It was an out-of-this-world experience for the approximately 450 guests who attended the “Moondust & Meteors” John Cooper Gala earlier this month at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel. The evening included Big Board and Live Auctions, dinner and dancing, as well as larger-than-life cosmic stiltwalkers and Cooper student aerial artists performing on rings suspended from the ceiling.

2019 “Moondust and Meteors” Gala Committee:  Back Row L to R: Louise Blanchard, Katherine Navarra, Jenny Mayo, Anna Marie Johnson Teague, Lisa Katz, Jenny West, Denise Lipar. Front Row L to R: Erin Hinch, Ally Seder, Karen Shea, Amy Hadra

Thanks to Cooper alum Tony Valderrama, JCS Class of ’07, guests “walked on Mars” using virtual reality technology that Tony helped develop while working at NASA. In addition to taking a photo with an astronaut spacesuit loaned to Cooper straight from NASA, there were also roaming photo booths that captured memories of the festive evening.

Gala Co-Chairs Ally Seder and Karen Shea were thrilled with the enthusiasm and support for this year’s anniversary event. “With your support, we can continue to transform lives through exceptional education,” said Seder. Shea concurred, saying, “It is your generosity that guarantees our continued success.”

Head of School Michael Maher welcomed current families, alumni and alumni families, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of the school before giving a brief overview of the progress and growth of the school during its 30-year history. Although net proceeds are still being determined, Big Board and Live Auctions raised approximately $240,000 for the school.

Established in 1988, The John Cooper School is an independent, college preparatory school for students in Pre-K through Grade 12.

2019 “Moondust and Meteors” Gala: Michael Maher, Head of The John Cooper School, thanked Gala Co-chairs Karen Shea (left) and Ally Seder.


About Janelle Romano

Janelle Romano joined the Interfaith team in 2018. She is originally from the Midwest, but has lived on the East Coast and in Mexico. Janelle relocated to The Woodlands four years ago with her husband and three children and they now consider Texas home. She is a graduate of both Purdue and Southern Methodist University and enjoys spending time traveling with her family and giving back to the community.

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