County education center names Cox as new superintendent

Shannon Cox has been hired as the new superintendent of the Montgomery County Educational Service Center, effective Aug. 1.

Cox, who has been the organization’s assistant and associate superintendent the past four years, will replace the retiring Frank DePalma.

The Montgomery County ESC is effectively the county’s school district, as its 450 employees provide educational services to the 16 public school districts in the county, plus other agencies in the region.

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Those services include educator training, special education support, social-emotional curriculum, talent searches and contracted services in school psychology and other areas. The ESC also operates their East and West learning centers, which serve special needs students, some with significant disabilities.

The ESC also houses the regional Learn to Earn Dayton Collaborative and Preschool Promise.

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“During the 2018-19 school year, Frank and Shannon have worked together to provide a seamless transition to a new leadership team,” said Daryl Michael, Jr., MCESC board president. “Our board wants to thank Frank for his work, while we are excited for our new leadership team to take hold and move us forward.”

DePalma was superintendent of the ESC for the past 12 years. He worked the previous 35 years in Centerville schools, the last 13 as superintendent there.

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Cox will become the 12th superintendent in the ESC’s 105-year history, and the first woman to hold the post, according to ESC officials. She started as a teacher and coach in Valley View schools in 1994 before serving as a school principal in the Middletown Madison and Springboro districts.

Cox has been at the Montgomery County Educational Service Center for the past 10 years, in curriculum and instruction roles, then as assistant and associate superintendent. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton and was a featured speaker at the recent TEDxDayton Education Salon.

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