Morgan DAREs students to be successful
by Mark Andrews
Dec 30, 2013 | 2239 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lt. John Morgan of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office has been a D.A.R.E. officer for 20-plus years. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Lt. John Morgan of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office has been a D.A.R.E. officer for 20-plus years. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
For more than 20 years, Lt. John Morgan of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office has become a name synonymous with the D.A.R.E. program. As a D.A.R.E. officer and sheriff’s deputy, Morgan has spent more than two decades serving Bartow County and seeking to make a difference in the lives of children as well as adults.

When asked what is his greatest reward of working with students via the D.A.R.E. program, Morgan responded, “Being recognized by students, former students and their parents as an individual that they believed really cared about them during their time in the D.A.R.E. program. I am currently teaching the children of some of my former students and it touches my heart when they personally bring them in to meet me. I am also blown away by many of my former students that share their personal success stories regarding the benefits of the D.A.R.E. program.”

Occupation/title: Deputy sheriff/D.A.R.E. Officer

Family: Married to the former Barbara Ann Wells; daughters CaSaundra (Gavin) Wilkins, Adrianne (Mike) Kennedy; and four grandchildren, Bryce, Brynen, Nicholas and Morgan

Education: Diploma, Summer Hill High School, Cartersville; B.S. in Music Education, Saint Leo University, St. Leo, Fla.; and M.S. in Guidance & Counseling, Webster University, St. Louis. Mo.

City of residence: Cartersville

At what point in your life did you know you wanted to begin a career in law enforcement?

A: I’ve always known that I wanted to be a law enforcement officer. Upon completion of the requirements for the bachelors degree in music, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a security policeman for some 20 years. During my tenure in the U.S. Air Force, I entered officer candidate training and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt.. In addition, I also completed requirements for the Masters Degree in Guidance & Counseling. Upon retirement from the service, I contacted then-Bartow County Sheriff Don Thurman and inquired about the possibility of employment. I have been employed by the BCSO since 1990.

When did you begin working with the D.A.R.E. program and what led to you taking on the role of D.A.R.E. officer?

A: August 1992. Sheriff Thurman wanted to institute the D.A.R.E. program in the Bartow County School System. Criteria for program implementation included the fact that the D.A.R.E. Officer must have completed requirements for a degree from a post-secondary institution. Sheriff Thurman talked with me and we agreed that this was an opportunity for the BCSO to make an effort to educate our youth regarding drugs and the potential harm that could result from use and abuse.

Do you have any success stories of students you have worked with in D.A.R.E.?

A: Absolutely. There have been many success stories over the 21 years of working with the D.A.R.E. program. Probably the most noted is the fact that students have participated in the program return to the program as mentors and role models and serve in a capacity that I can’t fill.

If you weren’t working in law enforcement, what would you be doing for a living?

A: Teaching/counseling/educational administration.

What do you consider your greatest personal or professional achievement?

A: I am very proud to have enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, applied [for] and completed Officers Training School, received the rank of Lieutenant and completed post-secondary requirements for two degrees. However, my greatest achievement is the implementation and the current status of the D.A.R.E. program in the Bartow County School System.

Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?

A: In my man cave with my most gracious bride.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

A: After finishing high school, I was enrolled in the Berklee School of Music in Boston during one of their summer programs. The following fall, I enrolled at Tennessee State University as a music major. I played trumpet in the World Famous Aristocrat of Bands (even though my brothers would not agree — as they too, played in their respective university bands). The middle initial “H” in my name stands for Henry. I am the namesake of my grandparent’s oldest son, John Henry Morgan, a Tuskegee Airman.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

A: Never give up: intestinal fortitude and bulldog tenacity are words that my grandfather often used in his Friday morning assemblies at Summer Hill High School.

Do you have a personal philosophy?

A: “Let your audio be twins with your video!”