BY KAYLA GATES
As summer break comes to a close, students and staff will be returning to a somewhat unfamiliar version of the Cooper City High School they once knew. Among structural alterations to the school day in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a new principal is just one of the many changes for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The 2019-2020 school year marked the end of an era. After over 20 years at Cooper City High School, Principal Wendy Doll announced her retirement, which went into effect at the conclusion of the academic calendar. In response to the position’s sudden vacancy, the search for a replacement was readily underway as summer break came to a start.
After a nearly month-long virtual selection process, in which candidates received input from members of the community, Cooper City High School’s Interim Principal Vera Perkovic was recommended to succeed Doll. Superintendent Robert Runcie presented her name before the School Board on June 23. The district’s approval allowed the appointment to become effective as of July 1.
“Congratulations to my colleague, Vera Perkovic, for being named the next principal of Cooper City High School,” former Principal Doll said. “Wishing you all the best as I pass the torch and move into retirement. I know the student, staff and community are in good hands.”
“I know the student, staff and community are in good hands.”Former Principal Wendy Doll
Various members of the community took to social media to virtually congratulate Principal Perkovic on her promotion. Many students and parents communicated their satisfaction with the district’s selection via platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Faculty and staff members were quick to reiterate their enthusiasm to be working alongside their colleague.
“I think having Mrs. Perkovic will be an asset to Cooper, as she is a kind-hearted and hardworking woman,” Student Government Association (SGA) President Emily Aaron said. “Ms. Perkovic always made sure to know all her students and [create] a safe environment as well as a fun one. She will definitely change the school for the better.”
Despite its recent commencement, Principal Perkovic’s inaugural year has already proved rather demanding. The coronavirus pandemic has presented various challenges that required decisive action prior to the school’s reopening.
The ongoing crisis demands continuous evaluation as the year progresses. With the many obstacles in mind, Principal Perkovic plans to ease the community’s adjustment to this new normal as effectively as possible, given the current circumstances.
“One mark of a great educator is the ability to lead students out to new places where even the educator has never been.”Principal Vera Perkovic
Principal Perkovic did just that as she welcomed teachers back to work virtually on August 12. Despite the inability to return to what most would consider normal, CCHS faculty and staff were encouraged to remain optimistic as the school year commenced.
“One mark of a great educator is the ability to lead students out to new places where even the educator has never been,” Principal Perkovic said. “Welcome back, Team Cooper.”
With the new school year eagerly underway, Principal Perkovic is already working to make her mark on the student body. Her leadership proves to be a major change for all members of the community, including staff, students and parents.
Following the guidance of her mentor, former Principal Doll, Principal Perkovic hopes to uphold the legacy of Cooper City High School in the many years to come.
Photos by The Lariat Photography