Maureen is very dedicated, passionate and supportive of the arts. This past year, she has spent countless hours preparing for the school’s musical that included a cast and crew of over 130 students and invests 110%of her energy and more. The students and staff look forward to the months of rehearsals and practices needed to put on this incredible event. She enlists the help of her own family. Her husband was co-director this year and her grown up son helped with various technical tasks.
Monsebraaten is well known within the community. Over the years, she has cultivated many lasting connections and relationships to help her present amazing school musicals. She knows exactly who to contact for lighting, sound, filming, make-up, costumes, set designs, dancing, choreography and ticket sales. She is very involved in the creative process and delegate tasks to others according to their expertise. She is in constant communication with her team leaders and makes adjustments as needed. Everything comes together beautifully at the end, and the kids are the stars!
Maureen ensures that all students who are interested in participating in the school’s musical have an important role. She is very inclusive and considers students’ strengths and areas of growth. Students can help backstage, have major/minor acting roles, take part in the chorus/set-design, be greeters, etc. She is very patient and coaches and mentors students into their various roles. Everyone is valued and made to feel important. Everyone that wants to be involved, and everyone that makes a commitment to the project is included. Students get involved and invest so many of their recesses to participate, and they are so energized by the projects that they never mind staying in during their recesses and after school, even on Friday afternoons.
Maureen has been very purposeful in the selection of the various musicals over the years. She once explained to a group of us that she wanted to REALLY encourage the boys to get involved in the arts. She wanted them to be excited about the content, the roles, and characters, hence choosing plays such as Joust, Pirates, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Lion King.
Parents, staff, students, extended family and community members are always astounded by the quality of the performances. Maureen and her team put on fabulous shows! What an incredible experience for our students. It is something that they will never forget. Maureen helps to create precious memories. Former students talk about this all the time when they come and visit the school. It is etched in their minds forever.
Maureen is very deserving of this prestigious award. She has dedicated so much of her personal time and energy for many years by offering students an opportunity to experience the arts first hand. Maureen plans to retire soon. The Elmdale community will miss her greatly.