Our History

For over 50 years, GATSA has been dedicated exclusively to students enrolled in engineering & technology education pathway programs. TSA chapters prepare students to be successful inventors, designers, creative problem solvers, responsible citizens and leaders in a technological society. Click here to view our past state officers, as well as national officers elected from Georgia.

  • Beginning


    The student organization began in 1962 as the Georgia Association of Industrial Arts Clubs (GAIAC), beginning with ten clubs, statewide:

    Briarcliff High, Atlanta Coffee County High, Douglas Commerce High, Commerce Cross Keys High, Atlanta
    Dalton High, Dalton Glennville High, Glennville Jeff Davis High, Hazelhurst Savannah High, Savannah
    Warner Robins High, Warner Robins Winder-Barrow High, Winder

    The growth was slow the first few years, but has progressed from 13 clubs with 286 members to 169 clubs with approximately 3,000 members in 1979. The first committee of the association was appointed by Raymond S. Ginn, Jr., State Consultant of Industrial Arts Education, at a GEA meeting in 1960. This committee included Billy Kimbrel, Chairman, Coffee County High, and Norman Cooksey of Commerce High. They compiled suggestions for the constitution and by-laws and other suggestions for the founding of the club. An oral report given by Kimbrel in 1961 mentioned Norman Cooksey, Commerce High, as Chairman and Berkley Ruiz of Winder-Barrow High. They received the material from the previous year and revised it, making some additions.

    The first effective advisory council was appointed in 1962, consisting of Berkley Ruiz, Winder-Barrow HS, Chairman; Robert Odom - Jefferson High School, Ed McLesky – Briarcliff High School; Donald Parr (Univ. of Georgia); and Raymond S. Ginn Jr.- State Club Advisor and State Industrial Arts Supervisor. Reflecting the curriculum and disciplines of the unit based Industrial Arts classes of the time, (concentrations focused in wood shop, metal shop, drafting, handicrafts and graphic arts), the association was born. It gave students an opportunity to participate in activities beyond school hours and compete against students from other schools in 4 events: Essay Contest, Industrial Arts Club Exhibits Contest, Scrapbook Contest, and the GAIAC Sweetheart Contest. The first state conference was held at the FFA/FHA camp in Covington, GA. In those days, the Industrial Arts class was segregated for boys only. Those days had girls taking Home Economics, so the only female participation was via honorary position called a “Club Sweetheart”. The Newton County FHA club brought girls to the camp for the dance. There was even a state competition for the overall State Club Sweetheart. The GAIAC Motto was: “Pride in Progress”. The Creed read: “I believe in the dignity of work and that through an understanding and promotion of the industrial arts, I can develop leadership, scholarship and craftsmanship and so be of greater service to my country and to mankind.” The GAIAC Motto was: “Pride in Progress”. The Creed read: “I believe in the dignity of work and that through an understanding and promotion of the industrial arts, I can develop leadership, scholarship and craftsmanship and so be of greater service to my country and to mankind.”

    The emblem of the Georgia Association of Industrial Arts Club consisted of a gear with 33 cogs and five spokes and background of an outline of Georgia, and was adopted November 17-18, 1962. Symbols of each of the five instructional areas are illustrated on the five spokes of the gear.

    Symbolism of the Emblem

    Outline of Georgia-the limits of the Georgia Association of Industrial Arts Clubs. Outer rim of the gear-the unity and oneness of the Georgia Association of Industrial Arts Club encompassing the state. Spokes of the gear-the five instructional areas of industrial arts education-woodworking, metalworking, drafting, electricity, and power mechanics. Cogs on the gear-the 33 cogs are symbolic of the 33 members of the Georgia Association of Industrial Arts Club present for the organization meeting, November 17-18, 1962. Gear-symbolic of industry and industrial Georgia, the nucleus of the industrial arts education.

    Colors of the Emblem

    Green-Forest green (dark) is the background color. Black-Color of the gear and spokes. Gold-Color of Georgia, the symbols on the spokes of the gear and the lettering.

    In 1965 GAIAC merged with the Georgia Youth Industrial Education Association (GYIEA). The name for the combined organization remained the GAIAC. On the national level, in 1965, at the 27th AIAA (American Industrial Arts Association) Conference in Tulsa, the American Industrial Arts Student Association was officially organized. The national student association conferences were held simultaneously at the annual teacher’s national conference. By 1968 events were added such as Prepared Speech, Drafting, Scrapbook, Industrial Technical Reports, College Bowl and Industrial Exhibits.

