When it comes to leaving a legacy in the community, Bibby Morgan’s name immediately comes to mind.The retired public educator grew up in Summer Hill surrounded by a family that valued education. According to the Cartersville native, that family included “not only our parents but relatives, teachers, church family, neighbors and friends. They all accepted the responsibility of disciplining and shaping our future.”Beyond his contributions in the classroom, Morgan supports Cartersville and Bartow County through volunteer and civic involvement.
Name: James S. “Bibby” Morgan III City of Residence: CartersvilleAge: 66Occupation: Retired public school educatorFamily: Wife, Ruby J. (Perdue) Morgan, my bride of 44 years; son and daughter-in-love, Marcus D. (Kimberly Joy); daughter, Kia Dionne; grandsons, Jai, 9, and Israel, 7Education: 1967 graduate of Summer Hill High School, Cartersville; 1971 graduate of Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Bachelor of Science Degree in Health, Physical Education and Leadership Activities; masters degree in Special Education, West Georgia College, Carrollton; Special Education certification — Supervision/Administration, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama; Educational Specialist degree, Educational Leadership, Jacksonville State University
What led you into education?A: I grew up in a family that valued education. My parents and my father’s parents were teachers and administrators. While my mother’s parents were not college graduates, they always encouraged me to be the best I could be in whatever endeavor I took on. While at Summer Hill, teachers did so much more than just present the daily lesson and go home at the end of the day. I observed how they showed concern and support for their students even outside of the school setting. I believed that if I could become a teacher, I could do the same thing. I really wanted to be a football coach.
You serve on the Board for New Frontier of Bartow County, Inc. How important is the organization’s role in the community? And how would you like to see it grow?A: I have been a member of New Frontier of Bartow County, Inc. since I returned to Cartersville in 1971. I believe that the role of our organization in the community is extremely important because of our concern for the fair and equitable treatment of African-American and all citizens in the Cartersville-Bartow County area. There is always room for “Men with a Purpose” dedicated to the betterment of mankind everywhere. Although we are involved in many community activities such as the Feed the Community Dinner; providing scholarship awards to post-secondary students; mentoring students in the Cartersville, Bartow County and Gordon County school systems; sponsoring an SAT prep program; providing public assistance and other contributions as determined by the organization, we would like to do more. With growth, our goals and contributions will be elevated.
The Morgan Family is well-known and has had such a profound impact on the community. Was that instilled in you — and your siblings — during childhood?A: In the words of my grandfather, “If you can’t be the bell cow, gallop in the gang.” As young boys growing up in the Cartersville-Bartow County community, we were taught to respect our elders and every individual that we came in contact with and to treat others the way we wanted to be treated. We are products of the Summer Hill Community. Our family included not only our parents but relatives, teachers, church family, neighbors and friends. They all accepted the responsibility of disciplining and shaping our future.
Combining those first questions, how do you see parents, educators and organizations teaching children the importance of giving back and how important is that for the future?A: We must all accept the challenge and the responsibility of being supportive and treating others the way we want to be treated. We must teach, demonstrate and provide the opportunities for our children to actively participate in activities that will provide meaningful compassionate life lessons. We cannot fail to be our brother’s keeper.
What would your dream job be?A: Teaching in a classroom with “no walls.”
What would people be surprised to learn about you?A: I learned to play the piano at an early age. I would practice in the morning before school. While in college, I was section leader of the Tuba Section of the ECSU “Marching 100.” I performed in a number of halftime shows at professional football games, including the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Colts.
What makes Bartow County special?A: With the exception of the years that I spent away at school, I have lived in the Cartersville-Bartow County community. Even with the opportunity to leave, I chose to remain here to continue the legacy that was instilled in me by my many role models. My parents, family, teachers, scout leaders, church leaders and the many young men and women have invested time and energy into my life. This community has been a great place to live, raise my children and to give back.
What is your favorite meal?A: I enjoy any meal that is prepared by my bride.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things could you not live without?A: Jesus Christ and my Bible, my bride and my computer.