Alumni Success - Katie Cooper

Nate Williams

Alumni Success - Katie Cooper

Katie Cooper graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 2004 with her bachelor's in elementary education. After graduating with her bachelor's, she got her master's degree in 2007 from ENMU in critical pedagogy and instruction. Cooper is currently the principal at Military Heights Elementary in Roswell, New Mexico.

Cooper is originally from Nebraska but grew up in Florida, and later moved to New Mexico as a teenager. She started college at New Mexico State where she met her husband. Once they were married, it was important to Cooper that she finish her degree, so she began taking classes online at ENMU-Roswell. "I wanted to be able to stay at home with [my children] a little bit longer, so [ENMU] allowed me to take online classes and be a mom," she explained. ENMU helped prepare Cooper for her career with amazing professors, including Nancy Corn. Cooper explained that Mrs. Corn was the first principal that hired her after she graduated with her degree. "She was phenomenal," Cooper said. "She's one of those people that I strive to be like in my role as a principal, and she was the greatest mentor."

Cooper has always been interested in education. From an early age she knew she wanted to be a teacher. Growing up she had amazing teachers, which inspired her to be a quality educator for her own students. She believes that encouraging students and allowing them to feel safe and happy helps them learn and enjoy school. "I want kids to want to come to school, I want my staff to want to be here," Cooper said. "When my staff members are happy, they're better at what they do." Since becoming the principal of Military Heights Cooper feels like she can make a difference in her community, "I am able to reach so many more kids and staff... it's something that I absolutely love," she said.

Cooper's work extends beyond high school. Cooper is currently on the ENMU-Roswell Community College Board, "It's something completely new and outside of my comfort zone. But so far, I'm learning a lot," she said. She is excited to see how she can help make an impact in Roswell while also helping to make an impact on the ENMU Roswell campus. In addition to her work on the college board, Cooper also founded a foster support group called Lighthouse Foster and Adoption Support which helps support families in the area and guides them through fostering or adopting children. "I'm passionate about wanting to support them and help them be successful in any capacity," she said.