PPS appoints new Perry High principal

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by Merecedes J. Howze, Pittsburgh Public Schools

In September, the Pittsburgh Board of Education approved the selection of James Cooper as Principal of Pittsburgh Perry Traditional Academy.

Principal Cooper’s first official day was Monday, October 17.

“My first order of business is to listen, learn, and understand the process of Pittsburgh Perry.  More specifically, listen to the community to hear their wants and needs, too,” said Cooper, 42.

Relationship building is a key focal point for Cooper.  “It is critical for the involvement of community members, parents, students, and businesses to drive the future success of Perry.  I am excited about becoming a member of the Northside community.”

Cooper said he has an “open door policy.”

“Come in and see me.  I want all of us to have a shared, collaborative vision to achieve academic success,” Cooper said.

An experienced educator with a business background, Cooper has worked for the School District of Palm Beach County since 2004, where he was assistant principal at Lake Worth Community High School since 2012, overseeing 70 teachers. He was recently named Career and Technical Education (CTE) Assistant Principal of the Year.

“I am looking forward to enhancing our STEAM and CTE programs while preparing our students for college and careers at Pittsburgh Perry,” said Cooper.

Pittsburgh Perry offers four CTE programs: Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Health Careers, and Information Technology.

In addition to his intensive CTE experience, his work at Lake Worth has also prepared him for this role “pretty well.”

Principal Cooper met with families for the first time on October 20 for the school’s monthly Parent School Community Councils (PSCC) meeting.

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