Friday, December 12, 2008

M&S Meeting Minutes

Monarch Movers & Shapers Core TeamMeeting Minutes: December 4, 2008, 12:30 p.m.
The Monarch Learning CenterCore Team/Faculty Members: Present: Justin Fox, Marion Defalco, Stephanie Wheatley, John Hardesty, Kandace Shyer, Julie Meaux, Marty Webb, John Barone, Shannon Woodruff, and Neal Sarahan.Proceedings:The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by Chairman Fox. Lunch was enjoyed by all.
The current projects lists and agendas were distributed.

Opening greetings by Chairman Fox
· Chairman Fox noted that Carrie Logan will be the official keeper of the Core Team meeting minutes, starting with our next meeting on Feb. 5, 2009.
· Madelyn Browder has changed her M&S status from the Core Team to an auxiliary member.
· Scharlene Fox one month ago began teaching beading and jewelry to students of the Life Academy on a weekly basis; both teacher and students are enjoying this activity.
· The M&S shirts now are being ordered online by any M&S member who wishes to purchase one by going to The online directions are self-explanatory, but the payments should be made directly to Monarch via Tessa Sandlin, rather than to the online company.
· Chairman Fox urged M&S members to continue to recruit additional members to our group, as well as to think of new ways to get the word out regarding The Monarch School and new projects to help it out.
· Chairman Fox then yielded the floor to John Hardesty, who announced the following two upcoming exciting activities in which he is involved: (1) Jan. 23, 2009 concert of “John Hardesty and Friends” at the Unity Church in Houston from 8 to 9:30 p.m.; (2) music therapy/instruction with a Monarch student who has expressed a desire to sing a song at the dedication of the new campus.
· Remarks by John Barone, Director of CommunicationsA Place for All is still selling well. M&S members are encouraged to sell and promote the book whenever and wherever possible by distributing flyers where appropriate, such as to churches and religious schools. Toward this end, Marion Defalco has agreed to coordinate a strategic plan to accomplish this mission. (Marion detailed this mission later in the meeting, as is noted supra in these minutes.)
· John advised that he stands ready to individually assist M&S members in setting up a Monarch homepage on their PCs, in which he instructed us at the last M&S Core Team meeting.
· The Monarch Hour will be broadcast on KPFT 90.1 FM Radio on Dec. 8th, featuring Monarch building advisors and students discussing the topic “The Monarch School Goes Green.” On Dec. 11th Monarch students will go on a green field trip, including a stop at the A.I.A. exhibit, “Greenworks,” where the Monarch’s new campus design, including student work detailing some of the green features, is displayed.
· Jennalee Wolf, Director of Admissions, has requested Movers and Shapers members to become part of a newly-formed “Monarch Representatives Team.” After receiving formal training in Jan. 2009, at least one or more M&S team members will accompany her and/or John Barone, Neal Sarahan and Shannon Woodruff or other faculty members to various events to represent and advocate for The Monarch School. These events will include expos, exhibit halls, open houses, and conferences for organizations dealing with neurological differences. Please let John and Jennalee know as soon as possible if you wish to become part of this exciting new team!

· Remarks by Shannon Woodruff, Director of DevelopmentThe Westin Miracle Makers Morning fundraising breakfast held on Oct. 16, 2008 raised $153,000, which was over the budgeted goal, with over 700 people in attendance!
· The Fort Bend breakfast held on Nov. 13, 2008 at Sweetwater Country Club raised $36,000 and was attended by over 200 persons, which was quite an accomplishment for its second year!
· The Monarch Development Office is requesting M&S members to volunteer to assist with the updating of approximately 1,000 obsolete email addresses in the Monarch data base. It is essential to have current email addresses, particularly for the receipt of the monthly Monarch enewsletter. Shannon will provide a script for volunteers to telephone those persons with obsolete email addresses to update them, as well as to obtain new email addresses from some persons who have not provided them yet to Monarch.

