Contact Us: Staff

Our staff works hard to provide support and help to the members of the Global Achievers family. Click on a name below to learn more about them.  To send us an email use the link above (
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Bette Hickman
- Executive Director

Geraldine Welch - Associate Director

Bette Hickman - Executive Director

Bette Hickman is an art teacher and entrepreneur with a love of children. She has been the driving force behind Global Achievers since it was created in 1994. Through her vision, creativity, and leadership, the program has grown from an idea discussed at a business/education conference in Washington, D.C., to an organization that today involves students of all ages -- from elementary school through college -- in ten countries.

As Executive Director of Global Achievers, she is responsible for the day-to-day operation. She works at home and abroad to identify and match schools, develop policy and guidelines, and handle the myriad issues involved in an international education project. She also serves as an important resource for teachers and student companies, helping them solve problems that develop as they communicate and trade. The cultural and educational exchange trips that often result from the program are frequently facilitated, organized, and hosted by Mrs. Hickman.

A proponent of economic education, she speaks frequently on the topic using the Global Achievers model. Mrs. Hickman has been a featured speaker at seven international educational conferences in Europe and the United Kingdom. In July, 2001, she addressed the Fourth International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Citizenship in the 21st Century, which was attended by representatives of eleven countries. In July 2003, she spoke at the IACSEE conference at Egmond aan zee in the Netherlands.

Mrs. Hickman worked with the Coweta County, Georgia, School System for seven years. Drawing on her creativity, genuine interest in people, and experience as a small business owner, she served as an effective liaison between the schools and the community. As creator and Director of the
Business/Education/Community Partnership Program, she developed a strong program that benefited both students and businesses. She also developed the school system’s first mentor program. The framework she built in the early 1990s continues today to enhance the lives of students and community members through one-on-one mentoring relationships.

A skilled artist who studied Art Education at Florida International University and Miami-Dade Community College, Mrs. Hickman established an art school through the Coweta County Recreation Department and for the past 23 years has taught art to hundreds of children ages 5 through 17. She was owner of The Cricket’s House, an artist co-op featuring the work of twelve artists in different mediums and the creator of "Bette’s Balloon: Special Art for Kids of All Ages," a line of painting and drawing focused on childhood and family. Most recently, she illustrated "Once There Was An Acorn," a story written and published by John Hickman, her husband.

Mrs. Hickman is an active community leader, involved with the Salvation Army, Civitan Club, and United Way. In the spring of 2003, she was named as a "Gracious Lady of Georgia" at a ceremony in Columbus, Georgia.


Geraldine Welch
- Associate Director

Geraldine Welch is a teacher with an unquenchable thirst to experience, understand and share the world with students. She has been with the Achievers program since its inception.

In 1995, Welch, media specialist from Evans Middle School, was one of a team of four teachers from Coweta County to write a grant and receive funding from the federally-funded Next Generation School Project. The technology-based grant enabled Evans Middle School to have classroom computers networked through a fiber optic link to three other schools within the Coweta County School system, paving the way for Evans to become one of the six pilot schools for the Achievers program. Students at Evans were linked with students at Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, Scotland - a partnership that continues today.

Mrs. Welch is a 31-year veteran of the Coweta County, Georgia, school system, where she served as an English teacher and as a media specialist. She holds a B.S. degree in English from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, and a Master's in Education from Auburn University. Upon her retirement in June, 2000, she joined Global Achievers full-time.

Her responsibilities include training, coaching and supporting teachers throughout the school year as they institute and customize the Global Achievers program to their classrooms. She also helps to facilitate cultural and educational exchanges at home and abroad for teachers, students and community leaders. Her background as a media specialist was instrumental in the development and updating of the Global Achievers' web site.

Welch is a member of the International Association for Children's Social and Economics Education, an organization focusing on how children learn and are taught about society and economics. In July, 2001, and also in July 2003, she and Executive Director Bette Hickman spoke on Global Achievers at the Association's biennial international conferences in England and in the Netherlands. She has also served on the Education Committee of the Newnan/Coweta Chamber of Commerce.

An avid traveler, Mrs. Welch travels abroad several times a year. She has been on six Achievers study tours, has friends throughout the world, and regularly opens her home to international visitors.




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