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Morgan names next school superintendent

May 15, 2020 - 06:00
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    Dr. Virgil Cole addresses the Morgan County Board of Education for the first time after being named the next superintendent. LEILA SCOGGINS/Staff

There’s a new superintendent in town, and he goes by Dr. Virgil (Bobby) Cole.

During the Mo rgan County Board of Education’s May meeting on Monday, May 11, Chairman Nelson Hale officially announced that Cole, who is the current Glynn County superintendent, will take over the reins following Dr. James Woodard’s retirement in June. Cole and his wife Mollie then entered the room to be introduced.

“It’s definitely a tremendous blessing to me and my family, and I am very excited,” Cole said. “I want to thank you as the board for this opportunity. I am certainly humbled and honored to be here. I want to thank my wife, Mollie. Without my family and their love and support, I would not be where I am today.”

Cole and his family recently relocated to the Madison area from Brunswick. Cole told the Lake Oconee News he made the tough decision in the fall of 2019 to announce to the Glynn County school board that he intended to leave his position as superintendent at the end of the school year. Cole said the decision came when one of his parents was faced with a concerning health issue.

“We moved here for a reason,” Cole said. “It’s a special place and special people, and we realized that even more in just the short time that we’ve had. I’m really extremely excited to serve this community, the parents, students, staff and administrators just to be part of this One Morgan team.”

Cole grew up in Conyers and said he always admired Madison from afar. He said he and his wife knew that they wanted to call Madison home even before they knew about the superintendent’s position at Morgan County. The couple has four children, one of which will be a freshman at Morgan County High School next year.

When asked what he hopes to bring to the Morgan County system, Cole said he hopes to just be someone who serves the community in a positive way.

“I think Dr. Woodard has done an outstanding job,” Cole said. “They have outstanding staff, teachers and administrators so for me I just really want to fit in and be a part of this community.”

Cole began his career as a police officer and D.A.R.E. instructor in Conyers after graduating with his bachelor’s in criminal justice from the University of Georgia, where he also played football. He said that he learned from his experience as a police officer and athlete the importance of being a positive role model.

“For Madison and Morgan [County], what I want to do is be that person that makes a positive change and continues to make a positive change in this community,” Cole said.

He then told the Lake Oconee News about how his grandfather had to quit school in third grade to support his family. Cole said “it was a different time back then” but it left his grandfather illiterate.

“The fact that I can be here as the superintendent two generations away, it’s just amazing to me,” Cole said. “I am grateful. But I also think it shows the power of education and I really want to give that to everybody, the opportunity to be their best, whatever that might be.”