Baccalaureate, Commencement Set for The John Cooper School Class of 2019

By: Deb Spiess
| Published 05/07/2019

Madeleine Smith, The John Cooper School Class of 2019 Valedictorian

THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Since the first graduating class in 1994, The John Cooper School has held a Baccalaureate ceremony prior to Commencement. The Class of 2019 will hear from Justin Ulmer, Student Pastor with WoodsEdge Community Church, at the 2019 Baccalaureate to be held on May 23 at 7 p.m. in the Glenn Performing Arts Center on campus. Senior Uchechukwu Oguchi will give the invocation.

Head of Upper School Stephen Popp will deliver the opening remarks and Head of School Michael Maher, the closing remarks. This traditional Baccalaureate will also feature the Upper School Choir, under the direction of Rae Moses, singing “I Was Here,” an anthem that proclaims the singer’s desire to do something that will leave a mark on the world.

Friday, May 24

The John Cooper School Commencement

Dunlap Gymnasium • 2:00 PM

Commencement for the 112 members of The John Cooper School Class of 2019 will be held in the Dunlap Gymnasium on campus on Friday, May 24, beginning at 2 p.m. Senior choir members Mohib Jamil, Matthew Krehbiel, Uchechukwu Oguchi, Conor Patterson and Mitchell Shannon will sing the national anthem. Christopher McDonald will give the invocation, Matthew Krehbiel will share his thoughts as class speaker and Erik Burns will present a senior class gift to the school. Madeleine Smith will give the valedictory address prior to the presenting of the diplomas by Head of School Michael Maher and Chairman of the Board of Trustees David Dunlap.

As is tradition at Cooper, the Upper School Choir, under the direction of Rae Moses, will be joined by faculty and alumni to sing An Old Irish Blessing, and the band will provide instrumental music under the direction of Tony Yarbrough. Following Commencement, faculty, administrators and trustees will form a welcome line outside the gymnasium to congratulate each of the 112 members of The John Cooper School Class of 2019. This Cooper tradition symbolizes the transition from high school to college and “from curiosity to wisdom.”

About The 2019 John Cooper School Valedictorian

Madeleine Smith

Madeleine Smith will be designated a Cooper Pioneer when she walks across the stage at Commencement as Valedictorian of the Class of 2019. This distinction is given to students who have attended the independent school every year since Kindergarten.

Smith was one of five Cooper students who were named National Merit Finalists. An avid math and science scholar, Smith plans to study environmental science at Washington University-St. Louis this fall. She is a leader of the school’s new Ecology Club and has been involved in outreach efforts as part of Cooper’s Interact Club and through the Texas Laurels chapter of the National Charity League.

Smith played volleyball and soccer throughout high school and was given a SideOut Ambassador Scholarship for her efforts as co-chair of Cooper’s annual Dig Pink® event that raises funds for breast cancer research through the SideOut Foundation. Smith was also awarded a National Merit Corporate Scholarship and a Woodlands GREEN Scholarship.

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