Alumni Spotlight: David McCoy, '79
Classmates of Heathwood alumnus and past parent David McCoy, ’79, P ’11, would likely remember him for his quick wit and his athletic prowess as a member of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. To current members of the Heathwood community, David also stands out for his persistent willingness to share his time and talents with the school. Most notably, over the past seven years, he has given over 800 hours of volunteer time to Heathwood’s Johns Island service project.
Heathwood Director of Community Relations Willis Ware says David’s support has had a big impact on one of the school’s signature community service projects: “In each year since his daughter Lauren’s graduation, David has accompanied the senior class officers and me to Johns Island on our scouting trip. During that time we’ve worked closely with the Rural Mission general contractor in developing a work plan for each of the home sites. Moreover, he has also joined us for the time that we spend on Johns Island troubleshooting and helping to pick up additional supplies when needed. Mr. McCoy’s skill and experience has been invaluable in our efforts to serve low-income families in the Johns Island community. As an alum and father of an alum, his service epitomizes so much of what we want our students to get from the Johns Island experience.”
Head of School Chris Hinchey calls David an embodiment of Heathwood’s longstanding commitment to service to others: “I have been blown away by the kind, generous, and hardworking people in the Heathwood Hall Community, and David McCoy is an amazing and tangible representation of all that is good about this school that we love. David selflessly gives his time, expertise, and energy to this mazing service project, and his commitment to the Johns Island project and our students is inspiring. I’ve gotten to know David these last four years at Heathwood, and he is a good person with a great sense of humor and an impressive work ethic.”
After graduating from Heathwood in 1979, David attended the University of South Carolina, and then moved to Denver, Colorado where he worked in construction, and night club and restaurant management. His construction career has spanned approximately 20 years, and he currently owns Carolina Bedrock Construction, LLC., which builds, remodels, and renovates homes and installs fiberglass pools, patios, and large landscapes. His wife, Harriett, is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. They have been married for 21 years and their daughter, Barbara “Lauren” McCoy, graduated from Heathwood in 2011. The Barbara McCoy Fine Arts Center is named after David’s mother.
Here he talks about why former Heathwood Head of School Bob Shirley made such an impression on him, what inspired him to become so involved in the Johns Island service project, and more.
What was your most memorable Heathwood experience?
I had a lot of memorable experiences while a student at HHES but my most memorable experience was sending our daughter to Heathwood while Dr. Robert Shirley was still the headmaster.
What Heathwood teacher made the biggest impression on you?
Dr. Shirley definitely made a huge impression upon me. I did not have him as a teacher but it was his work ethic, dedication and positive attitude for HHES. You did not go anywhere at Heathwood without running into Dr. Shirley.
How did Heathwood better prepare you for college and the real world?
It helped me take the next steps into college and the real world with confidence and a sense of commitment to following my own personal path.
Your daughter graduated from Heathwood in 2011. In what ways was her experience different from yours?
I joked with her that we did not have to do a senior project. Nor did we have community service or the Johns Island project. Lauren and the many other students of HHES have greatly benefited from the enrichment of these programs.
Tell us a little about your career path and how you got to where you are today.
I started construction work while in Denver. Years later, I was working on a Habitat For Humanity house project here in Columbia and it started sprinkling rain. All the other participants ran for cover while one other volunteer and I kept nailing shingles. At that moment, I realized just how much I truly enjoy construction and giving people a new home or renovation.
How did you get involved in the Johns Island Service Project?
I received a call from Coach Ware when Lauren was a sophomore or junior at HHES, asking me if I might want to help with Johns Island. We met and he explained all about the projects. Then, I made my first trip with the HHES class leaders.
Why did you stay involved?
I enjoy involvement with HHES and seeing the homeowners we have helped. It is uplifting to witness the student experiences they gain from the work and the sense of satisfaction they receive by helping others.
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Johns Island trip. What does it mean to you to participate in something that has been a Heathwood tradition for so long?
It has been an honor to be a part of this productive project that has grown into a HHES tradition, and I look forward to it each and every year.