Caryn Denise Cooper is currently the principal at Cook Elementary School in Plainfield, New Jersey. She has served as an elementary school principal in the district for 12 years.
Dr. Cooper is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey chapter of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)-serving as the Urban Liaison.
She is passionately interested in the impact of principals on student learning, as well as Best Practices in teaching and learning. Prior to Dr. Cooper’s administrative roles, she taught fifth grade at a small private school in Trenton, New Jersey. The remainder of her teaching career (13 years) was spent in various roles (2nd grade teacher, technology coordinator & staff developer) in the Newark Public Schools in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Cooper received her bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Kean University in 1986. She served as a Network Analyst for 5 years before entering New Jersey's Alternate Route to Teacher Certification Program. When she acquired her first public school teaching assignment, she simultaneously enrolled and completed a Masters Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Instruction. After several years of teaching and developing teachers, she entered and completed a Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Kean University.
She successfully defended her dissertation at The University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation topic is Instructional Leadership: How Principals Conceptualize their Roles as School Leaders.