(Acworth, Ga. – July 1, 2016)
A Chattahoochee Technical College executive director who has been touted by his peers as being a leader who goes above and beyond the normal call of duty recently graduated from the Technical College System of Georgia’s Executive Leadership Academy – a 10-month long program designed to acquaint participants with the leadership responsibilities of TCSG executives.
Jody Darby, the executive director for Student Financial Services, was selected along with 25 employees of the Technical College System of Georgia to participate in the highly competitive academy, which started in July 2015. Participants were required to complete 75 hours of instructional activities, which included completing a project that was carefully designed to address a leadership issue or issues directly related to improving the academic environment at the participant’s institution.
Participants also toured the Kia Motors Manufacturing plant in West Point, Quick Start in Atlanta, Georgia Bioscience Training Center and the Georgia Port Authority in Savannah.
With topics ranging from ethics and board operations to strategic planning, Darby said his biggest takeaway from participating in the academy was “perspective.”
“My class was comprised of people from all areas of the state’s technical colleges from every corner of the state and in between. No matter where our college is located nor how many students we enroll and graduate, we are all working towards the same goal: Student Success,” Darby said. “Success is defined differently per student. The way we assist students may be a little different depending on demographics or staffing or access to resources, but we’re all working toward that same common goal.”
Administrative Services Vice President Catrice Hufstetler noted that Darby is much more than simply a hard worker. The executive director strives to not only keep morale high with members of his staff, but he also seeks to boost up others within the college as well.
“He has helped students that are able to continue their education because he went the extra mile. He has encouraged staff and been a listening ear. He has served his peers by being named in various officer positions within the financial aid peer group. He has served as an ambassador to the college on his own time and various functions during the week and on the weekend,” Hufstetler said.
Although Darby has been touted by many at Chattahoochee Technical College as being a leader, he admits that the task is not easy. But, he added, with a little drive and a can-do attitude, individuals are able to succeed at whatever goal they have set.
“We heard from a college president each time that our group met. That college president told us the story of how he or she became president, what their challenges are, where they see higher education and TCSG headed in the future, etc. Not one of them said, ‘You know, one day I just woke up, applied for a position as president, and was hired the next day, and every day is complete joy.’ Reality is that success takes work,” he said. “We are only as strong as our weakest link as leaders. We must continue to grow those within our administrative capability and serve as a true resource.”