"Once you're a Cooper cougar, you're always a Cooper cougar and so we definitely want to honor him," Cooper High School Principal Karen Munoz.
But Phillip McGeath wasn't your average cougar, teachers remember a curious and inquisitive student.
"He was a kid who was tardy because he would stay around and talk to his teachers after class and you just got to the point where you accepted that about him," said teacher Jimmy Pogue.
Pogue said being a marine was McGeath's calling, "He talked to me when he had enlisted and I remember how patriotic he was and how he thought it was his duty to serve others."
She's known McGeath since he was three years old, he and her daughter were friends.
"If you saw Phillip he was smiling," said family friend Lisa Hawkins.
Hawkins says McGeath was good to his friends, "Always there with a pat on the back, a hand shake, a hug."
"He went into the marines and he had two brothers who followed in his footsteps," said Hawkins
She said he loved being a marine, "He adored his family, adored his wife. He went over he did his job, he did it honorably and he didn't come home the way we wanted him to, but we love him and his fmaily loves him and we're all very, very proud of him."