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“Coops”– Iconic Coach, Dean, and Teacher

“Coops”– Iconic Coach, Dean, and Teacher

“Coops”– Iconic Coach, Dean, and Teacher


Mr. and Mrs. Cooper and their family in a Mischianza photo from the early 1990s.

Staff Writer

April 27, 2023

Katie Qian '26

A role model for Bearcats for over 35 years, beloved member of the Hotchkiss faculty Mrs. Christy Cooper P’08, ’11, the Huber G. Buehler Chair, Prep class dean, and instructor in English, will retire at the end of the school year. 

Mrs. Cooper has occupied many roles at school, from coach of Girls’ Varsity Soccer to class dean to teacher of the popular Senior English elective, “Disturbing the Comfortable.” In all of her positions, Mrs. Cooper has impacted the lives of students and colleagues with her empathy, kindness, and strength. Mrs. Cooper recalls her decision to join the community, saying, “Before Hotchkiss, I worked for a large public school. It was just not right for me – getting to know the whole student body was hard, and they were trying to ban books. Being that I previously worked in a boarding school in England, Mr. [John] Cooper and I decided that we should try boarding schools.”

Reminiscing about her fondest memories at the school, Mrs. Cooper said, “I loved living in the dorms. I loved coaching the many teams I’ve coached. I have been grateful to make many lifelong relationships – students and teachers alike.” Mrs. Cooper has made countless significant contributions to the community during her tenure at the school. 

A recipient of the Lufkin Prize in 2021, she was presented with the award by peers who spoke about the many ways in which she has impacted the school. Dr. Merrilee Mardon, Dean of Faculty, said, “[Mrs. Cooper] has the most experience of anyone at the school in her work across administrative roles. I think she was ‘student-centered’ long before that was a thing. She’s a leader in modeling how to build community in a classroom, on a team, in a dorm, in a class.” 

Mrs. Cooper also led several important school initiatives focused on improving student life. As the school’s first sexual misconduct prevention and response coordinator, Mrs. Cooper has been essential in helping the school respond to difficult cases and provide education. Dr. Mardon said, “She has played a big part in making students feel safe, seen, and supported.” 

Affectionately referred to as “Coops,” Mrs. Cooper has made a substantial impact on her students. Crea Kibur ’26 said, “She helped me out during my darkest times. I was very shy when I first came here, and it was Mrs. Cooper’s encouragement that helped me during my first season of Girls Varsity Soccer.” 

Mrs. Cooper will be moving to New Hampshire, which she is excited to explore and spend time with her family, including Mr. Cooper, instructor in mathematics, who retired last year.

Katie Qian is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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