UNION — Sims Middle School’s new Assistant Principal brings to the office 16 years of experience — 12 of them in Union County — as a teacher and a coach in three school districts.
At its June meeting on Monday, June 25, the Union County Board of School Trustees voted unanimously to approve changes in administrative personnel at four of the district’s six schools for the 2018-2019 school year.
The changes included the appointment of Rocky Cooper as Assistant Principal at Sims Middle School, succeeding Amber Comer in the position.
Cooper, the son of Rita and Gary Cooper, grew up in Union and graduated from Union High School in 1996. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from the University of South Carolina. Cooper earned his first Master of Education Degree in Divergent Learning from Columbia College in 2010 and his Education Specialist Degree in Elementary/Middle Administration from Converse College in May of 2018.
Upon his graduation from Converse, Cooper was awarded the Dr. Martha T. Lovett Promising School Leader Award.
For the past 16 years Cooper has been a classroom teacher and coach, teaching and coaching in Lexington School District One, Spartanburg School District 3, and “have been a part of the Union County School District family for the past 12 years.”
During his 12 years with the Union County School District, Cooper taught Physical Education at both Foster Park Elementary School and Sims Middle School. During those years he also coached varsity football, wrestling, softball, and cross country.
Cooper is married to Jennifer Sullivan Cooper and they have three children: Andrew, 13, Maddox, 9,and Paisley, 3.
While his appointment as Assistant Principal marks a transition for Cooper into the administrative aspect of education, he said he hopes to bring the knowledge and insights he’s gained as a teacher and a coach to the position.
”I share with my district both a deep passion for education and students,” Cooper said. “I’ve enjoyed both my experiences in the classroom and in athletics. Now, as I transition into a leadership role, I hope to share what I’ve learned throughout my experiences to better serve both my school and our community.”
In addition to appointing Cooper Assistant Principal, the board also approved the appointment of Dr. Latunya Means from Cherokee County as the new Principal for Sims Middle School succeeding Eric Childers; Jennifer Stepp as Administrative Assistant; and Andrew Ormand as Business Teacher and Coach.
The board also approved administrative changes at Buffalo Elementary School, Foster Park Elementary School, and Union County High School.
At Buffalo Elementary School, former Director of Adult Education Jarrett Pendergrass was appointed Assistant Principal succeeding Jason Koepke.
At Foster Park Elementary School, Jason Koepke was appointed Principal while Dr. Fran Adams from Georgia was appointed Assistant Principal succeeding Dr. Erica Murdaugh.
At Union County High School, former Instructional Coach Ken Ellis was appointed Assistant Principal succeeding Dennis Cooper; former English Teacher Renee Rogers was appointed Instructional Coach succeeding Ellis.
The board made no admisnistrative changes at Monarch Elementary School and Jonesville Elementary/Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year.