Cooper Academy Families,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jamie Stoke and I’m proud to be starting my first year as principal at Cooper Academy. My wife of 21 years teaches in the Exceptional Children's Department at Swift Creek Middle School. We have two wonderful children entering 8th and 11th grades in Johnston County Public Schools. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from James Madison University in Virginia. I went on to obtain a Master's Degree in School Counseling and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from North Carolina State University.
Over the past 20 years in Johnston County Public Schools I have worked with children in a variety of settings. I served in the role of School Counselor and Assistant Principal at East Clayton Elementary School during the first nine years of my career in education. When Powhatan Elementary School in Clayton first opened its’ doors in 2008, I served as the Assistant Principal for the first two years the school was open. I served as the Principal at Wilson’s Mills Elementary for five years and McGee's Crossroads Elementary for two years. The past two years I’ve served the Riverwood Middle School community as the site principal.
During my time in Johnston County Public Schools our school stakeholders have worked extremely hard to demonstrate significant growth as school communities. We will continue to build on having a growth mindset while establishing supportive relationships with the students, staff, and families this year at Cooper Academy. Teachers, students, families, and community members will work together for the benefit of student growth and development.
I’m excited about the opportunity at Cooper Academy and looking forward to a terrific school year! Thank you in advance for your support!
Jamie Stoke, Principal
Dear Cooper Academy Families,
My name is Tami Poland and I am incredibly honored to serve as the assistant principal at Cooper Academy. I grew up in neighboring Wayne county in the small town of Pikeville. My brother and I grew up doing chores before and after school like caring for the horses, assisting with my mom's dog business, tending the goats, mending fences, and more. I graduated from Charles B Aycock High School and went on to graduate from UNC-Wilmington as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow! I married my husband Bill in 1996 and we've been together ever since. Taylor, our oldest daughter, is a at Appalachin State University in Boone. Our daughter, McKenzie is at Corinth Holders High School but also taking classes at NC School of Science and Math and JCC. Garrett, our son is at Archer Lodge Middle. Our life is full of adventure and excitement and we would have it no other way.
Journey to Cooper Academy
I absolutely loved every single second I was a classroom teacher. I went into administration to support teachers, students, and parents on their journey and fuel their passion to learn. August 2016 I started my journey on the Cooper Elementary administration team. Together, with families, communities members, and staff we joined arms and began the Restart process becoming Cooper Academy.
In August 2017, we held our official ribbon cutting and opened our doors as Cooper Academy. We are 100% a public school and a Johnston County School. We serve all students in our district. We are not a charter school. However, because of our restart, we were given some flexiblity by the state of NC to make decisions with our stakeholders that we felt would benefit our school. A few of the unique opportunities that Cooper Academy offers:
* Students wear uniforms
* Thematic Framework that aligns all grades on themes throughout the year
* STEAM lab
* Unique Enhancements (Arts & Literacy, PE, Spanish, STEAM, Chorus)
There is nothing that compares to Cooper Academy's family atmosphere and community spirit. We invite you to take a tour and see for yourself the beauty and treasure that is Cooper!
Tamara Poland, Assistant Principal
Dear Cooper Academy Families:
I am humbled and honored to be a part of the Cooper Academy Administration Team during the 2019-2020 school year. I grew up in Johnston County and am a graduate of Smithfield-Selma High School. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from East Carolina University and am currently enrolled in the Johnston Principal Leadership Academy at NC State University with an anticipated graduation date of May 2020. Go Pack!
Since I was a child, I have loved children and education and I always dreamed of the day I would have my own classroom. I have had the opportunity to nurture birth through preschool age children for six years and then teach in the elementary, middle and high school setting for the last twelve years. My work as a teacher assistant, bus monitor, preschool teacher, inclusion and resource teacher, self-contained autism teacher and as a high functioning autism teacher have provided a wide lens for me to see and understand the whole child’s needs. I look forward to getting to know and working with your family this year in my new role.
During my leadership journey, I have learned a lot about myself and what I believe is important in education and how my personal journey has shaped me as a person and a leader. For this reason, I would like to share my vision for success in education.
I believe that as humans, we exist to gradually improve the world in which we live. Leaders in education, both born and made, are here to step up and facilitate healthy, innovative ways to discover this world. And, as educators, we are responsible for providing ongoing learning opportunities to the students, parents and our community through the school setting. We will encourage people of all abilities to pursue their passions, find their purpose in our world and contribute to the overall good of society. Because, every person can do something, no matter the size, to benefit the future of yesterday.
While I love education and plan to spend countless hours helping shape our future, I am blessed with a wonderful family I get to come home to each day. I married my high school sweetheart nearly nineteen years ago and together we have three kids. As a family we enjoy camping trips to the beach and to the mountains. We also spend countless weekends at the baseball field watching my son play his favorite sport.
As I transition from a classroom teacher to an administrator, I welcome your insight, feedback and suggestions. I will strive to be a visible face throughout the school and community and hope you will help hold me accountable as I embark on this new journey.
Allison Price, Assistant Principal Intern