  • 1970's


    In the late 1970s the curriculum expanded and embraced more changes. Industrial Arts evolved from a material focused to a “cluster concept” based curriculum. (Communication, production, power, energy and transportation). Female student participation grew fast, leading to the election of the first female president in GAIAC, Dorinda Hookings in 1976 from Manchester High School. She became just the first in a long line of female leadership for years to come. During the national student association, meeting at the 1978 AIAA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the nonprofit corporation, AIASA, Inc., was formed to oversee AIASA as a separate organization. On April 8, 1979, the GAIAC became officially the Georgia Association of AIASA adopting AIASA creed, motto, emblem, and colors. During this time of change, Raymond S. Ginn, Jr., assumed the title Executive Secretary. Clifford Holmes managed the transition of GAIAC to AIASA as the first State Advisor of GA AIASA.

    Georgia was one of the original sixteen chartered state associations. The name was changed to the Georgia Association of the American Industrial Arts Student Association. The leadership of the association was passed to Sam Powell and State Advisor, Harold Quinn.

    Symbolism of the Emblem:

    The gear blank surrounding the emblem represents all facets of American industry and its contribution to making America the great nation it is today. The lightning bolt represents the rapid development of today's automated world and the space age changes needed to meet the challenge of tomorrow. The framing square represents the degree of accuracy necessary to measure up to the demanding industrial society. The tringle points the way to the stars and a rapidly developing technological age. It is a symbol of strength in structure and represents the cooperative efforts necessary in achieving our goals. The mallet represents the dignity of work and its necessity in achieving success in an industrial society.

    The Emblem Colors

    Scarlet (Red): Represents the strength and determination of the industrial arts students and teachers to obtain their goals. White: Represents the high standards, morals, and religious beliefs we hold. Navy Blue: Represents the sincerity of the industrial arts students and teachers in obtaining a greater knowledge of our technical world.

  • 1980's


    The decade of the 80s saw even more change. The curriculum content continued to evolve toward Technology Systems Education. Students on both levels competed in 10 identical official events that reflected the skills being taught during those days. With the growth of the organization, the state conference was moved to Macon and held at the Hilton Hotel. New events were added, LSRAV- “Land Speed Record Assault Vehicle” (later Metric500 and now called Dragsters), Dream House, Outstanding Service, Safety Poster and Outstanding Chapter. GA AIASA continued phenomenal growth during this time. Also in 1982, the student association added a seventh state officer to join the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, and Sergeant at Arms. To guarantee Jr. High representation on the executive committee, the office of Second Vice President was created. The association’s conference participation outgrew the space in Macon and moved its April state conference to Atlanta and the Radison/Castlegate Hotel in 1984. In addition to the Annual State Conference, the association provided two “Leadership Conferences”, one in north Georgia and one in the south. North Georgia chapters attended the conference at Berry College and Georgia Southern University hosted the South Georgia version. Also there was a separate “Planning Conference” held in Atlanta, specifically for planning the thirteen competitive events of the Annual Spring Conference. On the national level, GA AIASA emerged as one of the top associations. Georgia was undefeated in Outstanding State competition on both Jr. and Sr. High Levels, a title awarded to the state that earned the most points from their chapter’s awards during the national conference. Computer Aided Drafting was introduced as a pilot event in 1987 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With the retirement of Harold Quinn, the position of State Advisor was filled by former Berry College professor, Ronald Barker in 1986. Fueled by the leadership of Powell and Barker and grant money from the new Georgia Lottery, Georgia curriculum and classrooms began a revolutionary transformation to Technology Education statewide. Georgia led the nation in this conversion process. A new, student centered, classroom design emerged. Beginning in 1988 at the middle school level, two schools, Dalton Middle and North Clayton Middle School became the first to provide modular curriculum to students. Nationally, the conversion to Technology Education from Industrial Arts prompted National AIASA to consider a name change to reflect the new direction. At the 1988 National Conference, held in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, student delegates voted to change name of to the Technology Student Association (TSA). In 1989 the official TSA logo was designed by TSA chapter advisor Steve Price of Georgia. The membership adopted the logo through a national vote, for use on the national, state and local levels. The evolution also involved merging the Fall Planning Conference with the two Leadership Conferences and holding them on Jekyll Island in November of 1989.

