PHENIX CITY - Dr. Brenda Coley, superintendent of Russell County Schools, will deliver the keynote address to Troy University graduates on Friday, Jan. 27, during a joint fall commencement ceremony for the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning Site.
The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. More than 140 graduates will be recognized during the ceremony.
Dr. Coley was named to her current post in October 2015, but she is no stranger to Russell County schools. The Hurtsboro native graduated from Russell County High School in 1984. She received her bachelor's degree from Auburn University before receiving a master's degree, and later an education specialist degree from Troy University. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Education in administrative leadership from Walden University.
Dr. Coley's education career spans nearly 29 years, all of which have been spent in Russell County. She has served as a teacher at Russell Elementary and Ladonia Elementary. Her administrative experience began with a four-year stint as assistant principal at Ladonia Elementary, followed by nine years as principal at Oliver Elementary School in Seale. Under her leadership, Oliver Elementary received state recognition for exceeding annual progress goals and developed the state's model Pre-K program. The school also adopted fine arts initiatives, a rigorous and challenging curriculum, increased extracurricular activities and students' incentives and awarded grants for classroom technology, playground equipment, healthy snacks and research-based and best practices classroom materials.
In 2014, Dr. Coley was named as the school system's director of administrative services and then became interim superintendent for a period following the retirement of the previous superintendent before being named superintendent in October 2015 by the Russell County Board of Education.
Dr. Coley received the Home Town High Achiever Award in 2012 and the Outstanding Educator Award presented by the Phenix City chapter of the NAACP in 2013. She is a member of the Alabama Education Association, the Council of Leaders for Alabama Schools and the Rho Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., located in Columbus, Ga.
Coley is the wife of Kenneth O. Coley. She has a son Markeuis Coley and a stepson, Kenneth Coley, Jr.