The John Cooper School

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The John Cooper School is an independent, college-preparatory, nonsectarian, co-educational day school located in The Woodlands, an unincorporated planned community in Montgomery County, Texas, United States.

The John Cooper School
The Woodlands, Texas, United States
Type Independent
College preparatory
Motto From Curiosity To Wisdom
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Established 1988
Head of School Michael F. Maher
Faculty 85 Full-time, 4 Part-time
Enrollment 1031
Average class size 17
Student to teacher ratio 11:1
Campus Suburban
  Green and Black
Athletics Male and Female Varsity, Junior Varsity and Middle School
Athletics conference Southwest Preparatory Conference
Mascot Dragon
Average SAT scores 2020 (2012)


The John Cooper School is an independent, college-preparatory, day school for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. The campus is located in a forested area of The Woodlands, Texas, a planned community of approximately 106,000 residents[citation needed] located approximately 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Houston. Cooper currently enrolls 367 students in the Upper School (9-12), 252 in the Middle School (6-8) and 412 in the Lower School (PK-5).

A Brief History[edit]

The John Cooper School was founded through the generosity of corporate and private benefactors, dedicated parents and other supporters in The Woodlands and the Houston metropolitan area. It was named in honor of Mr. John Cooper, the long-tenured Headmaster of Houston’s Kinkaid School, whose expertise and counsel guided the school through its original formation and early years of operation.

Cooper officially opened on September 6, 1988, on a 43-acre campus designated for this purpose by Mr. George Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell is the founder and original developer of The Woodlands, a planned community of approximately 97,000 residents located 40 miles (64 km) north of Houston.

The School began operations with an enrollment of 175 students in Pre-kindergarten through Grade 7, and one additional grade level was added each successive year. The first senior class graduated in 1994. The opening enrollment of 1031 students for the 2012-13 academic year represents the school’s largest ever student body.

Campus Expansion[edit]

The campus has expanded in conjunction with the School’s steadily growing student body. Additions over the past 10 years include expansion to facilitate new PK classrooms and a PK playground, additional science and computer labs, a second gymnasium, a Student Center and lighted facilities for track and field, soccer, softball and baseball.

A 38,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center opened in August, 2008, and features a 515-seat main stage theater, 125-seat black box theater and choir, drama, band and dance classrooms. A new Upper School Library, Middle/Upper School Health Center and four additional classrooms were added in 2011 in addition to the Pugh Football Field. Groundbreaking on a new 16,500-square-foot Lower School classroom facility took place in September, 2012. This facility opened to the Lower School Student and Faculty Body for the 2013-2014 school year. In 2013, the school started to build a new building that will hold a new Spirit Store and a place to buy concessions during athletic and other events.


A non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees, Cooper earned its first accreditation by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) in 1998. That accreditation was renewed again in 2008. The School also holds memberships in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) and the Education Records Bureau (ERB) and the Cum Laude Society of America.

The Academic Program[edit]

Small classes, personal attention, an excellence in academics, arts, athletics, and community service form the cornerstones of a Cooper education. Cooper combines traditional educational practices with innovative programs to teach students to think, question, analyze, create, understand, and take responsibility for their world. Cooper is a diverse community.

Academics include English, mathematics, science, social sciences, foreign languages, computer science, physical education, visual and performing arts. Spanish is offered PK through Grade 12 and French is offered beginning in the seventh grade. Nineteen advanced placement courses are offered to Upper School students and for the last four years, The John Cooper School has been recognized by being nominated for the prestigious Siemens Advanced Placement High School Award for having one of the strongest AP math and science programs in the state.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities[edit]

Over 75 percent of Cooper's Middle and Upper School students participate in at least one sport. Students choose to compete in girls' volleyball and softball, boys' football and baseball, and boys' and girls' cross country, soccer, basketball, track, tennis, swimming and golf. Varsity teams compete in the highly regarded Southwest Preparatory Conference that comprises 19 independent schools in Texas and Oklahoma. Cooper athletes have won conference championships each year and have been named individual champions in their respective sports.

Extensive club, service and leadership opportunities are offered at all grade levels. The school community contributes to the greater community through a wide variety club and service projects in all divisions as well as school-wide efforts such as the Habitat Project that has partially funded and constructed Habitat homes for the past 13 years, and the Empty Bowls Project, held each February, to support and fund local hunger relief efforts. Cooper enables students to become creative thinkers, responsible citizens, and lifetime learners.

Cooper graduates have 100 percent college matriculation and are accepted to top colleges and universities, nationally and internationally. Each year students are named National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists, Commended Scholars and Hispanic Scholars. In recent years, Cooper students have been awarded and accepted prestigious merit scholarships as well as local scholarships. Seniors in the Cooper Class of 2010 were offered over $1 million in merit scholarships and accepted over $250,000 from organizations and academic institutions.


  • Head of School, Michael Maher
  • Assistant Head of School, Head of Upper School, Joseph Broccoli
  • Upper School Dean of Students, Gillian Crane
  • Head of Middle School, Jon Strecker
  • Middle School Dean of Students, Charles Williams
  • Head of Lower School, Shirley Berdecio
  • Assistant Head of Lower School, Teresa Robson
  • Director of Admissions, Craig Meredith
  • Director of College Counseling, Laura Schroeder
  • Registrar, Dr. Anne Meinrath
  • Athletic Director, Mike Cooper
  • Assistant Athletic Director, Scott Holland
  • Director of Development, Troye Skipworth
  • Director of Marketing and Communications, Deb Spiess
  • Director of Technology, Rodney Lisembee
  • Chief Financial Officer, Chris Patterson
  • Director of Facilities, Jimmy Vess

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Booker T. Washington High School
National Academic Championship champion
Succeeded by
Zionsville Community High School