  • 1990's


    The decade of the 1990s saw even more change. Long-time State Director of Technology Education, Sam Powell retired and Ron Barker was promoted to fill the position. The assistant director position was not filled due to a budget freeze. Barker continued to assume the job of State Advisor. In 1991 the overall “Outstanding Chapter” and “State” were eliminated as awards on the national level. The state chose to continue to recognize an award for the top winning chapters on both levels. In 1991, advisor Steve Price was appointed to the National TSA Competitive Regulations Committee, where he still serves. The state conference was moved from Atlanta to Perry, Georgia and the GA National Fair grounds in 1995. Competitive events continued to evolve to reflect the new technologies being introduced in the co-curricular classroom curriculum. In addition, the middle school events were designed specifically for the middle school student and likewise for the high school. More computer related events were added in this decade, along with events involving video, radio control, flight, computer troubleshooting, problem solving and others. In 1996, the official competitive events were separated into two distinct levels and each had event guides designed for each. By the end of the 1990s, TSA provided a combination of over 60 events to its middle school and high school members. State leadership went through a few years of minor changes. Ms. Nancy Beggs was placed in charge of GA TSA for two years in the late 90s followed by Mr. Ron Barker being reinstated as the State Advisor. A new position was created by the state department, the State Association Director. The first was Mrs. Gayle Silvey.

  • 2000's


    GA TSA entered the 21st Century a vastly different student organization than it began in 1962. During the first decade of the 2000s two more state sponsored events were added and GA TSA hosted The National TSA Conference in Atlanta in 2000 for the first time since the 1978 charter year. In 2000, “Tech Day” was added as a competitive showcase for TSA at the GA National Fair. Students competed in 10 events that served to promote TSA at the highly attended annual event. Students could win cash prizes and ribbons for a 1st through 10th place award. In 2003 State President, George Ray of Fitzgerald HS and State Secretary, Jonathan Saethang of Riverdale HS proposed and designed a new training conference for local chapter officers to be held at the FFA/FCCLA Camp in Covington, GA. It was named “CORE”, for Chapter Officer Retreat for Excellence, scheduled for September 2004, it became the first of the annual conferences held each year. The next milestone for GA TSA was the election to the National TSA Board of Directors of, (then) Riverdale HS Advisor, Steve Price, who became the first classroom teacher to be elected as president and CEO of National TSA, Inc. in 2006. In 2007, former GA TSA State President, Terri Hancock assumed the role of State Director. In 2008 the state conference was moved from Perry to the Classic Center in Athens, GA, where it is held today. CORE became so well attended that it had to be relocated in 2009 to its present location at Tumbling Waters Resort in the mountains of Clayton, GA. Likewise, the Fall Leadership Conference left Jekyll Island the same year and moved to St. Simons Island. Revolutionary new events, recognized by National TSA and related to current classroom curriculum appeared, international events such as F1 in Schools and now the VEX Robotics Championships and continue to fuel the evolution of GA TSA.

  • 2012 - 50th Anniversary

    2012 - 50th Anniversary

    In 2012 Georgia TSA celebrated its 50th anniversary. The theme, EVO REVO ‘12, “Evolution of a Revolution”, was fitting for an organization that is dedicated to “Learning to Live in a Technical World”. It has embraced innovation and evolution over the last half a century. The state conference, held in Athens, GA at the Classic Center, was the culminating event of the year. There, the highlight was during the opening ceremony where the original Chairman of the Advisory Council, Mr. Berkley Ruiz and the original State Advisor, Mr. Ray Ginn shared their memories of the very beginning of the association in 1962. Other former advisors and students from the beginning also spoke, including Mr. Dwayne Hobbs, who was a former GAIAC State President. He now serves at the State Department of Education in a CTAE leadership role. A special moment came on stage, when the very first State President, Mr. Nelson Elliott formerly of Winder-Barrow High School, shook hands with the 50th State President, Mr. Andrew White of Arabia Mountain High School.