Remarks by Dr. Marty Webb, Head of School
· The new campus construction is making excellent progress, as evidenced by the steel framing and roofline of the Chrysalis Building now visible. Drywall and roof work is now taking place. The building is scheduled to be completed by June 2009, in time for the Monarch summer school students. Its formal dedication is expected to occur in Aug. 2009. A “fade-in” sequence of the building’s construction will continued to be featured in the monthly e-newsletter from time to time.
· The Monarch personalized bricks and pavers campaign recently was launched and donations are starting to arrive. The campaign was launched both electronically (for those friends of the school for whom we have email addresses) and by mail (for those friends for whom we do not yet have email addresses). At the suggestion of Stephanie Wheatley during our meeting, it was agreed that at the Monarch Holiday Gift Sale on Dec. 9th a special table will be set up to solicit donors for the bricks and pavers program.

· Remarks by other Monarch staff membersDr. Neal Sarahan, Program Director of the Challenger campus, advised that Challenger’s first semester classes will finish in 12 days and everything is going very well. In fact, one Challenger student just has been recognized as a National Merit scholar!
· The Life Academy sold over $700 worth of jewelry items the students made at Unity Church’s Arts and Crafts Festival on Nov. 16. (Our participation was sponsored by Dick Bartell, executive board member originally recruited by Mover and Shaper Marion DeFalco.) The Life Academy also will host a Holiday Gift Sale open to the public at Monarch on Dec. 9.
Builders Committee update by Stephanie Wheatley
· Stephanie, Justin and Scharlene worked on November 9th on weeding and pruning at the Houston Zoo’s Discovery Garden. More maintenance is needed in early 2009.
· Work on the school scrapbooks continue, with Kandace helping. Marty noted that the dedication will not be held immediately after we move in late May. A dedication date has not been chosen at this time.
· Parents are providing faculty lunches the first Monday of each month until May 2009, with the most recent lunch provided on Dec. 1st.
Heralds Committee update by Marion Defalco.
· Marion first extended her compliments to the Monarch staff for its very professional and informative monthly Monarch e-newsletters.
· Marion has accepted an invitation from John Barone to head the promotion of the Monarch book, A Place for All. She envisions her role in accomplishing this on three levels: (1) local; (2) families and friends; (3) national and international. Marion asked for, and received, volunteers among the M&S Core Team to be responsible for specific geographic areas in the greater Houston area to promote A Place for All. Along these lines, she passed out informational packets to help advertise the book. Marion already has recruited Monica and Anne Proano to work the Hwy. 1960 area of northwest Houston.
· Marion also has been recruited to help the school get connected with celebrities to get the word out about The Monarch School. For example, she recently researched a website called “Make the Difference Network” found at This site was founded in May 2008 by actress Jennifer Biel as a link for nonprofit fundraising with individuals and businesses looking to help. Marion already has signed up as an individual and ultimately hopes to benefit The Monarch School through her expected connections with other individuals online, including celebrities. She noted, for instance, that Justin Timberlake reportedly is involved with “green projects,” just as Monarch is with its LED certified new campus.
· John Barone then applauded Marion’s current efforts at getting connected with celebrities for the benefit of Monarch. John noted a recent successful effort at getting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to answer in writing 6 questions posed to him by Monarch students, which will appear in next month’s Monarch enewsletter.

Educators Committee update by Justin Fox
· Miranda Bennett has returned to work at the University of Houston, as she transitions into motherhood and her return to a more active role with our M&S group next year.
· John Hardesty’s volunteer role as a music therapist with a Monarch student is imminent, as previously noted.
Developers Committee update by Justin Fox
· In the committee’s primary role to promote both friend raising and fund raising, Justin has recruited a new M&S member who will be attending a Tuesday tour soon.
· Furthermore, an underwriter has been found who soon will donate $10,000 to help pay the cost of the audio-visual and technology of the Chrysalis Building on the new Monarch campus.Meeting Adjourned at 1:30 p.m..
The schedule for the remaining M&S Core Team meetings for the 2008-09 school year will be on Feb. 5, April 2, and May 7, 2009, all on Thursdays, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., at The Monarch Learning Center.

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