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[WATCH NOW] Former Auburn coach, US Senate candidate Tuberville visits Sylacauga; speaks on campaign

SYLACAUGA, Ala. – US Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville visited Sylacauga on Thursday to serve as the keynote speaker for the American Values Breakfast hosted by Sylacauga’s First United Methodist Church.

Tuberville, who coached for Auburn from 1999-2008 where he posted an 85-40 record and finished the 2004 season undefeated, is now running for US senate. Before he committed to run for senate, Tuberville pledged to speak at the event that honored two Sylacauga residents, Colonel Henry L. “Charlie” Sanders Jr. USAR/Retired, and Dr. F. Jane Cobia.

Colonel Henry L. “Charlie” Sanders Jr., a Sylacauga resident, was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He entered on active duty in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant in 1990. Sanders served on active duty for approximately six years. He has a total of 30 years of military service. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He has completed hours toward acquiring a Master of Divinity Degree at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham.  Currently, Sanders serves as the Chief, Global Health Branch, Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, VA.

Sanders has held numerous staff and command positions. Sanders’ combat deployments include Operations Desert Shield / Storm and Operation Continue Hope, Somalia / Kenya (East Africa). Other deployments include Operation Dragon Hammer, Italy; Operation Hurricane Andrew Relief, South Florida and Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti. Sanders was also mobilized twice for the Global War on Terrorism.

Sanders awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, 2nd oak leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal, 3rd oak leaf cluster; Army Achievement Medal, 2nd oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; South West Asia Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Army Service Medal; United Nations Medal; Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia); Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait); the Combat Medical Badge, and the Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3).

Sanders is married to his wife, Carolyn, for 24 years.  They have three children and a nephew: Elijah Todd, Caleb Andrew, Keziah Joy, and Joshua Xavier Moore. The family are members of First Baptist Church.

Dr. F. Jane Cobia, served as superintendent of Sylacauga City Schools from 2004-2009. During that time period, established the first pre-K classes, expanded  Career Technical opportunities by adding Machining, Welding, and Certified Nurse Assistant programs, added both dual enrollment and Advanced Placement classes for students, and in conjunction with the board of education developed a 10 year building plan that is now completed.  These extensions, opportunities and learning experiences were the result of partnerships with various community and state organizations which include SAFE, Central Alabama Community College, and AIDT.  Sylacauga City Schools was the first system in Alabama to have district-wide accreditation from AdvancEd and has continued that process to this day.

She is currently a full Professor and Director of the EdS, Doctoral Programs, and External Partnerships for the School of Education, Samford University.  Cobia has spent 25 years in the public education arena and was a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, education specialist for the Alabama State Department of Education, and superintendent.  She has served as an education consultant for school improvement, on ASCD Board of Directors, and is certified as a superintendent mentor trainer.  She has taught as an adjunct of graduate level courses since 2001 for Jacksonville State University, University of Montevallo, and Auburn University at Montgomery.  She is the Executive Director for Alabama ASCD, the treasurer for Sylacauga Rotary Club, and a founding member of the Marble Valley DAR.  She serves on numerous boards and is active in professional and civic organizations Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, CLAS, ASCD, Cheaha District Boy Scouts of America, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Kappa Delta Pi.  Dr. Cobia was a brownie, girl scout and cadet scout as a youngster and has been actively involved with the Cheaha District, Greater Alabama Council, Boy Scouts of America since 2005.

In her 8 years at Samford, Cobia has had 14 peer reviewed articles published; 23 non-peer reviewed publications; 1 book published September 2015 and one  published August 2018; 31 international/national/district professional presentations; 15 state presentations; and as team member with Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the Alabama State Department of Education secured a $1.9 million grant from the United States Department of Education for training administrators to lead Turnaround Schools in Rural Alabama.

She served on the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee for Kappa Delta Pi for 2 years and is now the chair, numerous committees for ASCD, the CLAS Board of Directors and is a past president, chair of 46 dissertation committees, committee member on 14 dissertation committees, chair Diversity Committee OBB School of Education, member of Samford University Diversity Committee, chair Curriculum committee OBB School of Education, member University Curriculum Committee, member University SACS committee, member University Library Work Group, and member of accreditation steering committee.

She and her husband, Calvin Miller, reside in Sylacauga and are active members in many community events.

After the event, spoke with Tuberville about his senate campaign. Watch the video below:


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