Archived Story

Starfish Stories No. 8/Kara Cox

Published 7:49pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013



“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred. Only love can do that.”

These are the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and they are on the wall of the main hallway in Dowagiac Middle School for students and staff to read every day.

These words were put on the wall by a group of students at Dowagiac Middle School known as the FOR Club.

The club was created after an assembly titled Rachel’s Challenge.

Rachel’s Challenge was about Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first of 12 students

killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

The assembly challenged Dowagiac Middle School students to start a chain reaction.

The challenge was to not judge other students, but to accept them for who they are and treat them with compassion.

Students in the FOR Club accepted the challenge. To the FOR club, the words on the wall are a belief. It is a belief that they have accepted and are proud to follow.

The FOR Club has a big job, but they are not working alone. Behind the scenes is a leader who accepted the challenge of treating others with compassion a very long time ago.

The leader is Dowagiac Middle School guidance counselor Kara Cox.

Cox leads by example by treating students, parents and staff with compassion

and understanding every day.

Cox unselfishly opens her door and offers a helping hand to all students who need help academically, socially, emotionally and physically.

Often, you will find. Cox working with students one-on-one, in small groups during school or after school, in classrooms, making home visits or reaching out to kids through various community organizations.

Cox not only talks to students at school, but she has made herself available to them through email and even Facebook outside of school hours.

Though Cox is only one person, she is many to the people in and outside of school.

She is known as a mother, counselor, friend, confidant, colleague, parent and,

most importantly, a person who cares.

Before Rachel Joy Scott, died she wrote an essay.

In the essay she stated, “… people will never know how far a little kindness will go.” How true she was. I doubt if people like Cox realize how far their kindness can and will go. For that reason, I would like to let Cox know just how far her kindness has gone at Dowagiac Middle School.

Not only has she touched the lives of many students through her years in education and counseling, she has also inspired educators like me to open my eyes and my heart.

I am proud to say that I am a “link” in Cox’s chain reaction.

Thank you, Kara Cox, for making a difference and for loving all of the students at Dowagiac Middle School.

— NICKY HULETT, DMS Assistant Principal

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