Monday, August 13, 2007

From the weekend

Here's a roundup of education news over the weekend:

New grant to be used for scholarships

With local demand for skilled welders high, a new grant for Gadsden State Community College is expected to fund new scholarships for welding students at the school's Gadsden and Anniston campuses. Photo: Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star

Officials at Gadsden State Community College hope a federal grant will help produce more workers local industries need.

The college will use $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to offer at least 40 scholarships — including tuition and tools — for welding students at the main campus in Gadsden and at Anniston's Ayers campus.

"The job market around here right now is unbelievable," said Gary Udaka, a welding instructor at Ayers. "I don't have the welders to meet the demand. If all my students were ready to go to work, I'd need more."

The grant is part of President Bush's plan for community training for high-growth, high-demand jobs. Suzanne Zahorscak, a specialist in Gadsden State's Training for Industry and Business division, said the grant will cover the unemployed or underemployed — those with low-paying, part-time jobs — or those who can't advance at work without learning new skills.

AHS Class of 1952 joined at reunion by German classmate

Detlef Heise, a retired judge from Germany, shows off a gift given to him by his former classmates at an Anniston High School Class of 1952 reunion Saturday. Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star

Detlef Heise remembers long, green rides from Oxford to Anniston.

The retired German judge was not short of memories Saturday at the Anniston High School class of 1952 reunion.

"When I was here," he said, "everything was quiet and nobody moved."

Around 35 classmates gathered for dinner at the Classic on Noble Friday night, followed by brunch Saturday morning at the Victoria Inn in Anniston.

Among memories of who got the first television and of sartorial protests — a few members of the class wore black to support others who shaved their heads — Heise stood out as the main event.

In high school, "he was a quiet fellow, a smart and stern type person," said Peggy Burleson, who said she found the adult Detlef impressive as well.

"He's just a fine fellow; he always wanted to learn something," she said.

Chancellor : Managers are needed to lead Alabama's 2-year colleges


POINT CLEAR — The new chancellor of Alabama's system of two-year colleges said Saturday that a background in education is not a requirement to be a college president.

"We're looking for managers ... people who have the intelligence and the background and the experience. It doesn't matter whether you get it in education," Chancellor Bradley Byrne told a meeting of the Business Council of Alabama. "You, too, could be a two-year college president."

Gov. Bob Riley also spoke at Saturday's meeting and said the two-year system should be reconfigured to better serve the state's industries.

Riley said the two-year college system is "uniquely situated" for the task because of its many campuses spread throughout the state. He added that college programs could be tailored to company-specific and product-specific needs.

Byrne will get a chance right away to search for college presidents.

Five colleges in the state's two-year system, including Mobile's Bishop State Community College, have presidential vacancies.

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