We would like to nominate Mr. Kevin Cox, Principal of Lehi Jr. High for “Teacher Feature”. He is not a traditional teacher in the Jr. High, but has taught our son valuable life lessons by his kindness and caring ways.
Mr. Cox has been the principal of Lehi Jr. High for all three of our children’s Jr. High years. We didn’t have much interaction with him during our first two children’s Jr. High experience, but when it came to our last child, we got to know Mr. Cox quite well.
Our youngest son struggled a little during his 6th grade year and left elementary school with a “problem student” reputation. As parents we tried to help him understand that he could use this “new start” (changing schools and entering Jr. High) to work hard, stay out of trouble and lose this reputation he seemed to incur while in his 6th grade year. As you can imagine, we as his parents, were anxious, but hopeful about his next three years of Jr. High. His first semester seemed to go fine, but unfortunately, the second half of his seventh grade year he had some difficulties with one of his teachers which took a toll on everyone involved, but the teacher, principal and we along with our son all worked together to get through the semester and not give up. Then, much to our disappointment during our son’s 8th grade year he was in a fight at school, which he was expelled from school for a few days. This was a difficult time for us as parents. It seemed like there was always something going on, either problems with teachers, grades, other students etc.
During these more challenging times, I can remember thinking, “Doesn’t anyone see what I see in my son? He is an Eagle Scout, he is tender hearted, he sticks up for the underdog, he works with the mentally challenged kids as a peer tutor, he fulfills his church responsibilities, he’s the first to compliment on a new hair cut or new clothes, he’s always the first to say thank you, and just loves life” and I could go on and on as most parents could. He is such a good kid and we didn’t understand why he was struggling so much at school
Well, Mr. Cox is the one person who seemed to see our son’s heart like we did. Through these challenging times he called our son into his office just to see how he was doing. He looked at his grades with him, asked him how things were going and sincerely listened to his answers. He changed the things he had control over that he thought would help our son be successful, he set academic and behavioral goals with him and gave him suggestions on how to make things better. When he noticed our son was doing really well, he wrote a special letter to him letting him know that he noticed and was proud of his efforts. He never once made him feel like a “trouble maker” or a “bad kid”. He always had a way of building him up and encouraging him and truly believing in him even in difficult times when others would have punished or lectured. I am writing in past tense, but Mr. Cox continues to do this today and is a great support to our son.
Mr. Cox has made a huge difference not only in our son’s life, but in our lives as his parents. He deserves a gold metal for his patience, understanding, actions and encouraging ways. Our son is now in 9th grade and succeeding! We could never thank him enough. We love Mr. Cox and think he is a great influence in the lives of our Jr. High kids in Lehi. Thank you Mr. Cox for caring and making a difference.
Dean and Janine Hansen
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