Thanks to Mrs. Donya Selph Coggins, I was able to take a walk down Memory Lane recently, and it was precious to me. Mrs. Coggins was in one of my first classes and is one of my dearest friends. When I met up with her at my grandson’s, Cason Guest’s, basketball game, she asked if I would like to see her classroom after the game. Of course, old sentimental me had to say, “Yesssss!” After the game, I was ready for my tour of my old home away from home, which I had not seen in almost twenty years.
My older car knew its own way to Lowndes Middle School because I began my teaching career there in the 1982-83 school year! Mr. Fred Davis gave me my first teaching gig (cannot call it a job because it was too much fun). Most of my waking moments were spent either on LMS’s campus or at a function for the students (skating parties, dances, football and basketball games, and The Homecoming Parade each year). I enjoyed almost every moment of my time spent in the hallowed halls, in the gym, and on the campus of Lowndes Middle School.
During those almost 20 years, I taught Eighth Grade English/Language Arts, Literature, mathematics, and even science for a few years. I was a student Council Sponsor, put on the Book Fair, and even served as a cheerleading sponsor for a few years. When I became a Team Leader, it was awesome to be responsible for my/our team! We were like a family and truly loved and supported each other. The traditional Savannah Trip was an exciting time each year, and it allowed for a special time of bonding for not only the teachers/staff but also for the students! It was always rewarding to hear the compliments of praise for our wonderful students.
While I was serving my time as Student Council Sponsor, we had fund raisers on a regular basis and used our funds for various projects. When the student population increased and they placed portables on our campus, our members decided to do a beautification project and planted trees, shrubbery, and flowers all around the campus. Another year, the members donated a marble sign to the school. After I transferred to Lowndes High School in 2000-2001, one day on my way home, I decided to go by LMS because I was feeling nostalgic and a little homesick! I noticed the sign was gone, and it troubled me! I remembered how hard we all worked to be able to provide the sign as a memorial to former students and teachers. For the next several years, every time, I traveled down Copeland Road, I wondered about that sign.
Much to my surprise, the mystery was solved on November 5, 2020! Mrs. Coggins took me on my tour which included a walk down what I knew as my old home away from home. It brought tears to my eyes as I walked through and stood in the rooms which had been a huge part of my life. However, the greatest moment was soon to come on our way by the cafeteria and back to the gym. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw our sign. I was overwhelmed with the memories of all the students, faculty members, staff, and the amount of time we spent fundraising! Thank you to whoever came up with the idea of placing the sign in its present location. It is absolutely perfect, and it gave me an amazing feeling and sense of pride and happiness for time well spent.
I know you were a great Teacher…Happy for you.
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