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franklin county times

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2013 – Maggie Coan

Progress 2022: Distinguished Through the Decades

A Russellville High School alumnus, Maggie Coan said she was attracted to the Distinguished Young Women competition based on her cousin’s experience – Addie (Pickett) Harbin was the 2005 county Junior Miss winner.

“It was really rewarding on the local and the state level. I got to meet a lot of really good girls,” said Coan. Some of them she had already connected with at Girls State. “We got really close.”

Today Coan is an attorney at Chenault Hammond in Decatur, after earning her bachelor’s degree in political science – with a minor in legal studies – from the University of North Alabama in 2017 and her law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2020. She said when she first started college, she planned to go to medical school, but doing secretarial work at a law office in Colbert County opened her eyes to the profession and changed her mind.

In her role at the Decatur general practice firm, she deals in family law, such as divorce or custody issues, as well as probate law, injury defense and personal injury.

“I’m a people person. I always have been,” said Coan, noting what she loves most about her job is interacting with people both in her office and in the courtroom.

Coan said she is still in touch with many of the girls she became friends with through DYW. Her own experience in the competition came with a little pressure attached – having Harbin to live up to – but she had a lot of support from her family and was “humbled and thankful to have the opportunity to meet wonderful women” who inspired her – women she knows she can depend on even now.

“If I need help with something, I always know a DYW I competed with who can help me,” she said. “The older we get, it’s crazy to see what some of the girls have done with their lives. It really is amazing.”

At Russellville Coan was Student Council president, a Tigerette all four years, competed in Miss RHS two years and was in FBLA and the Homecoming Court. She was a dance teacher at Addie’s Flip, Tip and Tap – performing a tap dance to “Sweet Home Alabama” for her DYW talent – and she continued teaching throughout her undergraduate years.

Coan said she is happy to be continuing to live in Russellville and serving the the Morgan, Franklin and Madison areas. “Franklin County and the north Alabama area have given a lot to me,” she said. Since she still lives in the area, she embraces the opportunity to help with DYW each year, whether it’s encouraging an AFTT girl who plans to participate or getting involved in some other capacity.

“What I like helping with is the interview process,” she added. “Not a lot of girls in high school get the opportunity to practice those skills, and they’re really important. It’s intimidating until you’ve done it a couple times.” She said she likes helping girls “get comfortable in their own skin.”

Coan is the daughter of RHS teacher Cindy Coan and RMS school resource officer Reece Coan.