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Superintendent Perspective: The Power of Public Education

By Dr. David Cox

Dr.DavidCox2016Maryland SuperintendentI know and fully understand the power of public education, and to it I owe a personal debt of gratitude as I make public education my life’s work. I grew up in rural Northeast Tennessee and was so fortunate to have several great teachers who challenged me beyond what I thought I could do, and who saw potential in me that I could not yet imagine for myself. My loving parents taught me the values of faith, perseverance, and work ethic, but it was my public school teachers who inspired me to reach higher academically and through the performing arts in music. I earned a music scholarship to East Tennessee State University, which launched my career in education that began 31 years ago.

Every day in our classrooms in Allegany County, and throughout Maryland, we have many excellent teachers and principals in our schools who focus on maximizing the potential of each of our children. My absolute favorite thing to do is to visit classrooms in our schools and to see engaged learning happening in real time. One such example is our elementary Chinese Partial Immersion Program that is now in its fourth year. Each cohort starts out together as a kindergarten class, and they travel together to the next grade as a cohort. Math, science, and technology are taught entirely in Mandarin Chinese for half a day each day. English/Language Arts and social studies are taught in English.

Public educators, each day, have an opportunity to raise each child up to higher levels of learning that is beyond their imagination. I know. I was one who was raised up by my teachers, and my commitment is to do the same for all of our children.

Dr. David Cox, Allegany County Superintendent of Schools, 2016 Maryland Superintendent of the Year