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Retired government worker joins GPTC board

Clarkston -- A retired military officer and former government worker recently joined the Georgia Piedmont Technical College advisory board of directors.

The state board of directors of the Technical College System of Georgia recently approved the nomination of Thomas Coleman, who joined the 12-member board at its December meeting at the college's Newton campus.

Coleman is a retired senior executive in government service. He recently served as chief of staff to DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. Prior to that, he worked for more than 18 years as the deputy commissioner of the state Department of Juvenile Justice.

He received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University, a master's degree in public administration from Central Michigan University and a doctorate degree in higher education, administration and supervision from Clark-Atlanta University.

Coleman returns to GPTC, where he once served as a college administrator and as the director of Adult Education at what was then known as DeKalb Technical Institute.

He is also a retired Vietnam veteran and a United States Air Force officer with more than 25 years of military service. In 1991, he was appointed by Gov. Zell Miller to head the Department of Highway Safety for the state of Georgia.

"Dr. Coleman will be a much-needed asset, and bring a unique viewpoint to our diverse board of directors," said Dr. Jabari Simama, GPTC's president. "His past experience in the military, state and local government and previous association with the college give him a perspective that will help position the board of directors to better direct the college in meeting the educational and economic development needs of the community we serve."

Georgia Piedmont Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. The college has more than 5,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes.