Having accrued more than 35 incredible years as a public school teacher and administrator, Dr. Judy G. Tuggle ultimately retired as the principal of the Warren Technical School in Chamblee, Georgia, in 2005. Throughout her career, she taught in New Hampshire, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia, served as a coordinator for career technology education, instructional technology and high school special education, and was a director for career technology education. Commonly known as CTE, the discipline involves preparing students for work by teaching specific career skills. Additionally, Dr. Tuggle served as a supervisor and house parent at the Greenwich Home for Children in Philadelphia, and an education director for the Philadelphia Association of Retarded Citizens between 1976 and 1977.
Originally a music teacher, Dr. Tuggle quickly became fascinated by her special education students because of their enthusiasm. Throughout the course of her career, she eventually transitioned toward special education and teaching vocational courses so that she could help her students become successful members of society after graduation. Outside of her full-time commitments in K-12 and technical education, Dr. Tuggle was also involved at the academic level. She notably taught various courses part-time at Georgia State University in Atlanta and Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Her colleagues, Margaret Gregory and Lynn Brandon, were influential in all of her endeavors.
A dedicated civic advocate, Dr. Tuggle served as a volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates. A national association commonly known as CASA, it supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children, with the goal of providing children with permanent and safe homes. Dr. Tuggle studied music at Samford University before acquiring a Master of Arts in education at the University of Louisville in 1976. She subsequently received an education specialist degree at Georgia State University in 1981, followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in 1984. A celebrated Marquis listee, she has been featured in the fourth edition of Who’s Who in America and the 17th edition of Who’s Who of American Women.
Dr. Tuggle aspires to leave a legacy as someone who was involved with the design and implementation opening of Warren Technical School. Likewise, the other is a high school in DeKalb County, Georgia, where she spent most of her career in the technology education lab, as well as the career centers. She added, changed and gave new directions to all of the career programs. Dr. Tuggle also put career academies in several schools.
Furthermore, Dr. Tuggle started work based learning, so the special education students at Warren Technical School spent most of their day training in the workplace and not at the school to know what work culture is like. She gets to see them during Awards Day, where the graduates would speak, which was a revelation for the students and teachers seeing them so successful. Additionally, she still corresponds with a few of them. Today, what Dr. Tuggle is working on is volunteer work transporting shelter dogs. The advice or words of encouragement that she can offer the next generation would be hang in there, prepare your students for their future and not your path, which is her mantra.