Amazing Students Profiles

Pete Brannan

Pete Brannan

Pete Brannan is a former Navy tactical jet reconnaissance navigator who flew 67 combat missions over North Vietnam in 1972-73. Today he is a technology education teacher who uses his skills to manage and teach—and he does it well. He takes on a wide variety of students and has a long list of awards recognizing his efforts. He is now pursuing a doctorate at UGA and giving presentations to his peers so he can share the secrets to his success. He is the epitome of the lifelong learner to his students.


currently McDonough, Georgia. I grew up in Doraville, Georgia.

High School:

Cross Keys High School (DeKalb Co.)

Degree objective:

Ed.D. in Occupational Studies

Other degrees:

M.C.M. (Masters in Church Music, vocal & choral concentration), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas (1980)
B.S.Ed. (Industrial Arts), Georgia Southern University (1969)

Expected graduation:

May 2005

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

Although having prepared for it as an undergraduate, Pete came to teaching as a third career and has received numerous accolades for his work. In 2003 he achieved Georgia’s ITEA Technology Education Program Certification at Jonesboro High School—one of only eleven TechEd programs to complete this UGA authored process. He was recognized as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Honor Teacher Award community honoree in both 2002 and 2003. He won the Radio Shack National Teacher Award in 2002. In 1994, 1998, and 2002 he was named by students to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He received the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) and Georgia Industrial Technology Education Association (GITEA) Teacher Excellence Awards in 2001. Nominated by one of his students, he received the United States Air Force Outstanding Technology Education Teacher Award in 2001. He was named the Albany High School Technology/Career Education Teacher of the Year in 1998, Georgia Citizens Advisory Council on Energy (CACE) Teacher of the Year in 1996, and the Georgia Principles of Technology Teacher of the Year in 1993. Most recently, he was named the Georgia Association of Career and Technology Educators’ 2004-05 Technology Education Teacher of the Year and was again honored by his students as one of the 2004 United States Air Force Outstanding Technology Education Teacher recipients.

Current Employment:

After teaching Technology Education for 10 years at Albany High School in Dougherty County, I moved to Jonesboro High School in Clayton County and just completed my sixth year there. I am now teaching manufacturing (still TechEd) at Heritage High School in Rockdale County. I am also very active in leading workshops for Georgia’s TechEd teachers and have made several state, national, and international conference presentations.

I began teaching Technology Education in August 1988 at age 40. I enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve after high school graduation and remained a reservist while attending college. Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School followed college graduation, and I spent eight years on active duty flying the RA-5C Vigilante as a Naval Flight Officer. Feeling led to enter the ministry, I continued my naval aviation career as a reservist, flying the F-4N Phantom II, while completing my master’s degree and retired as a Commander (0-5) in 1994, a career totaling 28½ years. I discovered soon after seminary graduation that doing ministry bivocationally would permit me to simultaneously pursue teaching, two careers that I enjoy greatly.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…UGA has the highly regarded graduate program in Occupational Studies that I need to improve my teaching skills. UGA has the exceptional teaching faculty that I need to hone my learning skills. UGA has an esteemed research faculty and significant resources to turn my curiosity into new knowledge. My degree in Occupational Studies will also equip me to more effectively empower my technology education teacher colleagues around the state.

When I have free time, I like…

…to spend time with family. I am blessed to be the eldest of seven children. My mother and father are still living, as are my two sisters, four brothers, and their families. Our two sons, their wives, and our three grandchildren bring great joy to me and my wife of almost 33 years. Once finished with this degree, I want to help my grandson learn to fish.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…eaten whole bamboo bats during Navy jungle survival training.

My favorite place to study is…

…at my computer at home late in the evening. It is away from the distractions and interruptions of work, and the phone usually doesn’t ring at home at that time.

My favorite professor is…

… Dr. John Schell in Occupational Studies. We are about the same age. He is an exceptional teacher, gifted mentor, all-around great guy, and my advisor and friend. I must also mention Dr. Judith Preissle in Teacher Education, a superb teacher who helped me to make meaning of research. She, too, has become a mentor and a friend.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…my high school drafting teacher, Jim Bray, a UGA graduate. He was one of the people who influenced my decision to become an industrial arts teacher. I’d like to explore what he saw in me that led him to encourage me to be a teacher and compare his teaching experience to mine.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

…own and fly my own airplane again. This would significantly shorten the time required to travel to and from meetings, visit family, and explore other places of interest.

After graduation, I plan to…

…continue teaching. I get great personal satisfaction from knowing that I positively affect students and influence other teachers.