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Class Notes: Trey Paris speaks at daughters graduation
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Eliza Paris could really relate to one of her graduation speakers.

Her father, Trey Paris, was a commencement speaker at the University of Georgia winter commencement ceremony. He said it made his daughter’s graduation even more special.

“Not too many can say they spoke at their daughter’s graduation, and I was honored to do so,” he said.

Paris served as the president of the university’s Alumni Association from 2007-2009, and was therefore asked to give the traditional greeting from the UGA Alumni Association. He is also a current member the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees and works as the U.S. manager of state government relations for General Electric Co.

During his address, he recognized his daughter and told the audience how proud he was that she is part of the fourth generation of UGA graduates from his family.

“I wasn’t just a speaker,” he said. “I was a parent, like them, yesterday, and I thanked the faculty and staff on behalf of all the parents for what they have done to prepare our children.”

School board named board of distinction

Gainesville City Schools has a new feather to put in its cap, as it was recognized earlier this month by the Georgia School Boards Association.

The association named the Gainesville system’s Board of Education a 2014 Distinguished School Board, and it recognized board member Willie Mitchell for 25 years of service to the system.

The Distinguished Board program showcases best practices in district governance and leadership, according to the Gainesville school system. The association makes a point to recognize school boards in order to foster educational community cultures, thus advancing student learning and achievement.

The Gainesville school board earned the distinction by meeting or exceeding criteria for the honor set forth by the association.

Lanier Tech among fastest-growing in US

Community colleges across the nation are picking up speed, and Lanier Technical College is one of those leading the pack.

The college was recently ranked in Community College Week’s fastest-growing, public two-year colleges.

From fall 2012 to fall 2013, Lanier Tech saw a 5.6 percent increase in enrollment, which tied for 20th in the college’s’ enrollment category.

The rankings listed the top 50 colleges for growth in four different enrollment categories: less than 2,500; between 2,500 and 4,999; between 5,000 and 9,999; and 10,000 students and higher.

Lanier Tech tied with Richmond Community College in North Carolina for 20th fastest-growing college with an enrollment between 2,500 and 4,999.

According to the statistics, the smaller two-year colleges in the nation are growing the fastest. The top 20 fastest-growing colleges with less than 2,500 students saw growth between 9.4 and 121.5 percent.

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: