Brad Cox to be principal at West Clay Elementary

Staff Writer

Central School assistant principal and West Point High School head basketball coach Brad Cox will begin his new job as principal of West Clay Elementary School at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
West Point Consolidated School District Superintendent Burnell McDonald said the decision of who would be the new principal was ultimately up to him, and Cox was the best candidate for the job.
“I looked at all the individuals eligible for the job that I would consider moving up to the next level,” McDonald said. “I looked at the work he’s been doing the last few years since he’s been at Central School, and I feel he’s ready to make the next step. He’s a good person, a great leader, a people-person, someone who understands curriculum and how to relate to parents.”
McDonald said Dr. Helen Kinnard, the current principal of West Clay Elementary School, resigned due to health issues.
“All of these things are important when acting as a leader of a school: working with teachers as professionals, working with parents and caring about kids, which is extremely important, and he’s demonstrated that numerous times,” McDonald said.
Cox said that his goals will initially be to get to know the kids within his school system and develop those relationships with the teachers, parents and students.
Cox said he has very specific goals for West Clay Elementary that he hoped to accomplish over time.
“I’m competitive, so I’ll hold us to a high standard,” Cox said “We want to first off be the best school in our district, and then we want to be the best school within our state.”
McDonald said Central School principal Wynester Cousins would make the decision of who would replace Cox as assistant principal, and no recommendations had been made to the school board as of Monday.
“He has been under the leadership of Mrs. Cousins who has been a great mentor for him,” he said.
McDonald said Cox cannot serve as a principal and head basketball coach, forcing West Point to hire a new basketball head coach.
Cox was successful during his time as the West Point head coach, as his team won the district title in 2016, and advanced to the playoffs last season.
Cox said that the thing he will miss most about coaching was seeing the young men he’s around grow up.
“We have the kids come in as young men, as ninth graders, and then you see how they mature as not only basketball players, but as young men as well,” Cox said. “I’ll miss that part of it. I’ll miss competing with the other coaches, and being around those guys.”
Cox said that the person coming in to coach next year’s squad will have a lot of talent returning.
“They’ll be young in places,” Cox said. “But they’re going to be talented. They’ll have to rely on young guys until some of the football players return, but they’ve got a chance to have a really good season.”
Cox said that he had distanced himself somewhat from the search for a new basketball coach, but said that a lot of things went into making the decision besides just hiring the coach the administration wants.
“You have to hire someone that fits into the school,” Cox said. “You have to hire someone that can fill an opening. If you have a math opening, well can that person teach math? That’s what a lot of people don’t realize is that you have to hire someone that can come in and teach as well.”