Jan Cox: Lessons Learned as an Elementary School Principal

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A career that began 30 years ago is coming to an end. Castle Heights Elementary principal Jan Cox recently announced that she will be retiring from her education career at the end of this school year.

According to Cox, she has accomplished everything that she set out to do and feels that she is leaving on a high note. “I have worked with really good people over the years,” she acknowledged. “The years that I have spent here (Castle Heights) have been fun. We have really made this school into one big family.”

Cox has been the principal of the elementary school for seven years and feels that during that time, the facility has become a community school. “We have always had an open door policy and encourage community members to stop by and support our students,” she explained. “We conduct activities throughout the year and have public support for every event. We have worked hard to make sure everyone who walks through the front doors feels welcome.” This is a legacy Cox hopes will carry on for years to come.

Cox began her education career as an aide at Peterson Elementary in East Carbon. It was through this job that she realized that teaching children was what she wanted to do. She enrolled in college and admits it was difficult gaining a secondary education while raising two children, but it was a challenge she gladly accepted and conquered.

After many years of teaching, Cox moved on to work as an administrator and teacher at Lighthouse High. Working in both roles required some juggling on her behalf, but she feels the experience prepared her for the job as principal at Castle Heights.

“As a teacher, you can really watch the students grow,” she stated. “As a principal, you utilize problem solving skills, while working closely with children and their families. Both are very rewarding jobs.”

Cox joked that she is much to young to retire. Instead, she looks at this as a career change. Even though she is retiring from education, she is not leaving the work field quite yet. She will move into a support coordinator role for persons with disabilities, a new stage in her life that she is excited to begin.

“I have an opportunity to do something I am passionate about,” she explained. “I feel that I can make a difference and look forward to the change.”

Skills and attributes she has learned from co-workers and students alike will enable her to perform her new duties. “I have learned the value and true meaning of persistence and resilience from the staff and students here at Castle Heights,” Cox said. “Kids are so tough and are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for. I have really learned a lot from students over the years.”

With just under three months remaining in the school year, the search is on for the next principal. Cox assures that the transition between principals will be smooth and that it will not affect the students.

“I am thankful for the time I have spent at Castle Heights and will miss everyone,” Cox concluded.

 

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