Departing Faculty: Mrs. Kim Cooper

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Courtesy of Mrs. Kim Cooper

Mrs. Kim Cooper, the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, will be retiring after ten years of dedicated work at Bishop’s.

Isadora Blatt, Staff Writer

Mrs. Kim Cooper, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, has been an integral part of The Bishop’s School for ten years. She cares deeply for all students and has touched the lives of hundreds of young adults. With her departure brings a new era, and the community of our school as a whole is sad to see her go. The Tower caught up with Mrs. Cooper, discussing her time at Bishop’s and her plans for the future.
Mrs. Cooper has always had a passion for education. Before she came to Bishop’s, she helped to run a county-wide science fair in Florida called The Education Foundation of Indian River County, a non-profit aiming to fund school programs to set students in grades K-12 up for success. After working with thousands of students through this organization for five years, Mrs. Cooper became interested in working full-time in education, eventually bringing her to Bishop’s.
As the Director of Admissions, there is a yearly cycle to the admissions process, which causes her daily schedule to always be changing. “Late August when school opens, we start meeting with families and giving tours,” she explained. “Then, in September and October, we get busier with the families and we go on the road.” During this period of time, the Admissions staff visits up to 100 sending schools from around the county, talking to teachers, administrators, and youth organizations at these schools. On October 1st, applications become available, and this is when Mrs. Cooper and the Admissions team begin working more closely with families through the visit day program and campus tours.
As far as Mrs. Cooper’s daily routine at Bishop’s, she has always been involved in campus activities. She starts her day bright and early before advisory like the rest of the faculty and students, and attends enrichments and all school-wide events. “In order to best serve families and the school, we have to know everything that’s going on; what’s happening in each grade, in athletics, arts, and in every academic class,” she said, “as well as in areas such as strategic planning and school leadership.”
Mrs. Cooper’s favorite part of the admissions cycle is the interviews. Since the school receives hundreds of applications, the Admissions staff divides up the interviews between them. “We all get to interview 5th through 11th graders who are interested in this school,” she explained, therefore she doesn’t assign anyone to a specific grade. As most Bishop’s students will remember, the interviews are an hour long. First, she talks to the family all together, then to the student alone, and finally to the parents. With a sparkle in her eyes, she said, “The interviews are where the magic happens.”
What Mrs. Cooper loves most about the Bishop’s community is the students themselves. “I love waking up every day and seeing great kids who can change the world,” she said. Watching students grow from the time she first interviews them before sixth grade all the way into mature adults is the best part of her job. Even though Bishop’s is a competitive space, she noticed the way many students can find the balance and are able to give themselves room to grow. “I love seeing that ‘aha’ moment when the student realizes that it can be hard to be at Bishop’s, but they’re prepared, and they have built relationships with their friends and teachers that will last forever,” she reflected.
Mrs. Lauren Ghishan, the Associate Director of Admissions, noticed this about Mrs. Cooper. “She really cares about the students in this community, and that drives everything she does,” she said.
Not only does Mrs. Cooper have connections with the students at Bishop’s, she even met her husband on the campus. His kids attended Bishop’s, and graduated years ago. They were standing in line to see the show Rent, struck up a conversation, and immediately hit it off. They got married a couple of years later, and have now been together for five years.
Mrs. Cooper’s mother lives in Florida, and she also has two sons––one living in Taiwan and the other in New York. After retiring, she’s looking forward to traveling with her husband more often. “I need a little more time to be able to see my family,” she said. Mrs. Cooper also enjoys exercising and playing golf, so hopefully, she will be able to find time for those activities. She has made a large impact on Bishop’s and it has clearly made an impact on her life as well. “I certainly plan to keep education and Bishop’s as a part of my life,” she said. The Tower wishes Mrs. Cooper the best and hopes that she can get in some time on the green and eat as much coffee mocha chip (her favorite flavor) ice cream as she wants.
“Mrs. Cooper has been an integral part of Bishop’s,” said Ms. Ghishan. “She has taught us so much over the years, and we are grateful for her contributions to our school and this community.” Mr. Francis Donald, also an Associate Director of Admissions, agreed. “In our five years working together, I have witnessed her endless care and dedication to Bishop’s,” he said. “She will truly be missed.”