Kasey Coggin

Principal | Waggoner Creek Elementary School

In the book Find Your Why, Simon Sinek states, “We don’t necessarily find happiness in our jobs every day, but we can feel fulfilled by our work every day if it makes us feel part of something bigger than ourselves.” When you align your purpose and passion with your career, you work toward something larger than yourself. Kasey Coggin is focused on doing just this as she is stepping in as the new principal of Waggoner Creek Elementary in Texarkana Independent School District. “A job should never just be a job, but instead should inspire and motivate one to continue to learn and inspire others,” Coggin says.

From a young age, Coggin always played “teacher” with her younger brother, noting he is sure to have many memories of him acting as her “student.” “After graduating from Maud High School, I began classes at Texarkana College and Texas A&M University-Texarkana. I started my teaching career in the same classroom I once sat in as a fourth-grade student with one of my biggest cheerleaders as a child, Ms. Ruby Mayhew. Ms. Mayhew positively impacted me at an early age, and I have always hoped to do the same for my students. As principal, I aim to support our excellent teachers so they can continue being that same encourager for our students at Waggoner Creek,” Coggin says. 

Though her brother and Mrs. Mayhew played a significant role in her desire to become an educator, Coggin also remembers life experiences that helped her along the way. She says, “The most significant life experience that shaped me as an educator was that neither my parents nor teachers lowered expectations for me or allowed me to give up when things were challenging. As a child who loved to learn when skills came quickly but shut down when challenged, I relate to students who sometimes struggle or have low self-confidence.” 

Throughout Coggin’s childhood, she overcame challenges and saw she was, in fact, capable. She continued to build self-confidence and grew a more profound love for learning. “With this life experience, I hold high expectations for all learners because I believe all are capable, even when they may not believe in themselves. It may require a different path or alternate resources to achieve growth, but all students can learn at high levels. I am still determining where I would be today if someone had not had that same belief for me,” says Coggin.

As an educator, Coggin believes it is so important, now more than ever, to encourage those considering entering the education field. “Being an educator is truly the most rewarding profession one could choose. It is an act of service, allowing one to contribute to something more significant than oneself. All professions come with challenges, and the world of education is no different. However, it makes it all worthwhile when you come together with a team and help students succeed, feel loved, and safe. I know there are many passionate educators out there today who are still inspiring and encouraging students to enter this fun, challenging, and rewarding career!” Coggin says.

As an educator and leader, Coggin believes it is crucial to be fair and consistent. Providing a listening ear and open lines of communication is the beginning of solid parent-school relationships. “Stephen R. Covey once said, ‘Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.’ When building and maintaining positive relationships with all, trust is critical. Parents and students must know that the basis of all questions is ‘What’s best for students?’ Trusting relationships are not established overnight; developing the most important parent-school relationships takes effort and time.” Coggin strives for this to ensure a good relationship between her and the community she serves.

We may remember that as kids in school, there were both excellent and challenging days, which also holds true for educators. The most rewarding part of working in education for Coggin is having the ability to collaborate with a team of people to ensure that each student is receiving what they need to be successful. Education is one of the few professions that allows you to ‘touch the future,’ which is always exciting to Coggin. Conversely, Coggin finds the most challenging part of an educator’s profession to be the ever-changing requirements at the state and federal levels. She says, “I am grateful for advocacy groups such as Raise Your Hand Texas which have our children’s best interests at heart and advocate for policies that positively impact current and future education. Texarkana Independent School District does a phenomenal job of aligning resources and implementing best practices, making navigating the state and federal changes more manageable, thus allowing all students to be successful.” However, when a challenging day does present itself, Coggin finds herself in a classroom. There is nothing more motivating than to see student learning in action. She is constantly motivated by students collaborating while teachers facilitate learning. It is her happy place!

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