Dr. Barbara Cooper has been a public school educator for 25 years where she served in Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Aurora (CO), Rochester (NY), and Huntsville (AL). Her experiences as a student in the Chicago Public Schools propelled her early in life to her calling as a leader and a public school educator. Although she successfully maneuvered the Chicago Public School system, many students were not as fortunate and did not achieve their civil right to an excellent education. She has served in many roles, as an educator including teacher, assistant principal, principal, director and chief. Dr. Cooper also served as a consultant for principal development and served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado where she was responsible for training prospective principals. She is passionate about her work to develop excellent principals to lead our schools.
She currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent for Huntsville City Schools (HCS). Her focus has been on working with Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski to transform the HCS system into the number one school district in the nation. They have implemented many systemic changes to address the achievement gaps that exist in the district. They became pioneers in education in 2012-13 when they deployed 23,000 computers to their students and began providing a world class digital curriculum to close the digital divide. This work ensures that all students have successful school experiences and achieve at high levels. They are committed to system-wide transformation that has resulted in improvement in graduation rate, attendance, student academic achievement and student discipline.
Dr. Cooper has received many awards for her contributions in education, and for her commitment to Equity and Social Justice. Her goal in life is to ensure that a child’s demography does not define their access to a high quality education. During the 2013-14 school year, Dr. Cooper became the first Deputy Superintendent to be named the Alabama Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Cooper is committed to upholding the beliefs this award represents. She is a mother first and places high value on the role parents play in the education of students. She also received a Civility and Citizenship Award, and a Cornerstone Educator Award where she was designated “Educator Leader of the Year”. This award is given to an outstanding, veteran educator who is a cornerstone for education and has dedicated her life to teach, inspire and motivate underserved students, parents and community.
Dr. Cooper’s degrees include a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation and a M.A in Administration, Supervision & Curriculum Development both from the University of Colorado. She received her B.S. in Education from Western Illinois University. Dr. Barbara Jean Cooper is the wife of Walter P. Cooper Sr. and the mother of Walter Jr. (25) and Timera Denise (20).