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A Home of Our Own

After months of eager preparation (click here to see the flyer that Apprentice student Andrew designed for the event), The Monarch School’s new campus was joyfully dedicated on November 10, 2009, a day marked by a brilliant blue sky, a crowd of over 400 enthusiastic parents, students, friends and supporters and enough energy to light up all of Houston! Visit our website to read more about this exciting day!

To view or purchase pictures from the dedication, visit Genesis Photographers and use the password, “monarch”.


The Monarch School’s Special Friend: John M. O’Quinn

by Ellen Cokinos

When Monarch Head of School Marty Webb asked me to write an article for this newsletter about a special friend to the school, John O’Quinn, I was not sure I could translate my deep sadness over his death into words that could do him justice. Here is my humble attempt.

I had the privilege of knowing John as a close friend and confidante for almost two decades. The John I knew was a mighty advocate for those who had been wronged, misjudged, destroyed by big systems, diseases, corporations and a myriad of other seriously unfair situations. And he was, according to many in the legal profession, the very best at his craft. What people are only beginning to discover is that John had sensitive qualities he shared with few people; a desire to share his incredible advocacy and wealth with causes that were not popular; to support organizations that were not yet major Houston institutions; to believe in people and places that were led by entrepreneurs who had smart ideas but lacked funding. These people cried out for a hero and John was a kingmaker to those of us who were different than the mainstream. He loved the movie, “Shane,” and in certain instances, he brought this character to life for so many.

Monarch School was one of those programs that needed John’s heroism and he immediately answered our call to action. His gift of $300,000 to the Monarch School Capital Campaign was part of the response to the challenge grant by MD Matthews Foundation in 2007 that served as the catalyst to begin construction. Without John’s help, Monarch would have had a more difficult time raising the necessary funds to meet this challenge. Perhaps the bigger story here was that a man with no children gave his life’s fortune to society’s literal castaways; the abused, the forlorn, the uneducated, the neglected, the misunderstood. John’s spirit will live on through his life’s work and Houston will be a better place because he was here, if only for a short while.

He is missed.

Give a Gift That Will Honor Someone for a Lifetime

Monarchs in Space!

On November 16, 2009, The Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off with some unusual passengers: three Monarch caterpillars supplied by Monarch Watch. The developing Monarchs have been placed in an incubator onboard International Space Station (ISS), where they are being monitored and the effects of weightlessness studied.

The Monarch School is partnering with NASA in this experiment, and the students in the Math/Science pods are caring for and hatching Monarchs here on earth, tracking the progress of the experiment in the space station, and doing comparative study. Monarch Watch sent us a special Monarch caterpillar kit containing six caterpillars and artificial diet to feed them, as well as instructions for creating a simple rearing chamber that will approximate the conditions of the chamber that was transported to the ISS. Visit our website to continue reading this story.

Miracles Happened!

November 5th was a red-letter day for The Monarch School. Over 860 individuals attended our 8th annual Miracle Makers Morning Breakfast, making this event the largest to date for the school!
Visit our website to read more about the miracles of that morning!

Congratulations and Farewell to Patrick Daniel

Monarch has been privileged to enjoy the services of Patrick Daniel, law fellow, who has been with us since the beginning of the year. Patrick came to us via the University of Houston Law School Public Interests Fellowships program, and has been providing us with legal research and other services.

We now bid Patrick farewell, and offer congratulations on his passing the Texas Bar Examination! We will miss you, and best of luck in your legal career!

Turning Play Into Therapy

BounceU is known for being a fun place to be a kid! It is no exception with our Novice and Apprentice students. Our students travel to the Westheimer location weekly/bi-weekly to utilize the gymnasium and equipment for an hour session. The owners of Houston West BounceU generously provide use of the facility at no charge.

This relationship was developed several years ago and continues to grow. The effect these sessions have on our kids is terrific. Dr. Debrah Hall, program director for the Novice-Apprentice level, sees the students gaining body awareness through intensive movement. Many thanks to the owners of Houston West BounceU for their commitment to the health of our young students!

Visit our website to for more on this story and other Apprentice Level news.

No Place for Hate

Several Monarch students experienced an inspiring day at the “No Place for Hate” summit which was held at the Westchester Academy in Spring Branch. The students were among hundreds from various districts in the area who participated in this event. The summit was a one day workshop for students and educators designed to help them recognize bullying on their campuses and develop the skills and strategies to confront this issue.

Visit our website for more on this event.

Worth a Thousand Words

Special thanks to professional photographer Karen Beyer, for visiting Monarch and teaching our Challengers and faculty how to take better photographs!

Ms. Beyer enjoyed her visit so much that she asked to come back to Monarch in the spring to teach us more!

Visit our website to watch a slide show of Ms. Beyer’s visit.

Women’s Energy Network Trip

Carolyn, Elizabeth, and I attended the 6th Annual Young Women Energized Program. The Women’s Energy Network (WEN) is a mentoring event designed for high school girls to teach them about careers open to them in the energy industry and network. Industry professionals from a variety of companies attend WEN to host the event. Click here to read the full story.

The Monarch School Joins ENERGY STAR®!

Since we began in 1997, The Monarch School has always been committed to being good stewards of the environment. We recently furthered that commitment by becoming partners with ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, which helps us all to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. We look forward to utilizing the tools of ENERGY STAR to make our already good energy management even better!

Monarch Holiday Sale

To share the good news about Monarch with friends and family, click here!
Address postal inquiries to:
The Monarch School
2815 Rosefield Dr.
Houston, TX 77080