Terry Cox, who has taught the building construction class at Carvers Bay High School for 10 years and helped his students win several awards in national SkillsUSA competitions, has “passed the hammer” to construction professional Louis Morant Jr., who took over the class at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
Cox said he left the teaching position because he accepted a promotion to serve as special programs and athletic activities facilitator for the school. He will continue this year as the SkillsUSA advisor but will eventually hand that over, too, he said.
Cox said leaving the classroom was a difficult decision, but he decided to embrace change. While teaching and serving as the SkillsUSA advisor, Cox has seen more than half of his students find a job in the construction field.
He has had more than 100 students compete in SkillsUSA in carpentry, electrical, brick mason and plumbing, and had students win first place in Cabinet Making and Plumbing three times, as well as about a dozen second- and third-place prizes. He has also had two students become SkillsUSA officers.
Cox said he chose Morant as his successor because he has known him for a long time and thinks Morant will take the class “to a different level.”
“When the opportunity came for me to find my replacement, my mind ran right on him because we have followed similar paths,” Cox said. “I thought he would be the perfect person to take the job over.”
Cox said he knew Morant as a “fine young man” when he used to work for his father, Louis Morant Sr., doing brick masonry work in the Dunbar community of Georgetown. Cox said he and Morant both have been in construction their whole lives and both also worked in the Facilities Services Department for Georgetown County.
“When I asked him if he was interested in teaching the building construction class at Carvers Bay High, he said yes right away,” Cox said. “It was almost like he was waiting for me to call him.”
Morant said he was shocked and surprised that Cox chose him out of all the other candidates for the position. He said he has enjoyed his new position so far and looks forward to many more years in the role.
“This is my first time working with kids and I am excited about teaching,” Morant said. “I’ve known Terry all of my life and he is the perfect role model and mentor.”
Principal Bethany Giles said the at the Georgetown County School District requested Cox because they needed an experienced building construction professional to oversee additions and renovations at the school. Current projects are made possible with bond referendum funds and will include building a new auxiliary gymnasium, a building construction lab, a new weight room and a new art room, as well as renovations and new HVAC units.
“We need to make sure the school is safe while we are going through this construction phase,” Giles said. “So, it is important to have a facilitator to speak with our contractors on a daily basis.”
She said she knows Morant will do a wonderful job with the building construction class.
“He brings a background in the field, works with the community in various areas and I have seen him developing a rapport with the students,” Giles said. “Those things will help him build relationships to help him be successful in his new role.”