The John Cooper School

College prep school celebrates 25th year

When George Mitchell, founder of The Woodlands, initially conceptualized what the 100,000-resident community would look like, an independent private school was always a part of the plan. Mitchell wanted the area to have a strong business foundation, and he knew a college preparatory school would serve to attract medical, science and technology companies and their families.

"This 44-acre plot of land we are on was never up for sale," said Michael Maher, who has been the head of school at The John Cooper School since July 2000. "It was always designated as the future site for the independent college preparatory school that Mr. Mitchell wanted The Woodlands to have."

The school is named after John Cooper, the renowned former headmaster of Houston's Kinkaid School.

Cooper was brought in as a consultant during the early development stages, playing a crucial role in determining how the school would function.

He was instrumental in designing the school's lower building, which was the main classroom building at the time. He also helped design the curriculum, Maher said.

"He had a significant hand in the actual curriculum that was going to be taught," he said. "He created a philosophy. To this day, we still have that emphasis on liberal arts and balance. We still have an emphasis on small classes and high levels of student-teacher interaction."

The John Cooper School opened on Sept. 6, 1988. Known as a humble man, Cooper rejected the idea of having the school named after him.

However, the founding board decided to name the school in his honor anyway, citing that his impact was significant and profound. Cooper remained with the school as a consultant until the end of October before handing the reins over to the board.

The school had an enrollment of 175 students in its first year, from pre-K through seventh grade. It added another grade to its system every year moving forward until the first senior class graduated in 1994.

The John Cooper School's main function has always been preparing students to be successful in college. Part of Cooper's vision involved creating a balance between academics, athletics, arts and community service opportunities, Maher said.

"In the early years, we were heavily emphasizing the academic side, but were a little thinner in those other areas," he said. "As we got bigger, we were able to develop more programs. We now have a full complement of sports and visual and performing arts."

In March, The John Cooper School celebrated its 25th anniversary with a ceremony and reunion. Many of the school's alumni returned to show support, Maher said.

"The school is so tremendously different now than it was when those people were enrolled," he said. "It is very motivational and very rewarding just to know that there is strong belief in the school. It is an honor to be here at this exciting stage of its life."

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


Kokomos is a Mexican restaurant that features a menu with a Caribbean flair. (Courtesy Kokomos)
Locally owned Mexican restaurant Kokomos now open in Oak Ridge North

Gary and Belinda Sipp, locals to The Woodlands area for nearly 40 years, opened Kokomos on Nov. 22 in the Oak Ridge North area at 26850 I-45 N., Spring.

Montgomery County municipalities continue to receive increased sales tax allocations from the previous year as Texas recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jishnu Nair/Community Impact Newspaper)
Conroe receives over $6 million in November state sales tax allocations; Montgomery County cities show continual year over year growth

Montgomery County municipalities continue to receive increased sales tax allocations from the previous year as Texas recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

TxDOT will hold public meetings in December to discuss improvements to stretches of FM 1488 in Montgomery County. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT to hold public meetings to discuss FM 1488 improvements from I-45 to Mostyn Drive in early December

The meetings will be virtual with an in-person component, and the will discuss proposed improvements along FM 1488 from I-45 to Mostyn Drive in Montgomery County.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

A health expert with Baylor College of Medicine provides advice to stay safe and healthy while celebrating Thanksgiving with family. (Karolina Grabowska/Pexels)
Baylor College of Medicine: Tips for staying safe and healthy this Thanksgiving as the pandemic continues

Check out some helpful advice from a medical expert on how to stay safe and healthy during Thanksgiving.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

PTSD Foundation of America seeks to reduce veteran suicides

An average of 17.2 veterans died by suicide daily in 2019—a 36% increase from 2001, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in September.

Hebrews Coffeehouse specializes in coffee flights, an assortment of four specialty coffees with flavors changed every two weeks. (Courtesy Hebrews Coffeehouse)
From coffee trailer to storefront: Meet the owners of Hebrews Coffeehouse on FM 1488

​​​​​​​“Once we had a coffeehouse and people were coming into that house-type environment and then you start to see relationships flourish, that’s what makes our hearts beat,” Geoff said. “Coffee was a catalyst for that.”

Texas Medical Center coronavirus update: ICU numbers drop almost 20%; new hospitalizations plateau

Heading into Thanksgiving, here is the status of COVID-19 in Texas Medical Center hospitals.

The Oak Ridge North City Council held a regular city council meeting Nov. 22. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
Oak Ridge North to spend $45K redesigning water lines for Robinson Road project

With the project addition, the waterline will be redesigned and moved into the planned right-of-way lane to deter future roadway construction and make the line more accessible for repairs.