Prep names Lawrence Coco as next Head of School

Mr. Lawrence Coco. Photo courtesy of McCraney, Coco & Lee

Mr. Lawrence Coco. Photo courtesy of McCraney, Coco & Lee

On Wednesday, February 14, the Jackson Prep Board of Trustees announced their selection of Mr. Lawrence Coco to serve as the next Head of School through an official press release. Coco was chosen following a national search from the Head of School Search Committee and Faculty Advisory Committee with the assistance of CarterBaldwin Executive Search of Atlanta, Georgia.

A Jackson Prep graduate of the Class of 1992, Lawrence Coco will hold the distinction of being the first Jackson Prep alumnus to return to his alma mater in the position of Head of School. During his time as a student at Prep, Mr. Coco was a consistent standout. He was awarded the American Legion Citizenship Award, was apart of the largest group of National Merit semifinalists in the school’s history to that point in October 1991, was the fiction editor of Earthwinds, was a participant in varsity athletics, and was named a senior class favorite. After graduating high school, Coco attended the University of Mississippi and graduated Magna Cum Laude as a double major in English and History.

I have a passion for Jackson Prep. This is a calling, a home.”

— Mr. Lawrence Coco

Coco’s tenure as Head of School will not be his first experience working at Prep. After graduating college, Coco was an American Literature and History teacher, an Assistant High School Principal, and a football and track coach before leaving to attend law school.

Coco received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi in 2001, finishing 4th in his class of 123. He then practiced law in Mississippi from 2001 to present. He will be leaving his law practice McCraney, Coco & Lee, PLLC when he takes the position as Head of School.

Mr. Coco in the social studies classroom in 1997 or 1998. Photo courtesy of Précis.

While practicing law, he has helped around the school in many different capacities. He has served on the Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees.

Coco’s previous experiences at Prep and love for the school were significant factors in the Head of School Search Committee’s decision to hire Coco. Chair of the Committee Mr. Will Walker said, “Throughout the process, we met several very qualified candidates from around the country, but we were always drawn back to Lawrence and his passion for Jackson Prep.”

“I have a passion for Jackson Prep. This is a calling, a home,” said Mr. Coco during an interview with Sentry staff members Avery Andress and Stewart McCullough. He went on to say that his primary goal is to immerse himself into Prep’s dynamic culture by getting to know the faculty, students and administration.

Current Interim Head of School Mr. Denny Britt looks forward to working with Mr. Coco, saying, “I am thrilled with the Board’s selection of Lawrence as our next Head of School. I have worked with him in numerous capacities over the years, and I am looking forward to working with him on a professional level.”

Sharing excitement is current Latin teacher at Jackson Prep, Ms. Beth Watts, a fellow member of the Jackson Prep class of 1992 and previous colleague of Coco’s when he worked at the school in the 1990s. Ms. Watts said, “I think he will have a good grasp of all of the facets of Prep life because of his experiences as a student, former teacher, and Prep parent…I like that it’s going to be someone we know.”

Lawrence Coco and his wife, Rebecca, also a member of the class of 1992, are lifelong members of St. Richard Catholic Church. They have been married for 19 years and have three children, including current 8th grade Prep student Mary Robinson.

Lawrence Coco, Jackson Prep Class of 1992. Photo courtesy of Précis.
Mr. Coco during his stint as a teacher and administrator at Prep in the 1990s. Photo courtesy of Précis.