Cogle shares vision for Selma

Published 2:34 pm Monday, July 15, 2019

Clayton Cogle is one of the few that have returned home to Dallas County to make a difference in the community.

The 31-year-old was born and raised in Selma and graduated from Morgan Academy.

He now serves as a history teacher at Martin Middle School.

“I teach world history particularly ancient civilizations,” he said.

Cogle about transitioning from being a student at a private school setting to working in a public-school system.

“It revealed to me that I was living in somewhat a different Selma, which I think is interesting,” he said. “I was just getting one picture.”
However, while working at the YMCA, he was able to experience more of how others in Selma and Dallas County live.

After returning to teach eighth-graders at Martin Middle School, Cogle was able to combine his love of history with his passion for working and teaching with kids.

“There is a job in it as far as history goes,” he said. “I always enjoyed working with kids because I worked all through high school at YMCA and I thought what better job could there be than teaching history to kids? Kids don’t necessarily want to learn about history as much as they did about say canoeing or something like that.”

Cogle’s main subject is world history with an emphasis in ancient civilizations but some time has been made to where Cogle can provide an elective to students in which they will learn about Alabama history.

“I teach and I also work with our football team at Martin,” he said. “I see coaching as an asset to my teaching and vice versa.”

Cogle also shared how to make Selma better.

Honestly, I think if you really want a true vision of where Selma is going you have to look at the kids,” he said. “You have to work with the young people because that is truly who is going to have the impact. I see them as the pulse of this town. I believe that our youth is underserved. Everybody wants to know what is going on in Selma and they want to fix it. They try to fix it for themselves but they don’t ask the kids what do they want. That is one of the reasons I’m back in Selma because I was given opportunities to create change.”

Cogle also is a member of the Blackbelt Benefit Group board and has served for the past year. “Coming back to Selma you find out what there are plenty of is talkers and nothing gets done,” he said. “But if you look and put yourself in places you find the doers. I noticed that with Blackbelt Benefit Group that they are doing things.”