Cora Cox was inducted into the Kingsport City Schools Teachers' Hall of Fame on Monday. Her nephew, one of two surviving close relatives, sent a taped message from his home in Rapid City, South Dakota. Representing Mrs. Cox's family and the Douglass Alumni at the ceremony were Don Hickman, Johnnie Mae Swagerty, Doug Releford and Calvin Sneed (not pictured below is Doug, who was on the second level of the DB Gym).
Calvin read a prepared statement of acceptance for Mrs. Cox's induction, written by Doug Releford. The text of that statement is below.
"With me on the phone Face-timing this right now from Rapid City, South Dakota, is the man you just heard from, Francis Rogers, Jr.. one of two surviving nephews of Cora Cox..
This message is from Douglass Releford, president of the Douglass High School alumni, who is with us, but unable to make it up here on stage, so I'm reading the words he's written for you....
On behalf of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, I would like to say thank you for nominating Mrs. Cora Rogers Cox, to the Kingsport City Schools, Teachers' Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Cox was not just a teacher but a friend to all that knew her. She was a unique person. She was a developer of social ethics, in stressing the primary and worth of the person, and the need for all ethical principles to be conditioned by the highest conceivable estimate of the value of persons as such.
Mrs. Cora Cox, was a great community leader, who fought against the de-humanization and, de-personalization of all people. She believed in her beloved community of Kingsport, and was always willing to fight against any person or system, which de-personalizes or de-humanizes the human individual, and robs them of their dignity and their self-worth. This was proven in her taking on the often-difficult task of teaching gifted children. Cora Cox had a gentle way of breaking down the barriers, stepping into that child's world, becoming one with them, becoming part of them... then stepping out and saying.. "I know, exactly... what... that... child needs." How in the world she could instinctively know that... nobody knows.
Cora Cox wasn't just a teacher for autistic children... she was a teacher for teachers, too. We just don't know how lucky we were, to have a Cora Cox in our lives here in Kingsport. She set, the gold standard.
It's wonderful that everybody knows this about about Cora Cox. At Douglass elementary-high school... we've known it for years. And just like everybody and her family, we are proud to see her inducted into the Kingsport City Schools, Teachers, Hall of Fame, thank you..
Douglass Releford, president... the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Kingsport, Tennessee."
Other inductees besides Mrs. Cox were bus driver Donald Christian, and teachers Douglas Dade, Randy Quillin and Leroy Sprankle.
After the ceremony, a beautiful luncheon was provided at the Food City North Eastman Road location.
The free luncheon for everyone included braized chicken strips, marinated beef tips, green beans, mashed potatoes, carrots and delicious apple and cherry pies and cakes. There was plenty of extra food, that ended up going home with a lot of folks!
Stories about the inductees were told by the folks who remember them the best, while lunch was enjoyed.