By Tia Lynn Ivey
James Hagin, a former superintendent of Morgan County Schools, died last weekend, at age 76. Hagin leaves behind a legacy that will not be soon forgotten by the local community.
According to Pat Stokes, also a former superintendent of Morgan County Schools who took the job after Hagin retired in 1996, Hagin was a trailblazer, pushing for reforms to improve the quality of education in Morgan County.
“I don’t know that anyone could replace Jim, but I followed him,” said Stokes, who served as superintendent for 10 years. “He was the one to really get things started, working on better academic programs for our students.”
Stokes remembered how Hagin stayed on an entire extra month to make sure she was equipped to run the schools.
“He made sure I knew up from down and got a feel for the place before he left. He was incredibly kind to me and got me on the right start,” said Stokes. “He will be missed.”
Hagin also made a lasting impression on current leaders of the Morgan County School System.
“Mr. Hagin was my first principal when I began my teaching career at Morgan County Primary School,” said Sarah Burbach, assistant superintendent of Morgan County Schools. “Later, I worked for him in the Central Office at the Board of Education when he was elected superintendent. Mr. Hagin was a kind, gentle leader who could make the difficult decisions when he had to. We respected him because he respected us. I recall that he and I loved to exchange mystery thriller paperback books! He really enjoyed announcing the MCHS home football games on Friday nights. Family was always very important to Mr. Hagin. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and always had fun stories to tell about them. Mr. Hagin was a good man who will be missed by educators in Morgan County and around the state.”
The Morgan County Charter School System extends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Mr. James Hagin. Mr. Hagin was a great leader of the Morgan County School System. Many current and former employees have praised Mr. Hagin’s gentle leadership style and humble spirit,” said Dr. James Woodard, superintendnet of Morgan County Schools.
To read more about Hagin’s life and legacy, turn to page C5 to find his obituary.