Cassville coach retires
Cassville physical education teacher Bonnie Cox concluded over 17 years of service at the R-4 School District and a 28-year career in education this year. Although Cox retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year, she plans to continue to serve area students as an adjunct instructor at the Crowder College Cassville Campus.
"Cassville is a great place to teach," said Cox. "I will miss the kids, especially the ones who gave their best each and every day."
After earning a bachelor of science in education from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Cox began her teaching career at Galena. She taught physical education, health and eighth grade science and coached girls' volleyball, basketball and softball at the district for three years.
Cox also served as a kindergarten through eighth grade physical education teacher at the Aurora School District for five years and a physical education teacher at Sparta for three years. While at Aurora, she coached volleyball, basketball, track and tennis, and at Sparta, she served as the volleyball, basketball and softball coach.
In November of 1993, Cox accepted the position of seventh grade science teacher at the Cassville School District.
"I had been out of the education field and was wanting to get back into it," said Cox. "Cassville had a science teacher who left after the first quarter, so I had an opportunity to get back into education."
After one year, the Cassville School District added physical education to Cox's teaching position. Eventually, she began teaching middle school health education as well.
"When the state recommended that Cassville have a female high school physical education teacher, I was asked by Mr. (Joe) Cavness, the high school principal at the time, to take over that position," said Cox.
Around nine years ago, Cox began coaching softball at Cassville. She has also served as a middle school basketball coach, assisted the middle school volleyball sports program and coached high school girls' track.
Cox founded and serves as director of the district's before school intramural sports program. She also serves as Cassville's Special Olympic basketball and track and field coach.
"The Special Olympic athletes are always so proud of their accomplishments and so appreciative of any help that you can provide for them," said Cox. "It is a thrill to see their faces light up when they come home with all of their medals."
Cox will retire from her position as lifetime sports teacher, girls' physical education instructor and in-school-suspension instructor. She will also leave behind her position as Young Democratic sponsor, which she held for more than five years.
"My greatest achievement was being part of our first softball district finalist team in 2005," said Cox. "That team was seeded fifth, but upset the host Branson team in the opener and then the top seed in the semi-finals. We lost to Aurora in 11 innings to finish in second."
Cox was also honored to coach Sparta basketball and volleyball teams, which won four district championships in two consecutive years.
"I was fortunate to walk into a situation at Sparta where there was a very strong junior class that was very athletic and highly motivated to achieve," said Cox.
In addition to serving as a Crowder College instructor, Cox hopes to find more time to play pickle ball, bike ride and travel.
During her career, Cox earned master's degrees in physical education from Drury College and kinesiology from the University of Arkansas.