Cox named to Greencastle School Board

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Brian Cox (left) interviews Tuesday evening for the open Greencastle School Board position with current members (from left) Mike White, Dale Pierce, Lisa Lazar and Bill Tobin. On Thursday, the board chose Cox as its newest member.

With an interest — both professional and personal — in having quality schools in Greencastle, Brian Cox put his name into consideration for the open seat on the Greencastle School Board.

After being chosen by the other four members of the board Thursday evening, Cox now has the chance to take on a larger role as the board’s newest member.

In a 4-0 vote during a special meeting Thursday, the board chose Cox over fellow candidates Lisa McCoy and Wayne Lewis.

Board member Dale Pierce made the motion, which was seconded by Lisa Lazar. Bill Tobin and Mike White joined them in making the vote unanimous.

In his interview during a special meeting on Tuesday, Cox told the board members why he wanted to serve alongside them.

“I have a vested interest,” Cox said. “I have a third-grader and a sixth-grader.”

Beyond his family, though, Cox serves as executive director of the Greencastle Chamber of Commerce. In this role, he sees quality education as a pillar in the community when it comes to attracting quality businesses and people to the area.

“I think I might be able to bring something to the school board to be a small piece of the puzzle in providing a quality education,” Cox said.

Cox went on to discuss some of his goals for the school, which includes marketing the schools better, letting the public know of successes in the school system.

“I don’t think we tell our story,” Cox said.

Among these stories, he sees GCSC as a place in which kids have the ability to belong to something, regardless of their interests, praising the various academic teams, robotics clubs, coding clubs and the free violin program at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.

“I think the schools are doing a great job because there’s something for every kid to be excited about,” Cox said.

Cox also expressed an interest in continuing to ensure that technology is being integrated in the classroom in the most effective ways possible.

“I don’t know all the policies that are on the books but I do think we should look at our policies to see if we’re using technology to the best of our ability,” Cox said.

Finally, asked about the functions of a school board, Cox said he believes they should be informed, but largely hands-off when it comes to day-to-day operations.

“It appears to me that the school board puts people in place and says, ‘Do your job.’ They’re the experts, we aren’t,” he said.

The school board position opened up when Denise Sigworth resigned last month, saying she and husband Jeff had been presented with a family opportunity that would not allow her to fulfill the remainder of her four-year term.

When a seat opens mid-term, it is the job of the school board to appoint a replacement. As board president, White requested letters and resumes from interested Greencastle residents, with Cox, McCoy and Lewis all responded.

While there were only three responses, White made sure to praise the quality of all three.

“(They) all seem to be qualified and able school board members,” White said in opening the meeting, “which will make our decision very tough.”

In making the decision, the board also sought the input of the Greencastle City Council, as this is one of two seats chosen by the council.

Cox will serve through June 30, 2020, at which time the City Council will choose who will serve the next four years.

All five members of the Greencastle School Board are appointed, with the City Council appointing the seats held by Cox and Lazar, the Greencastle Township Trustee appointing White and Tobin and the Madison Township Trustee appointing Pierce.

Cox will be sworn in at the regular February meeting on Monday, Feb. 26.

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