Sanders selected as 2023 Student of the Year

Darrell Sanders in Barber ShopSAVANNAH, Ga. – Barbering student and U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran Darrell Sanders, Jr. has been selected as the 2023 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner for Savannah Technical College.

“Darrell brings a new energy to our program and excels past his peers when repeating procedures once taught,” said STC Barbering Instructor Terrance James. “He was always the first to complete his lab requirements and has been helpful to assist his classmates with their requirements. I am certain he will accomplish big things in the barbering industry.”

Sanders served four years active duty and four years in the reserves for the U.S. Marine Corps as a Combat Engineer. He was awarded squad leader for the full duration of boot camp, company honor graduate of Marine combat training, honor graduate of corporal’s course, and completed a successful tour of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

As a combat veteran in the presence of Army veterans at Savannah Tech’s Liberty Campus near Fort Stewart, his classmates refer to him as Marine. He completed the Barbering diploma this December and will set for master barber certification in January. He plans to continue his studies in 2023 to earn an associate degree and is also considering PC Repair. He is a member of National Technical Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa.

He works as a barber at Royalty Kutz barber and beauty shop in Hinesville, Ga. He has worked as an advanced repair agent on Best Buy’s Geek Squad. He has also worked various retail positions as an assistant store manager, an electronics sales associate and a stocker. He is a graduate of Robert W. Groves High School in Garden City, Ga.

Savannah Tech’s Barbering program prepares students to be on the cutting edge of men’s fashion and trends with training to test for licensure as a Professional Barber at Savannah Technical College. The Barbering Program features barbering services such as cutting, trimming, shampooing, styling hair, trimming beards and giving shaves. It is offered at Savannah Tech’s Savannah and Liberty campuses. For more information visit

One in four STC students is a veteran, active duty service member or a military dependent/spouse. Last year, the College was ranked as the top Military Friendly® and Military Spouse Friendly School in the U.S. (2021-22). For the past four years, the College has been ranked as one of the top Best for Vets public technical and career college in the U.S. by Military Times.

GOAL honors outstanding students at each of the Technical College System of Georgia institutions. He will represent Savannah Tech at the statewide competition in April in Atlanta, where the statewide GOAL winner will be selected. The highly competitive process involves academic success, community engagement and public speaking. Winners are nominated by their instructors and selected after interviews with a panel of business and community leaders. Links to Savannah Tech’s previous honorees for GOAL (student), Perkins (instructor) and Eagle (adult education student) are available at

#2326 | December 23, 2022

Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
912.443.5512 or

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 (