GCA's New Hootworthy Superintendent Mike Kooi

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GCA's New Hootworthy Superintendent Mike Kooi
Halton Thomson

We kicked off Season 3 of Hootworthy chatting with Mike Kooi, the new superintendent at Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA). The conversation gave us a glimpse into the personal and professional side of Mike. For example, if Mike could choose a superpower, he'd go for flying because he loves travelling. It would make family travels with his wife and 16-month-old son much easier.

Mike's journey to GCA's superintendent is a different path from most superintendents. Starting as a litigation attorney, he gradually shifted to the education sector. From defending school choice programs to becoming the budget director for education under Governor Deal, his experience is diverse. His connection with GCA began as the executive director for the board, and he officially became superintendent in May 2023.

Mike's top three priorities for GCA are clear. First, he's keen on recruiting and retaining excellent teachers, believing impactful learning begins in the classroom. Second, he's determined to support struggling students through innovative strategies and programs. Third, staying on top of technology trends is a must to enhance the learning experience.

His advice to students and parents? Embrace challenges and even failures; they build resilience. For teachers, he encourages pushing students beyond their comfort zones. Also, if he were to teach, history would be Mike's subject of choice. He's captivated by how past events shape the present, and he would want to share this passion with students.

Building a sense of community at GCA is important to Mike. From field trips to community days, he's all about engagement. Optional programs for families looking to connect are also in the works.

Outside work, Mike enjoys walks with his family and their two Australian Shepherds. He's a sports enthusiast, rooting for University of Florida football and the Atlanta Braves. Travel is another love of his, but it has been less frequent since the birth of his son.

We look forward to what is in store for GCA under Mike’s leadership!

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Check out the full interview on our Youtube ▶ channel

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