The most important lesson Corbin Schools Superintendent Dave Cox learned in life came from his mother.
“Hard work fixes almost anything,” he told a crowd last Thursday during the Seventh Annual Daniel Boone Visionary Award banquet, held at The Corbin Center. The award is given each year to an outstanding citizen in the community who exemplifies the values of the Boy Scouts of America. Cox was presented the award this year.
Selected in 2015 to serve as Corbin Schools Superintendent, Cox gave a lot of credit to his predecessor, Ed McNeel, for being a huge influence on his own career. McNeel was the longest serving superintendent in the state when he retired.
“I don’t consider myself a visionary,” Cox said during his award acceptance speech.
“I know people in my life who are a lot closer to being that than I am.”
Cox has been a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and now superintendent at the school district. He was selected to receive the award earlier this month by a special committee of The Mountain Laurel District of the Bluegrass Council of Boy Scouts. He joined prestigious company. Past recipients include: Forcht Group of Kentucky founder Terry Forcht, Former Congressional Aide Bob Mitchell, University of the Cumberlands President Dr. James Taylor, State Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), Corbin Director of Economic Development Bruce Carpenter and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
Cox used his speech to extol the hard work of staff and leaders in the Corbin Independent School District. Some members of the district’s Board of Education and two principals attended the event.
Corbin Schools are ranked in the top five districts in the state when it comes to accountability testing scores, but he said he’s proud of the accomplishments of the district beyond just how well students do during test time.
“There are a lot of things in our school system besides test scores that we are proud of,” Cox said. “There are many kids that are doing great things that don’t show up in those scores.”
Cox named numerous individuals that he said have often challenged him during his lifetime that made him a better person.
“They were folks who see the big picture and, frankly, had my best interest at heart even at times when I didn’t,” Cox said. “They were people in my life put there to get in my way and make me uncomfortable with the way things were going … [but] there was one common thread … those folks all had patience with me.”
“There were a lot of times they could have quit on me and they didn’t.”
Cox praised the Boy Scouts for teaching values in a time when they are sorely needed. He said he’s glad that they openly talk about God in their description.
“God promotes home … encouragement and forgiveness and all of those things,” he said. “Boy Scouts promote hope.”
Cox said while he now serves as the top administrator, he still looks at things through the eyes of a teacher.
“You look at everything through the same lens,” he said. “Our principals are great teachers. Our administrators are great teachers.”
Forcht Bank Regional President Michael Sharpe served as Master of Ceremonies for the banquet. Major sponsors of the event included Forcht Group of Kentucky, Forcht Bank, Baptist Health Corbin, Hometown Bank, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Corbin, and Sherman-Carter-Barnhart Architects.
Prior to Cox’s speech, local scout Josh Fryer spoke about the importance of scouting in his own life.
Scouts from Troops 488, 572 and Crew 488 presented and retired the colors for the event.
The Daniel Boone “Visionary Award” is given every year to someone who embodies the values of the Boys Scouts of America. The event is a fundraiser for character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness programs for the Boy Scouts of America.