  • Current


    GA TSA has maintained one of the largest state membership in the United States for the past several years. During the 2011-12 school year GA TSA celebrated its 50th Anniversary under the guidance of State Advisor, Ron Barker, Interim State Director, Sylvia Phillips and then State Director, Ashley Hopkins. In 2012 there was a major "changing of the guard". Ron Barker retired and Mark Crenshaw, a long-time Engineering classroom teacher and TSA Advisor, was hired as the State Department of Education Engineering & Technology Education Program Specialist. In addition, the association hired Steve Price, a 32 year veteran Middle School and High School Georgia Engineering & Technology Education Teacher and TSA Advisor, to assume the role of State Executive Director. Steve has served as Chairman of the GA AIASA and TSA Advisory Council for a total of 14 years and served as chairman for a total of 8 years. Nationally he was president of National TSA in 2005-06 and President of the ITEEA during 2013-14 school year. He has held a position on the National TSA Competitive Events Committee since 1991. In 2015, DOE Program Specialist, Mark Crenshaw left that role to be a System CTAE Director. Filling that position as of February, 2016, was former middle school technology education teacher and later Director of CTAE in Rockdale County. He was the director of the very successful Rockdale Career Academy. Roger is no stranger to the student association. You will find him on our History Page, on our former state officer list as part of the 1980-81 GA AIASA State Officer team as State Treasurer, from Newton County HS.

    Over the course of time since the National Association was chartered in 1978, GA TSA has produced 15 elected National Officers. See complete officer team/national officer list on the State Officer Page in the About Section of the GATSA website. In 2016, the first ever National President from Georgia was elected, Jack Crawford of Lowndes High School served during the 16-17 school year. Alexander King was elected as the second ever the National TSA Student Association President from Georgia, serving for the 2018-2019 school year.

    At the 2017 National Conference, Executive Director and State Advisor, Steve Price was recognized as National TSA’s State Advisor of the Year for 16-17.

    2018 marked the 10th year that our annual State Leadership Conference has been held in Athens, GA. In honor of that milestone and their work with our executive director and in honor of his recognition as State Advisor of the Year, The City of Athens recognized Steve Price with a proclamation declaring that day, “Steve Price Day” in Athens. The mayor of Athens also presented Mr. Price with the Key to the City of Athens, GA.

    Later that summer, June 2018, Georgia TSA hosted very close to 8000 participants at the 40th Annual National TSA Conference in Atlanta. The National Association (AIASA) was created in 1978 during the joint conference with the national teachers association AIAA (now ITEEA) in Atlanta.

    After another record year both in membership and conference attendance in 2018-19. GA TSA’s Alexander King presided over the National TSA Conference, in Washington DC. There, Tate Green from Lowndes High School was elected as 2019-20 National Sgt at Arms. Tate represented the seventeenth National Officer from GA TSA and eighth consecutive year that there was a National Officer from GA.

    The 2019-20 school year set new membership records with GA TSA continuing to lead National TSA in the number of High School Chapters and Total Chapters. 161 and 247 respectively. The association completed three conferences leading into the 2020 State Conference which had nearly 3000 registered. The largest GA TSA Conference in history. On March 12th, a Thursday, the state announced extreme measures in reaction to a rising pandemic across the country and world. We were at the end of the first full day of competition, when the governor announced that it was advised that schools close beginning on the following Monday. Several schools systems recalled their students on Friday Morning. The board of directors developed a plan where we were able to complete a shortened schedule and hold the Awards Session on Friday night, allowing schools the option of leaving Friday night. The Coronavirus continued to ruin the school year with schools going to on-line virtual classrooms through the end of the school year. National TSA was forced to cancel the 2020 National Conference which was to be held in Nashville, Tennessee. This was the first time in TSA history that had happened.

    2020 brought a worldwide pandemic challenge to normal life, schools and jobs. GA TSA was in the middle of its 58th State Conference in Athens, GA when our governor announced the need to close schools starting the following Monday. The announcement was for what was to be a couple of weeks. Some school systems forced their TSA Chapters to return home the next day. The Board of Directors accelerated judging and GA TSA was able to complete the conference and conclude with an awards session on Friday night. Sadly we were the last CTSO to hold their in person conference that school year. The two week shut down stretched for months with the 2020-21 school year being converted to virtual classrooms over the internet. GA TSA took the challenge and produced all four annual conferences virtually, while still providing hands-on challenges for its members. Even though the covid restrictions hurt membership on the TSA National level, our chapters still led the nation with the most chapters and most high school chapters, as well as the second most middle schools.

    GA TSA celebrates its 60th (Diamond Anniversary) year in the 2021-2022 school year.

    GA TSA will continue to inspire Learning, Talent, Leadership, Service and Pride in our members for years to come.