MC School of Education Hires Two Professors
July 19, 2012
Growing up in the restaurant business in Yazoo City taught Michael Coco about the value of hard work and helped pay for his education at Mississippi College.
Run by his parents, Coco’s restaurant off U.S. 49 specialized in Italian food and steaks before closing in the 1970s.
Rather than staying in the family business, Coco earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at MC in 1974 and that began his 38-year career as a teacher and school administrator. This fall, the Yazoo City native brings extensive experience to the table as a part-time instructor in the School of Education.
A principal since 2001 at Oak Forest Elementary in Jackson, Coco served as an adjunct professor for several years in MC’s Teacher Education and Leadership Department. During that time, he’s supervised student teachers and taught graduate and undergraduate classes.
The former Jackson Public Schools principal “has much to share for our students who are planning a career in the classroom,” says professor Cindy Melton, who chairs the Teacher Education and Leadership Department. A graduate of the department, Coco will be recognized as its 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award at the Christian university’s Homecoming in late October.
“He is very well-respected by our faculty and students for his patience, integrity and work ethic,” Melton said.
Coco, who received his master’s degree in elementary education from Mississippi College in 1977, can’t wait for classes to begin in late August.
“It will be absolutely exciting preparing future teachers,” says Coco, who spent his first seven years teaching in the Yazoo City Public Schools in his hometown.
Another new hire joining the School of Education faculty is Jennifer Grove, who most recently worked at Union University in Tennessee where she was assistant dean of the school’s Germantown campus.
A graduate of Clinton High, Grove received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education at Mississippi State University and a doctorate in the field at the University of Memphis, the education professor is a former teacher in the Shelby County Schools in Memphis.
“She brings a wealth of experience in research, statistics, and secondary education,” Melton said. She also brings extensive experience directing alternate route programs for teachers.
At Lowrey Hall, Grove will serve as coordinator of graduate programs for the university’s Teacher Education and Leadership Department.
Photo: Michael Coco