5 Under 35: Marcus Matthews

By: Meredith Taylor
By: Meredith Taylor

Great strides in his personal life and professional life. Marcus Matthews fits the mold of a contest recently held by Lounge Magazine, the quest to find 5 Under 35. Five people under 35 years of age making a difference. News 12 goes to the Augusta Tech campus in Thomson where Marcus is doing just that.

“We’ve got dizzie gothica, elematrania,” Marcus Matthews said.

A name, enough to make you dizzy. But, Marcus Matthews is able to make sense of it.

“Water, that is correct, and what’s the other way?” Matthews said.

Teaching Environmental Horticulture and Landscaping at Augusta Tech in Thomson is the life for this 30-year-old from Lincolnton. He started here in 2001 planting ideas to make a difference.

“Since we’re so close to two of the best nurseries in the southeast, I wanted us to have one of the top horticulture programs where we could not only feed the nurseries, but feed the whole state,” Matthews said.

This crowd is proof, things are well on their way. Enrollment is up. Some students like Jay Lewis, a mechanic for 17 years, and Mike McCorkle, a meat cutter for 20 years, are trying their hand at something different.

“He’s an excellent teacher, he’s real patient,” Lewis said.

And they’re finding out, the grass really is greener on the other side.

Mr. Matthews is also helping to shape the lives of these students outside Augusta Tech. He’s on 11 different advisory boards in the CSRA. He’s also the chairman for the deacons at his church and he owns his own professional landscaping business.

It comes down to hard work for the students and Mr. Matthews. He’s just been picked as Teacher of the Year at Augusta Tech and knows being dedicated isn’t always easy.

“Like I say, work never ends. It may end here and it goes just into the night,” Matthews said. “I let them know the benefits of horticulture and what a good job they can have, but I don’t candy coat it. I let them know there are gonna be some long hard days in horticulture out there.”

Long hard days worth being here for these students, because the reality is the man pushing them to be the best is truly the best for the job.

“He’s a real go getter,” said Mike McCorkle, student.

Marcus Matthews is working to make some other changes at Augusta Tech like a new golf green, trial gardens and new classes.

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