Stephen Smith, CFNN Reporter

Tammy Cox has been named the Beginning Teacher of the Year for Cumberland County Schools. Through her dedication to her work and students she has represented Cape Fear and our county well!

The Beginning Teacher of the Year award is given out yearly by the Board of Education of Cumberland County. To be nominated for this award, you must first be nominated by your school. Tammy recollected her experience of first finding out she was Cape Fear’s Beginning Teacher of the Year. “The admin team was coming down the hallway playing music,” she said. “When they got to my door they came right in, I was surprised.”

Cox at a small owned cafe in
Dublin, Ireland last April.

Following the nomination at Cape Fear, she was entered into the running for the County-level BTOY. The county takes in all the applicants from all schools in Cumberland County.

After initially being nominated, Ms. Cox explained that, “They looked at all the things we had done, the rapport with our students, and making ourselves available to our colleagues.”

She continued by saying, “From that panel that had initially selected, I had a virtual interview.” Mrs. Cox was awarded the county title via a virtual ceremony.

“I am very honored and very humbled that I was selected, i’m sure the other teachers that were nominated were good too.” said Cox.

Cox with her late mom and dad,
and Kensley and her “adopted”
son from the UK, Stevan,
are to her left.

Along with the title Mrs. Cox also received an iPad, a School Tools gift card, and a box full of candy and flowers. All well deserved gifts for a new teacher that is committed to giving students the best experience possible!

Mrs. Cox is a Marketing Educator at Cape Fear, she teaches Business Management and Project Management. She started teaching in the 2019-2020 school year, making connections with her students in the beginning of the semester. Upon asking what teaching during a Pandemic is like Cox said, “It’s challenging for all of us, it’s challenging for the students especially.”

Teaching during the pandemic may be a challenge, but Mrs. Cox is dedicated to making her class as interactive as possible. “Almost everything I do is them building something, them making something, doing the paperwork.” Her class is built with collaborative aspects, and she has accommodated her students’ breakout sessions in Webex to be the equivalent.

“I absolutely miss the one on one and the facial interaction, I love building connections with my kids,” she says.

Cox at a cat cafe in Karlsruhe,
Germany last year, where she
taught English as a
Second Language for six weeks.

Outside of the classroom Mrs. Cox has two children. She also has her own company that focuses on fundraising, which she has been doing for about 28 years. She loves to read and is an active member at her church.

I asked Mrs. Cox a simple question before our interview concluded: What is a word or phrase that your students will remember you by?” She responded, “I always tell them before they leave my classroom, make good choices in life, it affects your future.” This slogan is simple, but should be the outline of every student’s life, no matter their background.

Mrs. Cox has built strong bonds with each student that she has taught, and has solidified her spot as a teacher who makes a significant impact at Cape Fear. Students can all agree on one thing, Cumberland County made the right choice by making Mrs. Tammy Cox their Beginning Teacher of the Year.