AUSD names Tim Cooper new Director of Student Support Services

New AUSD Director of Student Support Services Tim Cooper. Photo: AUSD

By Antioch Unified School District

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Tim Cooper to his new position as Director of Student Support Services.

Mr. Cooper or “Coop,” as many students and staff affectionately call him, has been with the Antioch Unified School District since 2001 having served as Vice Principal of Deer Valley High School, Vice Principal at Bidwell High School, Principal of Black Diamond Middle School and, most recently, Principal of Live Oak High School.

Growing up, Mr. Cooper lived in San Francisco and San Bruno prior to moving to Carson, California where he said he learned a lot of street wisdom growing up in a city then plagued by gangs and crime. At the age of 15, his family moved to Concord, California wherein Cooper says he was in culture shock having come from a very diverse city to a school where only 10 of the nearly 2,000 students were African American. There, he says, he experienced racism for the first time.

“I knew racism existed, I’d read about it and watched television programs about it, but until it’s in your face, it’s a whole different story.” To adjust to his new environment, Cooper says he focused less on sports and more on academics. “I’d always been a good student, but my drive to become even better took some of my attention from sports.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Cooper played football, basketball, and track while attending high school but was sidelined from getting a college football scholarship when an injury took him off the field most of his senior year. Thus, Mr. Cooper attended Diablo Valley College for two years after high school where he reengaged with sports while simultaneously focusing on his academics. As a result, two years later he was offered a football scholarship by both San Diego State and St. Mary’s College.

“I decided on St. Mary’s, even though their team was 2-8, because I knew friends there and I wanted to focus on my degree. I was aware of the deal, I’d play football for them, and they’d pay for my college education.”

Cooper said his father had a big impact on him. “He was born in North Carolina in 1941. He would tell us stories about growing up like how he had to stop attending school in the fall to work the tobacco fields and how he had to attend an all-African American segregated school separated by a chain link fence from a white school. He said the basketball courts and facilities were well-maintained at the all-white school while his school was dilapidated and missing many of the things the other school had.”

Cooper said his father always stressed the importance of leading by example. As he grew up, he watched his father lead by example as he served in the Navy then worked at Southern Pacific Railroad where he retired as Head of West Coast Communication.

Mr. Cooper said he is most looking forward to working with agencies to ensure the District has increased and sustainable mental health support for students. “I think sometimes we underestimate what some of our students are coping with, but they come to school because it is a safe, consistent space. It’s our job to meet them where they are and provide the support they need to be successful.”

Mr. Cooper lives in Antioch with his wife of 29 years. Their children, now 27 and 25 attended AUSD schools.

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Tim Cooper AUSD Dir of Student Support Services

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