Sharon Bartels, president of Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia since 1996, announces she will retire in May

Gwinnett Daily Post March 13, 2014

Sharon Bartels plans to retire from Gwinnett Technical College in May

Sharon Bartels, who has served as president of Gwinnett Technical College since 1996, has announced plans to retire.

#Bartels’ departure is effective May 1.

#A search committee made up of local leaders will likely be announced in early April, Technical College System of Georgia spokesman Mike Light said. Three finalists will be reviewed and interviewed by the commissioner and a panel of senior staff at the TCSG. The process generally takes about two to three months, Light said.

#An interim president will be named at the appropriate time, Gwinnett Tech spokeswoman Dana Urrutia said.

#“I’ve been blessed to have a job that I love for 28 years, and I know what a gift that is,” Bartels said in a press release. “It’s been my privilege to work with the best faculty, staff and boards in the state. I often say that at Gwinnett Tech, we change people’s lives and I am certainly been proud to have had a role in that. Gwinnett Tech is extremely well-positioned for the future.”

#In a 2013 interview with the Daily Post, the 59-year-old said, “When you’re my age, and you look at what’s most important about life, you see your family.”

#Bartels has led the school during significant growth as it now has nine buildings, seven more than in 1996, and plans to open a satellite location in North Fulton County in January, 2016.

#Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks has known Bartels for more than 25 years, and was the president of Gwinnett Tech when Bartels worked in marketing. Wilbanks said Bartels made it her mission to ensure that Gwinnett Tech was the place for students no matter what their stage in life or previous education background.

#Wilbanks called Bartels, “the poster child for lifelong learning.”

#“Without a doubt, her tenure has been a successful one as she has helped to grow the college in order to meet the needs of students and employers,” he said in a statement. “The college and our overall community have benefited from her service and her contributions will be long-lasting.”

#Bartels led efforts for the school to gain accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in record time, which made Gwinnett Tech one of a handful of technical schools to attain that designation.

#Gwinnett Tech is one of Georgia’s largest technical colleges as it serves 12,000 students per quarter through its credit, continuing education and adult education programs.
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