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Mark Franks
Mark Franks receives degree

In 2008, at age 44, Mark Franks says he never dreamed he would be a full-time student, mastering subjects he previously feared, like math and computers. He thought he would retire from the textile industry, a career he began in high school at age 16. But after 20 years and two layoffs from two different companies, in 2007 he decided to enroll at Tri-County and give Industrial Electronics a shot.

 

“I had great instructors, who could make a difficult subject fun. Many people told me if you can coach, you can teach. (Mark coached Little League Baseball for years.) The instructors bend over backwards for everybody. They are here to help you succeed. Without the support from instructors, counselors and advisors, I would have quit,” Mark said.

 

After graduating in 2009 he accepted an adjunct instructor position and became a full-time IMT and IET (and later Mechatronics) instructor in 2012. Six years ago, he began teaching Technical Career Pathways classes at the Anderson District I and 2 Career and Technology Center. 

Over the years he says students’ successes have been affirmation that he is in the right career.

“Once I saw students getting jobs after graduation and coming back and saying thanks, I realized I am where I need to be. I strive to be the best at what I do. I measure my success by their successes. When employers come to us and say we need more like them, we know we’ve done our job,” he said. 

 

“Coming to Tri-County changed my life. Excluding my wife and kids, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”