Ogeechee Technical College has added three new deans to its staff.
Jennifer Witherington and Tom Safrin are in the area of academic affairs. Student affairs will add Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore as dean of students.
All three positions will help the college better serve students, and will help improve the overall educational process, according to Dr. Dawn Cartee, the president of Ogeechee Tech.
Safrin and Witherington have stepped into existing vacant dean positions, while Moore will be the college's first dean of students.
Moore will begin her duties as dean of students on July 1. She is currently employed with the Bulloch County Board of Education's central office, where she serves as special education supervisor/behavior intervention specialist. A certified school psychologist, she holds an education specialist degree and master's of education, both in school psychology and both from Georgia Southern University, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Georgia.
"We are sorry to be losing Jan because she is a committed professional and top-notch employee," Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson said. "But there is comfort in knowing that she will be at OTC working with us on dual enrollment efforts to improve opportunities for our students."
Moore's work experience in education includes six years as school psychologist with the Bryan County Board of Education. Additionally, she is the current mayor of Statesboro, and for 11 years served as business editor of the Statesboro Herald.
"Ms. Moore's extensive background in dealing with students and challenges they face will make her a perfect fit for this newly created position," said Dr. Ryan Foley, the vice president for student affairs at Ogeechee Tech.
Safrin moves from the classroom to dean for academic affairs. A program director and instructor for Ogeechee Tech's criminal justice program since 2010, he holds a bachelor's degree in criminology and a master's in Public Administration. In addition to teaching at Ogeechee Tech, Safrin has also taught for Indiana Wesleyan University and Kaplan University.
While working under the authority of the U.S. Department of State, Safrin supervised teams that trained police forces in Iraq and Jordan. The training involved distance education, classroom instruction, and one-on-one mentoring. He has held positions as a training officer/director for several law enforcement groups in the United States.
"As dean for academic affairs, Tom will use his experience as a supervisor and as a teacher to help the college continue the great work which prepares students for the workforce," said Dr. Charlene Lamar, Ogeechee Tech's executive vice president for academic affairs.
Safrin will supervise a number of different programs, including the college's Law Enforcement Academy and criminal justice and forensic science programs.
Witherington is the new dean for distance and general education at Ogeechee Techn.
She has been employed at the college for six years, most recently as the distance education and curriculum specialist. Lamar said Witherington has played a vital role working with faculty in developing new courses, implementing changes and updates of curriculum and course offerings, interpreting Technical College System of Georgia regulations and planning for and purchasing the best technological resources for classes.
"Jennifer has a high level of enthusiasm for, and commitment to, technical education and especially Ogeechee Technical College," Lamar said.
Witherington has taught in both a K-12 system and higher education as a "traditional" and online instructor. She earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Armstrong Atlantic State University, and is currently seeking her doctorate in educational leadership at Georgia Southern University. She has received Ogeechee Tech's Support Staff of the Year award and was a finalist for the college's Leadership Award.
As dean for distance and general education, Witherington will provide leadership for the college's general education and online programs.
"We constantly strive to attract and retain quality members of our team at Ogeechee Technical College," Cartee said. "I am very confident that these three individuals who have become deans will prove beneficial to the operation of the college and to the success of our students."