By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Melissa Cox’s dedication to her preschoolers at Oxford’s Scott Center won her 2013 Teacher of the Year awards at both the school and district levels.
Other campus-level winners were Jill Knox (Oxford Middle School), Amy Little (Oxford Elementary School), Valerie Mathis (Bramlett Elementary School), Rebecca McKittrick (Oxford High School), Jackie Mulkey (Della Davidson Elementary School) and Randy Taylor (Oxford Learning Center).
“Every day we have teachers doing wonderful things,” said Assistant Superintendent Bill Hamilton in announcing the awards Monday. “This district is made up of some of the finest teachers you can find anywhere.”
Hamilton said Cox, who is in her 31st year as a teacher, has won the award as Teacher of the Year for the Scott Center for three of the four years she has taught on that campus.
The Scott Center serves severely mentally and physically challenged children from the Oxford, Lafayette County, Holly Springs, Marshall County and Water Valley districts as well as school-age children who reside at the North Mississippi Regional Center.
One of Cox’s colleagues said in her nominating letter that Cox collaborates with fellow teachers and teaches sign language to enhance preschoolers’ appreciation of singing.
“She’s also one of the most thoughtful people I know,” said the unnamed colleague. “Mrs. Cox often brings me gifts that I can use with my students in my classroom.”
An administrator said of Amy Little, “She’s willing to share her experiences with her colleagues. She makes her classroom a beautiful, fun place where her students thrive.”
Students and colleagues offered a host of compliments in describing Valerie Mathis: “Dedication beyond any I have ever seen,” “Above and beyond – whatever it takes,” “One of my favorite teachers” and “Like my second mother.”