Who we really are

Glancing at The Newnan Times-Herald over the last few days, a prospective resident would have second thoughts about moving here.

Funerals for two Newnan residents, killed by gunshots, were held. The suspects in both incidents remain at large, as does another suspect who shot another man who is still alive. A drug suspect was arrested for possessing half a pound of meth. Another woman was arrested for being under the influence of drugs after smashing into three different vehicles.

In all, four people have been killed over the last few days.

At the same time, however, there are other stories highlighting what Newnan and Coweta County are really all about. Ministers, community activists and local residents are joining together to raise funds for the victims, holding prayer vigils, and setting up meetings to get to the core of why, for no apparent reason, our county had more shootings and deaths in one week than what is usual for a year or two.

There are other bright spots, ones so bright we can only believe that the killings and shootings over the last couple of weeks are an aberration. We are not Chicagoland.

One of those bright spots occurred this week, when Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge named Dr. Lyn Schenbeck as one of 10 finalists for the state’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.

Schenbeck is director of arts at Central Educational Center and is the county’s 2013 teacher of the year. She currently teaches five classes at CEC and directs internships in the arts. Furthermore, she is a voting member of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the group responsible for the Grammy Awards.

We have one of the best school systems in the state. Three Coweta County School System teachers have been named state teachers of the year – Lorraine Johnson, Nancy Royal and Jamie Lipscomb. There have been 14 semi-finalists from our county since 1986, and Smokey Road Middle School teacher Clay Hildebrand was named a finalist in 2008.

Schenbeck and other teachers are to be commended not only for their achievements and nominations, but for also being among the thousands of outstanding residents of our community. They represent the real Coweta, who the majority of our residents truly are.

We are not Chicagoland. We are Coweta County.



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