Gloria Bell: Grateful and thankful for her time at South Georgia Tech

Published 11:38 am Thursday, June 29, 2023

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  South Georgia Technical College Accounts Receivable Technician Gloria Bell is retiring.  Not only has she worked at South Georgia Tech for over 15-years, she also had the experience of being a student in a number of programs before and while she worked at the college.

   Bell expressed her gratitude to the college and her coworkers as well as the students and the parents she worked with during that time.  “I have enjoyed it all,” she laughed.  “God is so good.  I was not really looking for a job when the opportunity opened up.  All I can say is this was the Lord’s doing.  I appreciate my co-workers and I feel like we are more like family.”

   Her SGTC family paid tribute to her and presented her with a plaque for her years of service at a special retirement celebration recently.  They shared food and laughter and wished her the best in her next phase.

   Bell has been working since she was 16 years old.  She started out washing dishes in the Hungry Man Restaurant.  She worked her way up to a few other jobs before settling down and spending over 25-years at Davidson-Textron or Collins and Aikman before the plant closed.  She was the Stockroom Lead Person/Supervisor.

   After her time there ended, she tried a few other things before coming to school at South Georgia Technical College.  She was one of the first students in the Culinary Arts program when it began under former instructor and now Academic Dean David Finley.  She is also a Business and Office Technology graduate.  She was a work study student in Mrs. Edith Ann Greene’s classes when the Lord blessed her a full-time job at South Georgia Tech.  She is also a graduate of the SGTC Cosmetology program.

   “I was in the mail room, when former SGTC business office employee Gloria Spence approached me and said I think we have a job you need to apply for.  I told her I wasn’t really looking for a job and that I was on the way to my work study job.  She persisted that I needed to apply.  She gave me an application and asked me to turn it in that day,” said Bell.

    Gloria Bell said it had been a long time since she had filled out an application or applied for a job so she asked Mrs. Annita Barron to help her with her resume.  She also needed three references.  Mrs. Barron agreed to be a reference and at that moment, two other instructors, Andrea Ingram and Donna Lawrence walked in and agreed to be the other two references.

   “This was the Lord’s doing,” said Gloria Bell.  “He wanted me to have this job and now 15 years and six months later, I think he has other plans for me.”  In fact, Bell said the Lord sent her a husband.  She and her fiancé are scheduled to be married in September this year. They had dated when they were younger and even though she wasn’t looking for a husband, the Lord sent him to her door one Saturday afternoon.

   “God is good, if you just believe,” said Gloria Bell.  “He has looked after me and provided what I needed when I needed it.”  She is taking that faith with her into retirement.  And even though she is not sure exactly what the future holds, she knows God has a plan.

   “I really enjoyed my time at South Georgia Technical College,” said Bell.  “I finally had a peace about six months ago that it was time for me to retire.  However, I told my supervisor what I would stay until June 30 to help with year end and train my replacement.”

   She is a woman of her word and has done that.  Now she is preparing for her wedding and a new future.  “I tell everyone that South Georgia Tech is great.  I learned a lot being a student here and working here.  It is a good environment but it is also what you make it.”

   Bell also shared that “a student can come out here and learn and apply themselves and find a great career or job.”  In fact, she brought her grandson to college with her and convinced him to sign up for the SGTC Air Conditioning Technology program.  He is a student in Johnny Griffin’s program and doing well.

   She has encouraged other individuals to attend South Georgia Technical College and has been recognized by parents and students for her helpfulness in the business office.  She is one of the first faces students see when they come to pay their tuition each semester.

   “I have enjoyed my time here and I am going to miss everyone but I still hope to come back for different things and catch up,” laughed Bell.

   Bell has two sons and one daughter, Maurice, Keith, and Tiffany.  She has a granddaughter, Mia, and a grandson Keith Bell, Jr.  Her three sisters have also been familiar faces at SGTC with Gloria.  They are Barbara Jones, Louise Wilkerson, and Jacqueline Stewart.

   Even though Gloria Bell is retiring, she would like to encourage others to explore South Georgia Technical College.  “I am so glad the Lord put me here and I am truly grateful and thankful for the time he allowed me to spend here.  This is a great place to learn and grow.”