When you can claim both academic and automotive excellence, you know your school is comprehensive. Cooper City High School doesn’t have any magnet programs, but it still manages to provide something for everyone. It’s a neighborhood school that unites the community.
“This school is really the pinnacle of the city,” said principal Wendy Doll, who has been at Cooper City High since the 1990’s.
On the academic side, the school offers 18 AP classes and 45 honors classes. Graduates routinely gain admission to the nation’s top universities.
But not every student is an academic superstar, and for them, Cooper City High has options such as its automotive technology program. Students graduate with industry certifications, allowing them to go from school to work as auto mechanics, or they can use their skills to work part time while they’re in college.
“These guys have something to look forward to, it keeps them motivated, they have a skill they can take out, employability skill,” said the program’s director, Dan Sorrentino.
Across campus, a group of students is working with different kinds of motors, the kind that never stops, also known as toddlers. It’s called the Littlest Cowboys Preschool, an actual preschool inside the high school, a training ground for students who want to become early childhood teachers.
“They learn so much about being a teacher,” said Danielle Ramirez, the preschool class director. “They learn so much about who they are through the eyes of children and they have to have a commitment and they come in and find themselves.”
The Cowboys also have an award-winning marching band. They’ll be playing at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans in January.
“We also just got invited to the New Year’s London Day parade in London, England, in 2018,” said band director Chandler Wilson. “It’s going to be a cold, wet experience, but it’s going to be really fun, too.”
The school’s reputation travels far and wide. From music to debate, the Cowboys come riding into academic competitions to win.
“It's nice to know that when you go to a state or national competition, they go 'oh, Cooper City's here,'" Doll said.
Cooper City enjoys strong support from alumni, parents, and the city itself. The principal says that support keeps the school strong.