Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Educators Activity

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to work with several Monarch parents and students at the monthly parent education meeting. We focused on finding information online, using familiar tools like Google and Wikipedia but also lesser-known resources available through the Houston Public Library, HISD, and other providers. The students participated enthusiastically in our discussion of internet search engines, social networking programs (like MySpace), and subscription databases. I was very impressed and pleased by their thoughtful contributions to the conversation, and I hope the Educators will have more opportunities like this soon! (Don't you all want to join us now?)

By the way, one of the most interesting things the students mentioned was the Monarch Wikipedia page. I hope they'll work on improving the page and share their expert knowledge of Monarch with the world!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Tisket, a Tasket...

...a Monarch Life Academy basket--on sale!

We are excited to announce our Spring Sale. The Monarch Life Academy students have worked hard to create a huge variety of wonderful baskets and gifts this spring. Please take some time to come by a browse for those gifts on your list.

Posted on behalf of Tessa Sandlin.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pr/Marketing News

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE! SHANNON WOODRUFF is Monarch's new PR/Marketing Team Leader! Shannon's BA is in business administration with a major in marketing. She also holds an MA degree in general business. Shannon loves wearing multiple hats as Monarch's Director of Development, and admits that she "thrives on having lots on my plate". She will take our team to new heights as our school continues to thrive!

Our internal PR/Marketing Team was formed two years ago, as we grew larger and had the need for better coordination of all publicity and marketing. The team members are:

John Barone, Learning Center Director
Linda Caruso, Life Academy
Jenny Ferguson, Capital Campaign Assistant
Debrah Hall, Apprentice Program Director
Kyle Nguyen, Technology Director
Emily Reiter, Learning Center/Summer Program Assistant
Neal Sarahan, Challenger Program Director
Bryant Shaw, Diagnostic Clinic
Jessica Stoner, Events Coordinator
Jennalee Taylor, Admissions Director
Marty Webb, Head of School
Shannon Woodruff, Development Director

Having Shannon as the PR/Marketing Team Leader will also give Movers and Shapers who have projects involving publicity or marketing a "go to" person for help and advice!

Thanks, Shannon! We are SO glad you are on board!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Search by Category and Other Blog News

I'm happy to announce the debut of a new blog feature: categories! As you can see, all posts now include one or more descriptive labels, and a menu on the right side of the page allows you to select a category to view. Please start using labels when you add new posts (you can apply as many labels as you'd like to a post, and you are welcome to create new labels if needed).

Other blog news....

If you have been asked to upgrade your Blogger account to a Google account when logging in, please go ahead and do it. Let me know if this causes any problems.

Upgrading the blog caused the email alert functions to disappear. I put Blogarithm back (at the very bottom of the page), but since Blog Alert wasn't working well, anyway, I'm going to leave it off. IMPORTANT: If you use the email option and are not receiving new posts that way, please use the Blogarithm box to sign up (again).

One cool thing about sorting all the posts into categories is that it makes very clear what exciting things our group has done and is doing!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Builders Minutes - Thursday, March 8, 2007

Builders Minutes: Thursday, March 8, 2007

Present: John Barone, Marty Webb, Penny Weiss, StephanieWheatley

Ideas for the Builders were discussed and planned;

Landscaping – Marty Webb reported that Janet Roberts from Home and Habitat has generously donated her landscaping expertise. She will provide the design and planting for the new campus.

Monarch Scrapbook – It was agreed that compiling a Monarch Scrapbook in readiness for the opening of the new campus, should be started without delay. Retrospective albums as well as current ones will be compiled. The scrapbooks will include photographs and stories from students, staff and parents. Penny Weiss and Stephanie Wheatley will begin working on the current album. Stephanie will contact Monarch parents for their stories. Marty will provide photographs from past years. Marty also suggested the possibility of having a simultaneous, online version of the scrapbook (specifically focusing on the stories.)

Citrus Trees – Marty reported that Richard Klein plans to incorporate citrus trees in the Monarch garden at the new campus. An herb garden is also planned.

Stepping Stones – The idea of each Monarch student making their own stepping stone to be placed in the Monarch garden was discussed. Marty suggested that this project be put on hold until we know how much space is available.

Inscribed Bricks – Marty reported that this project is ‘in the works!’ Donors will have the opportunity to have their name inscribed on a brick that will be featured at the new campus.

Bird Houses/Feeders – The possibility of students designing, building and painting bird houses/feeders during the Monarch Summer Program was discussed. The finished items would be used at the new campus. Marty asked Stephanie to contact Debrah Hall to see if this project could be incorporated into the Summer Program.

School Supplies/Library Books/Teacher Wish-Lists – The importance of compiling a master wish-list for items needed at the new campus was discussed. It was decided that staff would work from the current wish-list posted on the Monarch website and continue adding to it. Marty requested that Penny Weiss remind her to email staff regarding wish-lists. The four Movers and Shapers committee groups will work together to solicit items from the wish-list.

Interior Paint Colors – Marty requested that a Builder’s sub committee be involved in the consultation with architects regarding color choices at the new campus. Marty will inform those involved, when the next meeting with the architects will be held.

Audio-Visual System – John Barone has asked the Builders to help research the best audio-visual system for the new Monarch Learning Center auditorium. Information on projectors, surround sound systems, screens, etc. is required.

Potential Life Academy Project – Stephanie Wheatley suggested a potential LA project. The company, TerraCycle invites organizations to donate empty soda bottles, in order to package their plant food. There are no shipping charges and the company donates 5c per bottle to a charity/non-profit organization of your choice ie. Monarch! Marty suggested that this would be a great business project for a Monarch student next year in addition to involving the whole Monarch community. For more information go to www.terracycle.net/bb

Friday, March 09, 2007

"The Monarch Hour" on KPFT Radio, FM 90.1

On Thursday, April 5th, from 12 noon to 1 p.m., KPFT Radio, FM 90.1, will host its first program entitled "The Monarch Hour." The first program will feature Monarch staff, parents, volunteers and students informing the public about The Monarch School in a unique format.

This radio program, featuring The Monarch School, was facilitated through the superb initiative of our very own Marion Defalco, Movers and Shapers Facilitator of The Heralds Committee. Thanks so much, Marion! Please stay tuned for more information!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Congratulations to Justin Fox,
Chairman of the Monarch Movers & Shapers!

Justin was recently chosen to be one of 9 people out of many nominated to receive the 2007 Mayor’s Volunteer Houston Award! Now everyone in the city will know what we’ve known all along: Justin Fox has gone above and beyond in his support of the Monarch School since day one! City of Houston Mayor Bill White will personally present the award to Justin during a ceremony at the Houston Intercontinental Hotel.

This is the second time a Monarch volunteer has won this award. Justin shares the honor with another great Mover and Shaper, Ms. Penny Weiss, who received this award in 2005! Hooray!

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