Michael E. Cooper

Senior Consultant


An experienced educational leader and administrator with an entrepreneurial spirit and eye toward innovation, Mike’s varied and successful 40-year career in higher and secondary education offers great value in helping those seeking to grow and prosper. In addition to the depth of knowledge he has built throughout his diverse career, Mike’s enthusiasm, energy, perspective on life, and sense of humor are the personal qualities that have made the real difference in the success that he has had throughout his career. Mike specializes in strategic planning and thinking, executive coaching, crisis management, and board development. Overarching what he offers as a consultant in these areas is how he uses his background and experience in social and emotional learning as a backdrop to how he teaches groups and organizations to become more highly functioning and successful.

In July 2015 he transitioned from Head of School at Brewster Academy after a successful 12 years at the helm. Under his leadership, and stemming from the creation and implementation of two strategic plans, the school saw significant growth in; the development of its educational program, (specifically project based learning and in the implementation of an approach directed at teaching students skills of social and emotional intelligence); fundraising to meet its strategic goals (in a most recent campaign helped to raise $10 million on a $4.5 million goal); and in the growth of its reputation resulting in a strong balance sheet and sustained enrollment — all during one of the country’s most challenging economic times since the Great Depression. Mike is currently assisting the Academy and the Board of Trustees as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor by spearheading a series of projects to help the school maintain momentum in their development efforts.

Prior to Brewster Academy, Mike spent almost twenty years at Clarkson University, first serving as its Dean of Students, where, after nine years, he transitioned to Vice President for Student Affairs, before serving as the University’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement for five years. While VP for Advancement he oversaw the completion of a $115 million comprehensive campaign that had an original goal of $70 million, meeting or exceeding each campaign priority.

A career educator, he received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 1993 to the United States-German International Education Seminar for administrators to study the higher education system in Germany, and more recently was the recipient of a fellowship for Heads of Schools at the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College Columbia University in 2012. In addition, he has served the New England Association of Schools and Colleges on four accreditation visitation teams, three as chair. He has served on a number of nonprofit boards including the Association of Independent Schools of New England, the Wright Museum of World War II, the Wolfeboro Area Children’s Center, and the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce, serving as its president in 2009. In addition he has presented at a variety of national conferences on a wide-range of topics, including emotional intelligence, strategic planning and thinking, board development, and on educating the whole child.

Mike holds a doctorate in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University, a master’s in education from St. Lawrence University, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from The University at Albany, State University of New York.