Monarch School director honored for outstanding work with autism

Monarch School director Debra Mandell reads a book with student Ethan.

Where does Monarch School for Autism director Debra Mandell get her inspiration and motivation?

“From the students,” she says. “They are my greatest source of inspiration and encouragement. I am also overwhelmed by the support I have received from our educational team, who simply never give up.”

Mandell will receive the 2009 Milestones Professional Appreciation Award at Milestones’ 7th annual Autism/Asperger’s conference for parents and professionals on June 15th. The prestigious award recognizes her ability to integrate the multiple needs of Monarch students and their families and to creatively motivate students to foster a sense of self-worth and independence.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Milestones because of its exceptional commitment to help those on the autism spectrum,” says Mandell.

Mandell honed her skills in management and supervision during her nine years as program director of the Child Development Center at Cooper Hospital University Medical Center in New Jersey. Her many years of experience working with special-needs students made her sensitive to the challenges and requirements of Monarch School students, parents and staff.

“Debra’s passion for the urgent need to educate the growing population of autistic children is very real,” says Melanie Wax, a parent of a student at Monarch. “Every community should have someone like Debra Mandell. I’m so glad she’s part of ours.”

WHAT: Milestones Annual Autism/Asperger’s conference

WHEN: Mon., June 15, 7:30 registration, program 8:30-4:45

WHERE: Executive Caterers at Landerhaven

CONTACT: 216-371-4765 or

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