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Posted: July 16, 2010 9:02 p.m.

BOE District 5 - Abigail Morgan-Coggin (R)

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Abigail Morgan-Coggin

Abigail Morgan-Coggin is the third person to announce plans to run for the Newton County Board of Education seat in District 5, which is being vacated by current board member Dr. C.C. Bates.

Morgan-Coggin said that since she has one child currently enrolled in the system and another who will attend Newton County Public Schools soon, she felt that she owed it to them, as well as the other children and educators in the county to try and make things better.

"I just couldn’t sit back and not take this opportunity to improve our school system here," she said. "I couldn’t sit back and not at least try to help improve the public school system in our county. It’s so important to educate our next generation and everything ties back to education," said Morgan-Coggin.

She is a life-long resident of Newton County and graduated from Newton High School. She then went on to attend Oxford College and from there Emory University where she earned a degree in political science. Morgan-Coggin has previously worked for the Lt. Governor’s Office and the Department of Corrections. She currently works at the Arts Association in Newton County as their Program Director.

"I am familiar with how the budget process works on the state level and I think I have a very good perspective on how large a role the state does play in funding our local schools," said Morgan-Coggin. "I honestly just decided I could not sit back and not at least try to input my knowledge in the decision-making progress."

Morgan-Coggin believes that the topmost issue that will face District 5 in the coming years is the budget.

"My number one focus is to be able to provide the services that we need and to be able to pay for them and keep our teachers. I realize there are hard cuts that need to be made, but at the same time I think there are other ways to save."

Morgan-Coggin has been married to her husband Derek for 10 years. She has two children, 7-year-old Shaw is a first-grader at East Newton Elementary School and 4-year-old Kathleen attends pre-school at First United Methodist Church, Covington, where the family also attends services.

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