Garen Cofer Named as Aiken County Adult Education Director for the Upcoming 2019-20 School Year
Garen Cofer has devoted his professional life and career to service in public education.
He has enjoyed each moment during three decades spent as a middle school teacher, assistant principal and principal at both the middle and high school instructional levels, including the last 12 years as principal at Aiken High School. When a brand new challenge in education became available recently, however, Cofer said it intrigued him.
Cofer, who was recently named as a member of the 2019-20 Principal of the Year Honor Court, will begin the next school year as the new director of the Aiken County Adult Education Center after Aiken County Board of Education members approved his appointment during the school board’s April 24 regularly scheduled meeting.
“I really enjoy serving others, and in this new capacity I will have the opportunity to help people who are striving to improve and be productive citizens and help their families and I just want to help facilitate that and continue to try to impact the community in a positive way,” commented Cofer. “It will be the same thing I have been doing for a long time, just in a different place. I have enjoyed every single year at Aiken High and I love my faculty and the school. This is just a good opportunity for me to move on to the next phase of my career.”
“Mr. Cofer has served with distinction as a leader and administrator in Aiken County Public Schools for many years,” stated Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford. “He has done a wonderful job at Aiken High School over the last 12 years and we know he will continue that work in his support and leadership of our award-winning Aiken County Adult Education Center.”
Pat Keating, the current leader of the Aiken County Adult Education Center, is retiring following the 2018-19 school year after 30 years of dedicated service to the District.
“The thought of being able to impact society in another capacity was intriguing for me,” stated Cofer. “At this point in my career I thought it was time for someone else to come in and carry the torch and take Aiken High School to an even higher level. We are in the final phase of construction, we received an outstanding school report card this year and we are currently fully staffed for next year, so I’m leaving Aiken High in the best possible situation and I think the timing is right.”
Cofer’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Television and Radio from Augusta College, and a Master of Arts in Education from Augusta State University. He earned an Education Specialist Degree in Supervision and Leadership from Augusta State University.
Prior to serving as principal at Aiken High School, Cofer served as principal of Kennedy Middle School, and as an assistant principal at Aiken High. He began his career in education in 1991 as a middle school teacher in Richmond County.
He says serving as a role model and support for those in need of a second chance or who just want to achieve more in education and in life drew him to the new position in adult education.
“I had people who came along in my life and who took the time to talk to me and show me some things, so I had great role models and this is my way of giving back,” commented Cofer. “Being able to influence people who are thirsty for knowledge and be a part of their story is part of what attracted me to this new opportunity.”
For Cofer, the key to such longevity in education has been a passion for service that was inspired by his father and many others.
“I was placed here to help people. That’s what I was born to do,” he added. “I have served young people in the secondary realm for a long time. Now it’s just time to take that service into another capacity and help some new people and use my platform to do some other things.”
He will begin his duties as Aiken County Adult Education Center director in July.
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2019 PR ADULT EDUCATION DIRECTOR