Cooper retires from Chancery Court

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Carolyn Cooper has been a mainstay with the the Mississippi Second Chancery Court District as the court’s administrator for 23 years. She was appointed to serve as the court administrator in July 1995 and proudly served the court in that capacity for over two decades. Effective June 29 she embarked on the next phase of her life as a retiree who will deeply miss working with the court, and especially Judge H. David Clark II, but she is very excited to get to spend more time with family and her six grandkids.

In appreciation for the years of hard work and dedication the Scott County, Jasper County, and Newton County Bar Associations cast-her-off to retirement by sending her cruising into the sunset, literally. The three bar associations that make up Second Chancery Court District presented Cooper with an all-expenses paid cruise to Jamaica in appreciation for here tireless efforts and to ensure that she begins retirement in relaxing style.    

During Cooper’s retirement ceremony on June 27 the room was filled with cohorts, family and friends all of which were there to thank her for her dedicated years of service and to wish her well in retirement. During the ceremony, Cooper was caught completely off-guard when Constance Slaughter-Harvey, president of the Scott County Bar Association, presented her with the information on the cruise.

“I was shocked and just could not believe they were really sending me on a cruise,” Cooper says. Members from all three county bar associations made it clear that she has been an asset to the court, the officers of the court and the citizens of the Second District and they wanted to show their deep appreciation for the job she has done.

Cooper is looking forward to retirement and plans on enjoying the cruise as much as possible, but it is somewhat bittersweet as she will miss working with everyone that she has built such strong working relationships with. Cooper explains, “working with the attorneys and people to make everything accessible and court run smoothly has been a wonderful experience.” She made it clear that will miss working with Judge Clark, as she believes that the court staffs, attorneys and citizens of the Second Chancery Court District are lucky to have him serving on the bench. “I believe and so many others will tell you that Judge Clark is the best judge in Mississippi, and working with him has been a great experience,” Cooper said.

As Cooper readies to sail off into retirement she officially handed the Second District torch to Stacie Shoemaker of Decatur who officially started as Court Administrator on July 1. Shoemaker enters the position with 29 years of legal experience and is very excited about her new position with the Chancery Court. “I am absolutely looking forward to working with Judge Clark while serving the people of Scott, Newton and Jasper counties,” Shoemaker says. “I have some big shoes to fill, but Carolyn has assured me she is always available if I need her assistance in anyway.”

The court system is a very streamlined process but having a strong court administrator can make all the difference in the efficient flow of cases. Carolyn Cooper has been there to ensure that the Chancery Court has ran as efficiently as possible for the last 23 years. Cooper will be missed and she is looking forward to her retirement but she does plan to stay busy. Cooper says, “I’m looking forward to having more free time to spend with my family and especially my six grandbabies, so I will stay busy it will just be a different busy.”