Woodlands Schools, Sports, Students October 2015
COOPER OPENS NEW YEAR WITH 1201 STUDENTS; NEW BUILDING UNDER WAY – The John Cooper School began the 2015-16 school year breaking yet another enrollment record for the 16th consecutive year.
Established in 1988, the school began classes on Aug. 20 with a total enrollment of 1,201 students. That includes 512 students in Lower School (grades PK-5), 284 students in Middle School (grades 6-8) and 405 students in Upper School (grades 9-12).
“We are beginning this school year with energy and enthusiasm, especially as we see our new Rock Center for Math and Science emerge in the heart of our campus,” said Michael F. Maher, who is beginning his 16th year as Cooper’s Head of School. “It is a very exciting time for us as we anticipate transitioning into our new facility this time next year. This is the most significant academic improvement Cooper has made since the school opened its original Mitchell Lower School and the Middle/Upper School classroom buildings in 1988 and 1993, respectively.” The Center will span three stories and include 50,000 square feet of classrooms and laboratories for Middle and Upper School science and mathematics. The Center will also house a computer lab, robotics classroom, outdoor roof garden and the 135-seat Ramirez Family Lecture Hall.
The number of faculty continues to expand in conjunction with enrollment growth. Stephen Popp has joined the administrative team as Head of Upper School. He joins Cooper after 12 years at St. John’s School in Houston as a social studies teacher and Upper School Dean of Students. Popp earned an undergraduate degree in history from Baylor University and a Master of Arts in history as a James Madison Fellow at The University of Houston. He graduated last May with a Masters of Education and Independent School Leadership from the Teachers College at Columbia University.
Faculty members who are new to Cooper’s Upper School include James Stancil (history), and Jonathan Thomas and Cathy Martinez (science). Dr. Robert Jing joins the Middle School math faculty. Joining the Lower School faculty are
Breann Edelman, Therese Keller, Cristina Orjuela, Alesia Patterson and Jenette Phillips and new teaching assistants are Jennifer Alger, Brittany Nevlud, Sharon Padamada and Christine Rigia. BJ Feuerhelm joins the faculty as a physical education teacher and varsity girls’ basketball coach.
CONROE ISD CELEBRATES THE START OF A NEW SCHOOL YEAR – The Conroe Independent School District celebrated the beginning of the 2015-16 school year on Thursday, August 20, at the annual “Celebrate Our Schools” assemblies. The morning session began with the Elementary Teacher of the Year, Jamie Straughan, and the Secondary Teacher of the Year, Sabrina Pomales, leading the pledges followed by Conroe ISD music and choir teachers
singing the “National Anthem.” A musical performance comprised of over 100 students representing all Conroe ISD feeder zones entertained the crowd.
As in previous years, Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton shared facts, assessment results, and exciting news from each feeder zone in his State of the District address. He concluded his presentation with an interview from a teacher, Sheri Broughton, whose life has been positively impacted by her first grade teacher, Susan Frankson, whom she had not seen since. The two were reunited on stage to resounding applause.
In addition to celebrating the new school year, everyone who attended had the opportunity to donate to the Montgomery County Food Bank. Every dollar raised will allow the Montgomery Country Food Bank to purchase 11 pounds of food.
CONROE ISD WELCOMES NEW TEACHERS – Conroe ISD hired over 500 teachers for the 2015-16 school year and welcomed them to the District during the Intro to CISD staff development that took place Aug. 10-12. Over the three days, teachers participated in a conference style event that helped them become acquainted with all things CISD.
New teachers learned about District-focused initiatives and curriculum and met new colleagues. They also had the opportunity to visit a Classroom Showcase designed to highlight the best instructional practices for all grade levels and contents.
A Community Services and Vendor Fair kicked off the week by providing teachers access to community information while they enjoyed a breakfast sponsored by the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE). Principals joined the new teachers for a lunch sponsored by Woodforest Bank later that day. On Wednesday, Kroger provided breakfast to welcome the new hires.
STERLING RIDGE BOYS COLLECT FOR TW FOOD PANTRY – A group of boys from the Shale Creek neighborhood in Sterling Ridge recently collected 135 pounds of food donations for The Woodlands Food Pantry, an idea that began when Ryan Grimm visited with orthodontist Dr. Todd Hughes for a braces consultation.
To get the patients excited, Dr. Hughes offers incentives such as gift cards if patients do well in school or volunteer in community service projects. Liz, Ryan’s mom, had seen a flyer that The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce was doing a food drive to support the Interfaith Food Pantry. She recalled, “I thought of having Ryan do his own food drive just in the neighborhood, so we sent out an email to all neighbors. A few of his buddies wanted to join, and before long six kids joined the team.”
Liz shared with the boys that during the summertime, the pantry supplies run low and kids don’t have access to school meals. The tour guide at Interfaith explained to them that some kids don’t have enough food over the weekend, as their main source of food is often breakfast and lunch at school. The guide also revealed that during school on Fridays, many of those same kids will discreetly receive a backpack full of food to take home for over the weekend.
Liz said, “We also discussed how sometimes families fall on hard times, and that if one or both parents lost their jobs or got really sick, then it could very well happen to one of them. It really hit home with the kids.
They were so into it, and so proud to help out. They collected 135 pounds in donations in just one Sunday evening, simply going through Shale Creek neighborhood.”