as the representative for the 2019 Rick Perkins Award Winner for our district is my opportunity to highlight what we do as a college and also a defining moment to prove that technical education works.”, states Katrena.

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors.  The award has been an ongoing statewide event since 1991 and is designed to recognize technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.  The winner will go on to compete at the regional, and state competitions representing Coastal Pines.

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