Michael Skinner selected as Savannah Tech’s 2018 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year

Michael Skinner stands in plane hangar with students working in background

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Savannah Technical College Aviation Maintenance Instructor Michael Skinner has been selected as STC’s 2018 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year. The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors outstanding faculty members at each of the Technical College System of Georgia institutions. Skinner will represent Savannah Technical College in the statewide competition.

“Mr. Skinner has demonstrated professional excellence and service both in the classroom, as well as in the local community,” said STC President Dr. Kathy Love. “He has a passion for helping students achieve their dreams and goals for college, career and life.”

Skinner started his aviation career as a member of the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a mechanic and a supervisor. His duties included inspection and repair of a fleet of 12 aircraft, as well as oversight of other maintenance personnel.  He also served as the Occupational Safety Manager for all facilities on the base to provide training and assistance on guidelines set forth by Department of Defense, OSHA and the EPA.

After separating from the Marines, Skinner continued his aviation maintenance career working on both military and civilian aircraft.  His duties included structure work, fuel cell work, engine work, and training new personnel (on the job and in the classroom).  He enjoyed passing the knowledge he had learned onto the new employees and recruits, so he decided to look at teaching/instructing for the next phase of his career.

He started his teaching career working part time with the Technical College of the Low Country to develop and implement an FAA short course. This course was designed to prepare transitioning Marines from the military to the civilian workforce by helping them prepare and earn their FAA Mechanic’s Certificate with an Airframe and Powerplant rating.

Skinner became a member of Savannah Technical College’s faculty in September 2013.  He was able to take his skill sets and use them to help the College gain FAA Part 147 certification on May 1, 2014.

Besides being a devoted aviation maintenance instructor, he in active in the community doing Civil War reenactments. He uses this opportunity to teach the public, old and young, about our country’s history. He volunteers his time with K-12 kids to show them and demonstrate the way things were during this time period.

The award has been an ongoing statewide event since 1991 and is designed to recognize technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.  Formerly known as the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence, the Rick Perkins Award was renamed in memory and honor of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor at West Central Technical College, now West Georgia Technical College, who received the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death. The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) provides oversight for the Rick Perkins Award program through the System Office’s programming staff, the presidents’ Academic Improvement committee and the state planning committee.


#1815 | February 14, 2018

Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
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Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (