SUMMIT, NJ - Damen Cooper has been named Principal of Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS), effective on or before January 4, 2016. Cooper currently serves as Assistant Principal of Montclair High School.

Cooper has spent four years in his current role at Montclair High School, and is experienced in working with instructional teams and teachers to create project-based lessons, which enhance the learning experiences for students.

“It was important to find the best person to fill this key role as LCJSMS Principal,” said June Chang, Superintendent of Schools. “We conducted a lengthy and active search to find someone who has a strong foundation in academic instruction and a superior understanding of building operations. The search committee and I were impressed with Mr. Cooper’s background in a large and diverse district like Montclair.”

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During his tenure in Montclair, Cooper was the administrator of the BIG Picture, an internship-based program designed to foster meaningful relationships between teachers, parents, and mentors, as well as encourage the diverse mix of students to follow their passions in a real-world setting.

Cooper also supervised development of the Business and Entrepreneurial Learning Academy to serve students who were interested in exploring the world of business, economics and entrepreneurship. In addition, during his years at Montclair High School, he developed the school’s first Emergency Alert System.

Prior to his time in Montclair, Cooper spent seven years in Jersey City, as an Assistant Principal and District Supervisor of Child Study Teams. He spent three years working at the New Jersey Department of Education as Program Development Specialist. There, he provided on-site special education compliance monitoring for school districts in Northern New Jersey.

“I look forward to coming to Summit, a high-performing district, where I can continue to serve students,” said Cooper. “I am keenly aware of the importance of maintaining high standards for all students, enabling them to reach their fullest potential.”

Cooper has a Master’s of Arts in Administration and Supervision as well as a Master’s in Special Education, both from New Jersey City University. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Central State University in Ohio. He lives in North Brunswick with his wife and two young children.