The Monroe County Community School Corporation School Board has ended a seven-month search for a new superintendent by announcing J.T. Coopman’s appointment to the post. Coopman currently serves Superintendent of Clark-Pleasant Community Schools in Whiteland. His contract with the MCCSC will begin July 1, 2009. Bloomington High School North principal Jeffry Henderson attended each of three public forums that featured the superintendent finalists. Henderson says Coopman’s question and answer session with teachers, parents and students stood out.
“His thoughtfulness with regards to how he pondered the questions before he answered them was impressive to me. When given difficult questions that would require a significant amount of study and investigation prior to making a decision, he was able to articulate that clearly,” he said.
Henderson says Coopman has earned a reputation as a consensus builder, and that made him an attractive candidate for a district that’s had four superintendents in less than three years.
“Looking forward to having a leader that will hopefully be with us for a period of time and provide some good stability for the district. And get folks working in the same direction toward the accomplishment of a common goal,” Henderson said.
Henderson says the fact Coopman has stayed in his current job for more than 10 years demonstrates he’s been a steady and successful superintendent. He says although Coopman’s leadership style fits what the MCCSC is looking for, adapting to a new community tends to always challenge new superintendents.
“Coming into a new district, the first year is probably going to be spent getting to know the district, getting to know the community and getting to know the [school] board. That you try to make decisions that try to benefit the majority of individuals. When you make those decisions, you’re not always going to make everybody happy in this line of work,” he said.
Coopman’s never worked as an educator in Monroe County, but he earned two degrees at Indiana University-Bloomington and was a teacher in Owen County early in his career.