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I had the good fortune of attending North Elementary, Colonial Heights Junior High (now Middle) School and Colonial Heights High School, graduating in 1972. After attending Atlantic Christian College and completing requirements to be a teacher, I returned to Colonial Heights where I was hired to teach 7th and 8th grade at Colonial Heights Junior High School.
What a great life that was! To teach history, always my favorite subject, for nine years! From 1976-1985, I taught Virginia History, United States History, and Civics. At Colonial Heights High School, I had the opportunity to teach United States History and Government for a year. It is always a thrill to hear from former students.
I have always been fascinated by the history of Colonial Heights, in particular the history of our schools. My mother, Margaret Cox, taught at Colonial Heights High School for many years, so in a sense I "grew up" in the school division in a way that most do not. My father, Joseph Cox, Sr. was very good about taking me to sporting events from the early 1960's on. I was thus able to avidly follow Colonial Heights sports from a very early age.
Through my mom, I was able to meet, at an early age, many outstanding professional educators who not only became role models and positively influenced my career, but to witness firsthand the many contributions that they made. This outstanding group of educators has made Colonial Heights Schools an on-going teaching and learning organization that many others seek to emulate.
Success does not automatically breed future success. Indeed, it requires hard work, attention to detail and commitment to excellence of many over a period of years, to achieve success. It takes that same dedication to maintain the expectations, standards and rigor required to remain successful. In an ever changing city and region and with a "new" layer of federal testing mandated by No Child Left Behind, that task becomes more complex and difficult with every passing day.
When parents with children are asked, "Why did you move to Colonial Heights?" you typically hear a common response…"because of the schools and the educational opportunities available here." I join the school board, our many community partners, parents, teachers, staff members, administrators and students who work hard to be certain that this response will resonate with the same clarity as a new generation of Colonials passes through our schools.
I continue to be honored to be able to serve our students, their families, and our community as superintendent. To be able to serve in this capacity in my hometown and in the school division that I "grew up in" is indeed a great honor and privilege.
Dr. Joseph O. Cox, Jr.