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Year in review 2018: Private schools in The Woodlands keep busy

December 20, 2018

Though they may be small, many private schools in The Woodlands had big years in 2018. With new principals, anniversaries, and record enrollment or graduating classes, some administrators took a look back at the highlights of this year.

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School

The Kindergarten-eighth grade school had an exciting year as a new principal, Veronica Tucker, was tabbed. Tucker said she is grateful to be at a supportive and joy-filled school.

While the school took time to celebrate special events, such as an International Day to recognize the different countries represented in their community, they also worked hard.

Collectively, the school’s students, staff and families completed almost 81,000 hours of recorded works of mercy, prayer and service in the 2017-18 school year. They had a strong year in athletics as well.

Earlier this year, 48 eighth graders graduated who went off to nine different high schools in the area.

Next year, Tucker said the administrators hope to focus on adding an enrichment program and expanding the music program.

The Woodlands Christian Academy

This year marked 25 years for The Woodlands Christian Academy. The school had record enrollment with 655 students and graduated their largest class of 50 students this year.

Head of School Julie Ambler said their highlights of the year included four different recognitions: being named as a member of the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability, being named an Apple Distinguished school for the third time, receiving accreditation by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and finally being certified as a Best Christian Workplace.

Perhaps the school’s biggest undertaking this year was the completion of a $9 million capital campaign and the start of construction on a new three-story high school building that will be 66,000 square feet when completed mid-2019.

It is to contain classrooms, collaborative technology and arts space and office space.

In 2019, Ambler said the school is looking forward to opening the new building and eliminating three portable buildings on campus; as well as continuing their mission of equipping students spiritually, academically, physically and socially.

The John Cooper School

This year signified an anniversary for The John Cooper School, too. They celebrated 30 years in 2018.

While they opened campus in 1988 with under 200 students in PreK-seventh grades, they’re now at more than 1,200 students in grades Pre-K through 12th grade — which sets their record for enrollment.

Head of School Mike Maher said they have celebrated the anniversary at events the entire year.

Earlier this year, officials opened a new lower school library with high ceilings and natural light, turning the old space into administrative offices. They also grew their faculty to maintain their eleven-to-one student-to-teacher ratio.

Next year, Maher said while officials don’t have any major building projects lined up, they do have a conceptual master plan for a new visual arts facility and expanded gymnasium. He added that while everyone is working to forward the growth of the school, he believes the school’s best years are ahead.

Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy

The Pre-K through 12th grade academy graduated their largest class to date in 2018, sending 36 students off to their next adventures.

Major successes of the year included wins for several varsity Legacy teams: the football team was the state runner-up, the girls’ basketball team made it to the state final four, the track team received several state championships and the baseball team made the bi-district playoffs.

In looking forward to 2019, the academy is anticipating a new classroom and building addition as well as growing their science, technology, engineering and math programs.

jane.stueckemann@chron.com

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