Thursday, December 28, 2006

Monarch Movers & Shapers

Monarch Movers & Shapers

A few words from your M&S Chairman Fox:

Well, as 2006 comes to a close, we can all look back and take great satisfaction in the fact that our Movers and Shapers group has made some wonderful strides in our formation and development! We already have accomplished some very good projects and have a number more planned for the future through our four standing committees.

A special thanks is in order for the extra efforts put forth by John Barone and Marty Webb, whose brainchild our M&S group is! Also thanks to Emily Reiter and to various other Monarch School staff and advisors for their continuing support for the M&S.

Kudos also to our M&S committee facilitators: Miranda Bennett and Kay Kahl of The Educators Committee; Julie Meaux of The Developers Committee; Penny Weiss and Sara Ranger of The Builders Committee; and least, but not least, FNU LNU (that's FBI lingo for "First Name Unknown, Last Name Unknown") of The Heralds Committee, since we still don't have an official facilitator for The Heralds, despite our persistent efforts to cajole Kathy Graham into that position!

Special accolades also go to Mirianda Bennett for setting up our great M&S blog.

And a special thank you to Penny Weiss for hosting our fabulous M&S Christmas party in her lovely home.

And, of course, a final word of praise for all our M&S members, whose contributions thus far are greatly appreciated by everyone, especially the students at The Monarch School. We have the good fortune to have enrolled some enthusiastic new members, who will help develop some significant projects to aid The Monarch School in 2007 and thereafter.

Here are a couple of important future dates for us all:

On Thursday, January 25, 2007, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Monarch School's Learning Center (TLC) an Orientation will be held for any new M&S members who have not yet attended this session. We hope to recruit some new M&S members from our ongoing telephone calls to attendees of the Miracle Makers Morning breakfast last November. An invitation will be sent out after the first of the year to these recruits.

On Thursday, January 25, 2007, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at TLC a regular M&S luncheon meeting for all M&S members will be held, at which we'll have our 4 committee break-out meetings. A separate invitation will be sent to all for this event in another week or two.

Here's wishing you and your families and loved ones a very joyous and prosperous 2007. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

-- Justin Fox, M&S Chairman

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Developers Meeting Minutes - December 7, 2006

Present: Julie Meaux, Justin Fox, Jessica Stoner, Jenny Ferguson, Marion Defalco and Kim Hollard

  • We welcomed 2 new members - Marion Defalco and Kim Hollard
  • Jessica asked for volunteers to contact individuals in the Monarch data base to touch base with them and ask if they would be willing to provide us with an email address so that The Monarch School can stay in touch with them electronically via 2 news letters each year as well as other upcoming events and news
  • Jessica suggested that next year volunteers contact the individuals that attend the breakfast, but do not make a donation, to thank them for attending the breakfast and ask if we can get an email address and add them to the school's data base
  • Marion suggested we contact real estate agencies to educate them about Monarch, provide them with Monarch literature they can share with clients and possibly try to get one of the agencies to host an event with the proceeds going to The Monarch School
  • Kim spoke in length to Jenny regarding the capital campaign and suggested several possible contacts to help with the campaign

Friday, December 08, 2006

High School High Tech

Has anyone ever heard of High School High Tech? It's a Houston-area program that bills itself as "an enrichment program for high school students with disabilities that encourages the exploration of science, engineering, and technology-related careers." I just stumbled across the website, so I don't know much about it, but it looks very interesting.

Educators Committee minutes from 12/7

The Educators were a committee of one yesterday, but I had interesting and productive conversations with John Barone, Neal Sarahan, and Debrah Hall, in which we focused on possible projects for our committee. Since we're small, we'll need lots of help, so please read on and find something you'd be interested in doing!

  • Reading companions for students. Neal clarified that this activity can be scheduled at the convenience of individual volunteers. If you are interested, you will commit to coming to Monarch on a regular basis (can be weekly or less frequently) sometime during school hours (8:30-3:15) to listen to students read aloud. You will work with a given student for about 30 minutes, but you can meet with multiple students during a visit. Penny has done this in the past and says it's great fun! Interested? Please contact me at, and Neal will help you set up a schedule.
  • The "Ultimate Gift" project will involve a major event on February 13. Along with other organizations, Monarch will sponsor special screenings of this film, with an event to follow. Volunteers are needed in various capacities, including planning and organization. Details are being worked out, but let me know if you'd like to be kept informed about this.
  • Recruiting mentors and finding internships. We're hoping to get a better sense of specific areas of interest among Monarch students, so you can volunteer yourself and your friends and families to share relevant expertise. Senior students are in the process of choosing topics for their final projects, and after these are selected, we'll put out a call for mentors to support their work, as well.
  • Volunteers for the Monarch garden at the Houston Zoo. The Builders have been working on this one, too, but a recent donation of materials will enable new developments in this project and opportunities for more workers. Note especially: volunteers may be able to work in the garden on weekends, as well as during the week.
We're also hoping to improve communication between our committee and Monarch teachers and administrators, so that we can find out about upcoming activities in time to call for volunteers. Watch this space!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Monarch Movers & Shapers

Monarch Movers & Shapers
On December 7th, the Movers and Shapers held an Orientation session in which we added three dynamic new members, namely Marion Defalco, Kim Hollard and Malik Mott. Welcome aboard, Marion, Kim and Malik! Immediately after the Orientation we held a regular M&S luncheon meeting and came up with some good ideas. Although we may not have had quantity in the numbers of attendees, we certainly had quality!

Just another reminder of our M&S holiday party this coming Sunday, December 10th, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the home of Penny Weiss, 8411 Burkhart, Houoston, 713-545-8732. Thanks again, Penny, for graciously hosting this grand event!

-- Justin Fox, M&S Chairman

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This Week's Movers and Shapers Events

I just wanted to post a friendly reminder for everyone about this Thursday's Movers and Shapers committee lunch meeting. It will start with a tasty catered lunch at 12:30 and end around 2. Also, don't forget about the Movers and Shapers Christmas Party this coming Sunday at 1 p.m. at the home of Penny and Richard Weiss. If you need directions or have any questions, please feel free to give me a call - 713.933.0568. From what I hear it's shaping up to be a great time so I hope all of you can make it!

A Volunteer Opportunity from Kay Kahl

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunity!
Monarch Movers & ShapersThe Educators Committee is seeking volunteers who are interested and available to partake in Monarch's Challenger Campus holiday celebration on Friday, December 15th from 9am-noon. Volunteers are needed to share information and insight to students about holiday celebrations from different traditions (Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, traditions from countries and cultures around the world). The students will be traveling to different stations during this time, and each presenter will offer knowledge to a small group in a fun, fascinating way such as speaking and showing items specific to their culture (menorahs, Christmas pickles, etc.). Speakers may want to present a brief project, recipe, or share stories. Creativity is welcome! Please e-mail Kay ( as soon as possible if you are interested or know of someone who may be interested in volunteering. Even if you are only available for an hour or 2, we'd love to have you! Thanks!

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