After his retirement this last April, Pete McDonald entrusted his second in command at Georgia Northwestern Technical College to take his place.
Heidi Popham is the first woman to serve as president of the college, taking over June 16.
She’s hoping to take the college — which has facilities across Northwest Georgia — to new heights.
Under Popham’s leadership, GNTC saw an enrollment increase of over 15% for the fall 2019 semester. According to Popham, the increase has to do with continued partnerships with local businesses and a greater focus on student success.
“We want to make sure we are building the bridge, working in economic development and making sure our team is at the table to see what the workforce needs,” she said. She also said the college works hard to build a team-focused strategy at GNTC among personnel.
“These practices involve a team approach, which relies on a cross-section of personnel from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Student Success,” she said.
Popham has been employed at GNTC for over 20 years. Prior to being named president, she had served in many roles, beginning as the executive assistant to the president in 1995. Since she began in 1995, she also served as the director of institutional effectiveness, as well as the vice president of institutional effectiveness. Before becoming the first female president of the college, she served as the executive vice president.
“Dr. Popham is a strong leader for Georgia Northwestern Technical College,” said Matt Arthur, Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner. “Her years of experience in technical education certainly equip her for the job, but it’s her passion for students and her commitment to developing a workforce within the community that make her the right choice to lead Georgia Northwestern Technical College going forward.”
Popham holds a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Covenant College. She also obtained her Master of Education Degree from the University of Georgia, along with her Doctor of Education, also obtained at UGA.