When Wilson Elementary Principal Cooper Hilton was called outside from his Coppell ISD school on Friday, Feb. 5, he had no idea the surprise that awaited him. There in the parking lot of his school were his family, school colleagues, Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt, CISD Trustee David Caviness and representatives from the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA).
This group gathered to inform Hilton that he was selected as the 2020-2021 “TEPSAN” of the Year for Region 10 of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA). Out of more than 600 members of TEPSA Region 10, Hilton was chosen by his peers for this recognition because of his dedication and service to all school children in Texas.
“Cooper Hilton is the kind of leader who inspires everyone,” said Amanda Borowczak Schmitter, TEPSA Region 10 Board Member and principal of Rayburn Elementary STEAM Academy in Grand Prairie ISD. “He collaborates with principals and supervisors in the state to positively impact the decisions being made for students.”
She continued, “He is kind, driven, and has a great love for his teachers, students, and school families. Cooper is a difference maker.”
In addition to the surprise announcement, students, teachers and staff at Wilson Elementary honored Hilton with a parade to celebrate this achievement and his leadership of the school.
“[Hilton] leads by example and motivates his team to be the best we can be each and every day,” said Jordan Muse, assistant principal of Wilson Elementary. “Especially this year, he has shown us how to be compassionate and caring and to work hard every day to show our love for our students and our school.”
This sentiment is shared by CISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt.
“I am so proud of Cooper, for not only this recognition, but for what he does every day to serve our children, our educators, our families and our community,” Dr. Hunt said. “He is a true advocate for public education and his dedication to our profession shines through in all that he does.”
For Hilton, receiving recognition from his peers in this surprise fashion truly astonished him.
“I was rendered speechless by this, and those who know me know that never happens,” Hilton said. “To have my own family join my school family and my district family and my TEPSA family in sharing this with me was truly special.”
He added, “To be recognized by my peers for doing what I feel is my calling, which is advocating for public education in Texas, means so much to me.”
Hilton has almost 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, leader and principal. He has worked in Coppell ISD for 11 years, serving as an assistant principal and principal. He is the former principal of Austin Elementary School and has led Wilson Elementary since 2017. In 2020, he was elected as the 2020-2021 Member-At-Large for TEPSA. In this elected position, Hilton is one of five voting members of TEPSA’s Executive Committee, which consists of the president, president-elect, 1st vice president, 2nd vice president and an at-large member leading the almost 6,000 members of the organization.
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