Darren Cooper

KES 92-94

I attended King Edward’s for Sixth Form and thoroughly enjoyed my time at the school.  Alongside my academic studies, my involvement in sport and the many friends I made, KES taught me skills that I have carried through into my work and personal life today.

I remember certain phrases used by some of my teachers which have definitely stayed with me;  ‘You only get out what you put in, don’t expect more until you do more’ and ‘Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you’ are both still fresh in my mind today. These values that were instilled in us - to work hard and pay attention to the detail - have been invaluable to me over the years. Nowadays, they serve me well as the Managing Director of The Peter Cooper Motor Group. The group employs 248 staff across 11 businesses, so detail is a key driver for me. Time is spent overseeing our teams who are responsible for selling new and used vehicles of all makes; a body repair centre; a leasing company; Prestige Cars sites; a tuning and customisation business; and also myevcp.co.uk - a company that installs electric vehicle charging points.

As a student I wasn’t someone that could fly through with minimum effort; KES taught me about resilience and determination and helped me understand how to focus and to commit to something that I wanted to achieve. My daughter is currently in Fourth Year and I hope my son will move across from Stroud in a couple of years, so I am a clear advocate of the foundations a school like KES gives a student. Where possible, I have engaged our business with the school - through design and sustainability competitions and local theatre engagements - to help broaden their experiences and show the importance of working with communities and giving something back.

Another great aspect of KES is the OE community, a community that thrives across many interests and sports. I have been fortunate enough to help develop the OE golf community over the past 7 years and, although I struggle to get to as many of the events as I would like, it’s always great to catch up with familiar faces and remember ‘the good old days!’