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Kimberly Hall | July 5, 2020

Participation in my first World View seminar made me, as a professional, more culturally aware and allowed me to see the value in cultural diversity.

This month World View would like to spotlight Dr. Myra Cox, superintendent of Elkin City Schools since 2016. Elkin City Schools is a small, rural district located in Surry County, NC. Elkin City Schools has three schools in its district, Elkin Elementary, Elkin Middle and Elkin High, with a total of 1,200 students enrolled and 150 employees. Elkin City Schools is very family oriented, with great support from the community, and high academic achievement. Elkin City Schools was ranked #5 in Student Academic Performance in the state in the 2018-2019 school year.

Dr. Cox first began her teaching career in 1993, teaching kindergarten and 1st grade. Other positions Dr. Cox held before her stepping into her current role include, elementary assistant principal, elementary instructional coach, elementary principal, director of elementary and middle grades education and assistant superintendent. Dr. Cox received her bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University, followed by a master’s degree from Appalachian State University and a doctorate from High Point University.

Dr. Cox first began attending World View’s programs in Spring 2019. “Participation in my first World View Seminar made me, as a professional, more culturally aware and allowed me to see the value in cultural diversity.” She attended the Latin America and North Carolina Seminar in March 2019. After attending that first program, Dr. Cox was “energized to share her new knowledge with teachers and administrators in ECS; aligned to the ECS goals and strategies to plan events and activities to unite all subgroups of students and their families, and to explore international travel for students and staff to broaden their cultural knowledge.” In Fall 2019, Dr. Cox and a group of teachers from ECS attended the World View K-12 Symposium. Dr. Cox said after they attended the Fall symposium, “it opened their eyes and they were all in.” Since then, they have created an ECS Global Leaders Team consisting of five teachers, one administrator, one success coach, and Dr. Cox. This team hopes to create a plan to introduce global education as a system wide goal to all teachers for the 2020-2021 school year. Most recently, Dr. Cox attended the 2020 Global Education Leaders Program Abroad study visit to Ireland in February. “The trip to Ireland was life changing. I wanted to be the first to lead the way for my faculty/staff to travel and study abroad.”

However, because of COVID-19 ECS had to pause this initiative. Since this pause, ECS has found another alternative until international travel is viable again. ECS currently has a group of twenty participants, teachers and administrators, reading The Global Classroom by William Kist, participating in weekly virtual book studies, and connecting with other educators who have previously traveled abroad with World View, letting them share how their travel experiences shaped their classrooms and leadership with the ECS group. “Listening to these participants assures me ECS is on the right path and will move forward in the fall regardless of which back-to-school plan we implement; they’re really excited and adding new applications to their classroom instruction every week.”

When asked “what’s next for ECS?” Dr. Cox shared that one of the principals in ECS has taken over a new position, Director of Global Studies and Virtual Learning, to lead the Global Ed immersion into classroom instruction. The first-ever Dual Language Immersion class for Kindergarten students in Spanish will begin in the Fall, with instruction from a teacher from Colombia and a teaching assistant from Venezuela. The class is called GLOBE (Global Learning Opportunities for Bilingual Education). ECS plans to add a class each year up through sixth grade, changing the culture in their elementary school, and eventually system wide. Dr. Cox is also working on ECS’s foreign exchange program, as they haven’t had an exchange student since the early 2000’s.