ATLANTA, June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dreem Penn, a drafting instructor at Atlanta Technical College, was named as one of six finalists for the Technical College System of Georgia's 2011 Instructor of the Year. The top instructors from each of the state's 26 technical colleges compete for the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction. Penn, along with the other finalists and eventual award winner, was recognized during a banquet honoring the system's top instructors and best students at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta on May 26. "Penn's passion for teaching and devotion to the long-term success of her students has earned her the well-deserved respect of the entire Technical College System of Georgia. I congratulate her for being one of the six finalists for Georgia's technical college Instructor of the Year, and I thank her for being such an outstanding representative of Atlanta Technical College," said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. Judging for the Rick Perkins Award starts at each college and then continues on to the regional and state level, where the finalists are interviewed by a panel of judges representing business, industry and higher education in Georgia. The selection criteria include teaching experience and innovative learning techniques, leadership and community involvement, and a strong commitment to the technical education mission of the TCSG. The 2011 Rick Perkins Award winner was Karon Green Walton, a Medical Assisting instructor from Augusta Technical College. This year, more than 6,500 instructors at 26 TCSG colleges will educate and train more than 191,000 students. The TCSG colleges offer more than 600 certificate, degree and diploma programs in a variety of fields including training for in-demand careers in healthcare, aerospace, life sciences, energy and the environment, and agribusiness.