The October Panera Bread Administrator of the Month is Dana Cox, an assistant principal at Myrtle Beach Elementary School.
Cox was nominated for Administrator of the Month for being hardworking and caring towards all students and staff at MBE.
Cox was born and raised in Horry County. She attended South Conway Elementary School, Whittemore Park Middle School and graduated from Conway High School. She received her undergraduate degree in early childhood education from Coastal Carolina University and her masters degree from Grand Canyon University.
“This is my twenty-eighth year with Horry County Schools,” Cox said.
Cox began her teaching career at Myrtle Beach Primary School, which was kindergarten through second grade. She taught kindergarten for her first three years of her career and then transferred to Kingston Elementary School in Conway. She taught first, second and third grades during her 16 years at KES. She spent the next two years at Palmetto Bays Elementary School as the primary instructional coach.
“I decided I wanted to advance,” Cox said. “I wanted to share what I learned with my career.”
Cox applied for the assistant principal position at Myrtle Beach Elementary when the position opened and has been there for the last four years.
“It’s great. I don’t think there’s anything else I’d want to do,” she said.
Myrtle Beach Elementary School is made up of grades third through fifth, and has around 1,100 students and 120 staff members and teachers.
Cox feels that the assistant principal position is the right fit for her because she is able to work with many different students and build relationships with them and their families.
“I enjoy listening to the parents and listening to the students. Everyone needs to be heard,” she said. “If you listen to people, they will trust you and accept what you have to say.”
Cox said that MBE has a wonderful group of professionals that she works with daily and a diverse group of students.
Cox’s career path was inspired by her mom and her fifth grade teacher. Her mom was a secretary at South Conway Elementary School for 15 years so growing up she would go to work with her mom during the summer.
“I thought being a teacher was one of the coolest things in the world,” she said.
Her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Hudson, made school and learning fun for Cox. She said that during class they would often do lessons and activities that were out of the box.
“She inspired me that it’s not just about learning. It’s about relationships,” Cox said.
Cox works closely with her leadership team to strategize and make plans for the school. The leadership team consists of herself, Principal Kristie Hamilton, Assistant Principal Tami Elswick and two instructional coaches. One of her favorite activities they plan is bringing the snack cart around to teachers and offering them snacks or other surprises.
“It makes them feel that we’re supporting them,” she said.
Outside of school, Cox likes to spend time with her family: her husband, two children and son-in-law. She also loves going to church and reading books from all different genres.
“Thank you so much to local newspapers and Panera Bread for sponsoring. And bringing to light not just teachers, but administrators too,” Cox said.
If you would like to nominate a principal or vice principal for Panera Breads Administrator of the Month, head to www.myhorrynews.com/contests.