Endowment fulfills legacy of longtime Monarch School board member

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Gail Vanhoy Carolan, left, and Diane Bessey, MSNE Executive Director (Monarch School of New England photo)

ROCHESTER - The Monarch School of New England announced earlier this week the establishment of the James P. Carolan Endowment Fund, the first of its kind for the organization.

James (Jim) Carolan served for more than 10 years on the Monarch School of New England's Board of Directors, and for many of those years as president. Carolan passed away in 2017, shortly after the opening of the school's high school/vocational center campus. His leadership and guidance were instrumental in establishing those facilities, which allowed the school to expand its enrollment and services.

Carolan was a mentor to the Monarch School of New England's Executive Director, Diane Bessey, who said, "Jim strongly believed that an endowment was essential to ensuring the school will always be there to support the students who need the type of education that only Monarch can provide.

"I'm so proud that we were able to create this fund before my retirement, and to name it in Jim's memory." Bessey has announced she will retire June 30, after 25 years with the Monarch School of New England.

A recent gift to the school from Gail Vanhoy Carolan, Jim's widow, continues his dedication to helping students with special needs to reach their greatest potential.

"Jim often said his time with Monarch was the most meaningful work of his career, she said. "He was inspired by each student's individuality and the opportunity to realize, in a holistic way, their greatest potential. Helping the school build a sustainable model, and supporting Diane and her staff in their vision was a labor of love. Jim would be so enormously proud of all that they have accomplished and aspire to."

About the Monarch School of New England

The Monarch School of New England is a nonprofit day school for students 5-22 years of age with significant disabilities. The school supports students with special needs to reach their greatest potential, through a comprehensive approach which integrates both education and therapy, ensuring successful transitions to school and the community. To learn more, visit:

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