Cowper named following resignation of Mike Gasaway
Madison Consolidated High School will begin the 2022-2023 school year with a new face at the helm. Mr. Donald H. Cowper, Jr. accepted the position earlier this week and will join the team once he and his family are able to move home to Indiana.
A native of Indiana, Cowper had a few select areas of interest at the end of last school year when he and his wife, Sarah, decided to explore options closer to home. “We are both from the midwest and while Florida is a great place to visit, we knew we wanted to get closer to home if and when the right opportunity arose,” Cowper shared. “We were able to spend a bit of time around the area and this community is the perfect place for us. I am very impressed with the programs and opportunities offered to students, the facilities are incredible, and the historical elements of the community are very appealing to us.”
Currently, as an assistant principal at Keystone Heights Jr/Sr High School, Cowper helps to oversee the day-to-day within a building of over 1,200 students in grades 7-12. Cowper came highly recommended by previous administrators from other districts and it was clear he was on a progressive, growth-focused path of administrative development. “Don’s experience as a teacher and administrator aligns well with our strategy for staff development, expansion of alternative education environments, and continued exploration of additional programs and opportunities around CTE,” shared Superintendent, Dr. Teresa Brown. “From the time he entered the room, he seemed to be at ease, provided specific information on a number of topics of interest, and of all of the great candidates we interviewed - he brought the entire package to the table. We are very excited about the energy and leadership he will bring to the high school and district leadership team and feel as though he will be able to have an immediate, positive impact on several areas for students and staff.”
Cowper’s focus on development was a key interest for the district. “I have a deep desire to work in a positive, growing school environment where I can continue to help teachers develop into high-quality educational leaders who, in turn, help students become well-rounded, contributing members of their communities,” Cowper shared. Cowper has an impressive background using the Professional Learning Community model (PLC) to work with staff on strategic areas tied to various focused initiatives in other districts that had a positive impact in moving each district forward. He has experience building alternative student learning models from the ground up and is an avid supporter of pathways leading to alternative secondary education options. “I love that Madison has a commitment to programs for students on both the college-bound track or those who are interested in obtaining skills and certifications that will pave the way for success in the workplace,” he shared
Cowper earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (with a minor in Psychology) from Saginaw Valley State University; grades 6-12 teacher certification in English, Psychology, Government, and Historical Perspectives, and a Master of Arts in Education Curriculum and Instruction from Ferris State University; a K-12 Building Level Administrator license from Indiana Wesleyan University; and an Educational Specialist degree with a focus on School Administration/Superintendency from Indiana State University
Don, along with his wife, Sarah, and son, Liam, will be moving to the area within the next few weeks. “We want to get situated as soon as possible and begin to get involved with our school and community,” Cowper shared. “I am very much looking forward to meeting our staff, students, and families and understanding how I can support them as we continue to move the school forward with a focus on building personal relationships, professional development, and fun as we learn together!”