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NGTC Horticulture team ranked 22nd in nation
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The North Georgia Technical College Horticulture team recently competed in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. Back row from left, Ryan Puddington, Corey McDonald, Juan Naverette and Daniel Gamble. Middle row, from left, John Mather, Amanda Burrell, Madison Gibbs, Hector Balderas and Craig Thurmond. Front row, from left, Tyler Rocky, Stephanie Smith, Isabelle Hitchcock and Daniel Schnitzer. - photo by For The Times

The North Georgia Technical College Horticulture Department recently traveled to the 42nd Annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition in Graham, NC. 

The team placed 22nd nationally, maintaining their status in the top 25 for the sixth year in a row. 

Team members were Daniel Schnitzer of Lakemont, Corey McDonald of Toccoa, Daniel Gamble of Mt. Airy, Ryan Puddington of Gainesville, Juan Navarette of Clarkesville, Hector Balderas of Mountain City, Stephanie Smith of Toccoa, Madison Gibbs of Sautee Nacoochee, Amanda Burrell of Clayton, Isabelle Hitchcock of Lookout Mountain, Chance Young of Summerville and Tyler Rockey of Cleveland. 

Individually, Balderas placed 26th overall, and Naverette placed 33rd to earn a spot in the nation’s top 50 out of 710 students. Gamble placed 73rd and Rocky placed 84th to round out the top 100.  

“This was a rebuilding year with nine out of 12 team members being either a first or second semester student,” said environmental horticulture instructor Craig Thurmond. “The NGTC team made us all very proud and reminded us that even though we are a small school, we are capable of competing and holding our own with the biggest and best horticulture programs in the country.” 

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