The Parish School Blog

Experience a Night “Under the Big Top” at The Parish School’s Annual Gala

Written by Amanda Arnold
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The Parish School will host its 26th annual gala, “Under the Big Top,” at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at The Ballroom at Bayou Place. Chaired by Kate and Doug Bacon and Bailey and Simon Haidamous, this annual event raises much-needed funds for the school and financial assistance for families.

During this fun-filled night out, guests may peruse a silent auction, socialize and enjoy cocktails before a seated dinner and program. With exciting circus entertainment, like a magician, acrobats, unicyclist and more, this will be a party like none other.

The auction portion of the event will allow attendees to bid on luxurious vacation packages, sports memorabilia, dining packages and the exclusive opportunity to throw the opening pitch at a Houston Astros game.

This year’s program honors retiring Head of School, Nancy Bewley, with the Golden Oak award. This award is presented in recognition of those who exemplify the values of The Parish School. In her roles as classroom speech-language pathologist, principal and head of school, Nancy has spent the past 20 years devoted to advancing the mission of The Parish School and impacting the lives of hundreds of families. With incredible determination and stamina, she has raised the profile of the school while keeping to the foundational values established by her friends and colleagues, Founder Robbin Parish, and former Head of School Margaret Noecker. During Nancy’s tenure as Head of School, she has guided the school through significant change while immensely increasing the school’s visibility in the community; led two noteworthy reaccreditations; and made significant upgrades to campus security, technology and facilities. She leads with an incredibly positive and encouraging nature that serves the school, students and staff first and foremost, and for that we honor her.   

Past Golden Oak honorees include former Major League Baseball infielder, coach, scout and manager (and Parish grandparent), Art Howe (2017); broadcast journalist and Parish School alumnus, John-Thomas Kobos (2014); Director at Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Dr. Susan H. Landry (2010); Developmental Pediatrician and Professor at Children’s Learning Institute, Dr. Danny Williamson (2007); and Director of The Carruth Foundation, Brady Carruth (2000).

Each year, The Parish School’s gala has grown in attendance and funds raised. The 2017-18 gala, celebrating the school’s 35th birthday hit a record-setting 480 attendees and raised more than $600,000.

Individuals and companies interested in underwriting and sponsorship opportunities may contact or visit In addition, year-long Seeds for Growth sponsorships are available and include great gala benefits. For more information, visit

Under the Big Top Gala Chairs Simon and Bailey Haidamous and Kate and Doug Bacon

Gala Chairs: Simon & Bailey Haidamous and Kate & Doug Bacon


Gala Committee Members

Adonia & Kevin Cokinos • Rachel & Adam Dunn • Jennifer & Luke Johnson • Susan & Brian McConn • Michelle & John Renfro • Susan & Mike Ross • Suzanne & Geoffrey Streit • Emma & James Tramuto • Ofelia & Vuk Vujasinovic