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Dr. Cox Named Maryland Superintendent Of The Year

October 30th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM) named Allegany County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. David Cox, 2016 Maryland Superintendent of the Year on Thursday, October 29, 2015, at the annual Maryland Negotiation Service Awards Banquet in Ocean City.

Dr. Cox will now go on to represent Maryland in the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year program, which is coordinated by the American Association of School Administrators. “I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Cox. “It is my privilege to work alongside very talented, smart, caring and dedicated public educators each day in Allegany County, and with my wonderful superintendent colleagues from the other 23 school districts in Maryland.” He went on to say, “I am especially honored to represent, for this year, Maryland’s superintendents, who work so tirelessly with their staffs to keep Maryland Public Schools among the very best in our Nation, year after year.” Dr. Cox is currently serving in his seventh year as Superintendent of Allegany County Public Schools. He was appointed to a four-year term beginning July 1, 2009, and was reappointed to a second four-year term beginning July 1, 2013. A committee of his peers made the selection of the Superintendent of the Year. Cox is the first Allegany County superintendent to receive this award. The members of the elected Board of Education of Allegany County as well as former ACPS Chief Academic Officer and current superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools, Dr. Janet Wilson, nominated Cox for the award. “The dedication and rigor that Dr. Cox expends in his position as superintendent is second to none and shows that he has the desire to see that students exceed in whatever circumstances life may hand them,” said school board president, Nicholas Hadley. “ Allegany County is one of poverty, but never once has David Cox allowed that disadvantage to stop his desire to see ALL students succeed.” According to Dr. Wilson, “David is a district leader who facilitates a dynamic governance structure that enhances learning for all students. His approach to district leadership fosters the optimum internal and external conditions necessary for meeting the needs of students in his school district.” Elected school board members were in support of Cox for this recognition and agreed that he has strived to be the leading authority in new technology and innovation in ACPS; has responded well to major challenges facing education including Common Core, PARCC, teacher/principal evaluation accountability, funding shortfall, and a difficult political environment; and has worked diligently to improve school system policies and hiring practices. Among Dr. Cox’s many achievements, the Allegany High School Replacement Project and the implementation of a Chinese Partial Immersion Program at West Side Elementary School are two that highlight his vision and dedication to the students of Allegany County. Writing letters of support on his behalf were Dr. Lillian Lowery, former Maryland State Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Cynthia Bambara, President of Allegany College of Maryland; Kathryn Blumsack, Director of Board Development for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education; Stuart Czapski, Executive Director of the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce; Sean McCagh, MD, Chairman of the Annual Hooley Plunge; and Dr. Molly Stewart, Principal of West Side Elementary School. Cox received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, his Masters of Supervision and Administration, and his Bachelors of Music Education, all from East Tennessee State University in his native Northeast Tennessee. Dr. Cox came to Allegany County with ten years experience as a superintendent in Virginia. Prior to that, he served as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, an elementary school principal, a middle school assistant principal, and a middle and high school teacher. Dr. Cox previously served as secretary and is now currently the president-elect for PSSAM. He also serves on the AASA governing board as a Maryland Representative as well as directs the organization’s Singing Superintendents at the National Conference on Education held on an annual basis. Since his arrival in Allegany County, Cox formed a Community Resource Committee for the Utilization Study of Secondary Schools in Cumberland that was charged with making recommendations to the school board regarding long-range capital improvement priorities for these schools, which led to the current design and planned construction of a new Allegany High School. He has, along with his staff revised the school system’s High School Programs of Study book to include changes in how credits are received and how they affect GPA for Dual Enrollment courses, the elimination of low-level courses, and new weights for GPA calculation by course title. Dr. Cox has also overseen a new middle school schedule and program that provide more instructional time and concentration on language arts and math, and he has supported and overseen the development of a partial Chinese immersion program for elementary school students and the addition of Mandarin Chinese for credit to high school students. Cox has been actively involved in Maryland’s Race to the Top and transition to the Common Core Curriculum Framework. Additionally, ACPS, under Dr. Cox’s leadership, has also worked to have all of its 24 schools connected to the internet through high speed internet fiber connections and has partnered with Discovery Education to teach science through its first digital texts with Science Techbooks. Finally, under Dr. Cox’s leadership, Allegany County is home to three State and National Blue Ribbon Schools. He credits his parents for teaching him the values of strong work ethic, faith and perseverance. He states, “I am proud to say that I am a first generation college graduate who knows firsthand the power of public education to raise our children up to opportunities not yet imagined.” He went on to say, “I am also especially grateful for the public school teachers I had as a student in rural Hawkins County, TN, who saw potential in me that I could not yet see, and who gave me the encouragement and support to dream and achieve beyond my imagination.” Dr. Cox has received several awards and recognitions and is a member of numerous professional and community organizations. He and his wife, Penny, currently reside in LaVale, MD, and they have two adult children, Andrew and Mary.


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