Faculty Spotlight: Tony Simmons
Tony Simmons has been teaching Welding and Joining Technology at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) in Sandersville for the past 18 and a half years. A native to Sandersville, Simmons enjoys being a part of an institution whose goal is to invest into the lives of those within the local community.
Simmons loves seeing his students succeed and transition into successful careers and feels he is blessed to work at such an institution as OFTC. Check out his interview!
Q: How long have you been teaching at OFTC?
A: I’ve been teaching Welding and Joining Technology at OFTC for the last 18 ½ years.
Q: What do you love most about teaching Welding & Joining Technology?
A: I love seeing a student develop in the skill of welding, graduate, begin working in the field and become successful, making an excellent salary.
Q: What do you love most about OFTC?
A: There are a lot of wonderful things about this college but the comradery between faculty and staff is what I love the most. When you work with great people every day, it makes a difference.
Q: Why do you believe in the skills you are teaching your students?
A: We live in the most industrialized country in the world, and highly skilled welders are key components to the continued progress of this country. Welding can provide others with a number of great opportunities. Welding can even offer opportunities to travel and work in other states and even other countries making an excellent salary.
Q: Do you have any experiences as an OFTC instructor that have made a lasting impression on your life?
A: The experiences that stick out to me involve the comradery of my fellow staff and faculty members. When my brother passed away a few months ago, OFTC’s Trades & Industrial Department showed me so much love during that time. Mark Stewart, my department chair even prayed with me and that really meant a lot to me. Fellow staff member, Mr. Tommy Walker also made library donations in honor of my deceased father and brother. These experiences are things I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Q: What is the best part about working with students?
A: While there are a lot of great things about working with students every day, seeing them graduate from their program and become productive citizens working in the field of welding really brings it full circle.
Q: If you had to choose a motto for your teaching and what you want for your students, what would it be?
A: Have the tenacity of a bull dog and that is to never let go or give up on your dreams.
Q: What do you hope for your students when they graduate?
A: I hope that they have a successful career and make a lot of money in this profession.
To learn more about OFTC’s Welding and Joining Technology program, visit the OFTC website.