My Motlow Story: Brad Luna
Brad Luna of Fayetteville is a fan of the ACE (Adult College Express) program at Motlow State for many reasons, but two of them are at the top of his list.
Brad Luna First, the program made it possible for him to earn an associate degree while working full time as the technology coordinator for Fayetteville City Schools and then as systems administrator for Lincoln County Schools.
Secondly, not long after completing the ACE program last year, Luna was named the Lincoln County School System's technology coordinator - a position which may eventually require a college degree. Thanks to ACE and his own hard work, Luna's resume includes an associate of science degree.
Luna said he was encouraged to enroll in the ACE program by his former boss, Billy Joe Evans, when he and Evans attended an informational session at Motlow's Fayetteville Center. He completed the program last year and said it is offered in the ideal format for working adults.
"Many adults, such as myself, work 40 or more hours a week and cannot attend traditional college classes," he said. "The ACE program with Motlow offers working adults a very well structured program, and students can focus on one subject area at a time without having to juggle multiple classes. Although it is a very aggressive timeline and requires lots of work on your own, it is a great way to go back to college."
Luna said he would recommend the program to any adult interested in obtaining an associate's degree.
"The ACE program is one of the best programs for adults to complete their lifelong goals," he said. "The faculty and staff at Motlow are very accommodating and realize that ACE students are not typical college students. They understand that we work full time jobs and are sacrificing time with our friends and family to attend college. I truly enjoyed my time at the Fayetteville campus and I am very glad I made the decision to acquire my degree."
ACE classes meet one night per week for five weeks, making it possible for students to take one class at a time and still complete several classes each semester. Each group of students, called a "cohort," takes the same classes together throughout the program and often form lasting friendships.
Luna is a 1994 graduate of Lincoln County High School and attended J.F. Drake State Technical College after receiving a full scholarship for Drake's machine tool technology program. He worked in a machine shop while attending Drake, and repaired, built, upgraded and installed computers as a hobby.
A friend's father-in-law asked Luna while he was repairing the friend's computer if he would consider working as a computer technician for Fayetteville City Schools.
The father-in-law was Dr. Tom Young, who was the technology coordinator at that time for Fayetteville City Schools. Luna took the job on July 1, 1997, and said it was "the best choice I ever made."
He and his wife, Heather, have one son, Matt Williamson, who recently joined the U.S. Air Force. Luna said he hopes to pursue a bachelor's degree but has put his educational plans on hold until Matt completes his military training and settles down.
In the meantime, Luna is enjoying his career with Lincoln County Schools and living the words, which can be found at the end of his email messages, of the late publisher Malcolm S. Forbes, who said:
"When what we are is what we want to be, that's happiness."