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Expanding Battle Creek Montcalm Graduation Founder’s Day Speaker Wes Moore




Re s i d e n t i a l

Co m m u n i t y - b a s e d

Pr o f e s s i o n a l



Tr a i n i n g s

Starr News Contents 3

President’s Message


Battle Creek Expansion



MyPlace Celebration


Chaplain’s Message


Detroit SuperStarrs


New Trustee

10 Montcalm Graduation

Montcalm Graduation See Page 10

New Addition See Page 4


11 Reaching Out/Thank You 12 Founder’s Day Speaker 13 Welcome Aboard 15 Commonwealthalia 16 Featured Friend 17 Honor/Memorial Gifts 18 TLC Trainings 19 Spotlight on Tom Tate

Mission: Create positive environments where children flourish.

Starr News

Summer, 2011 Volume 68, No. 2

Starr Commonwealth is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families & Children. Starr Commonwealth is a non-profit organization serving children and families regardless of race, religion, color, or national origin. Founded in 1913, Starr is licensed by the states of Michigan and Ohio and serves children and families from locations in Albion, Battle Creek, Detroit, MI.; Van Wert, and Columbus, OH. The Albion campus is a Michigan Historic Site. Starr Commonwealth receives funds from social agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. Kyle Caldwell, Chairman of the Board; Martin L. Mitchell, Ed. D., President and Chief Executive Officer; Wm. Chuck Jackson, MA, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer; Christopher L. Smith, B.B.A., C.P.A., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Gary Q. Tester, MRC, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer; Elizabeth A. Carey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Administrative Services Officer. 13725 Starr Commonwealth Rd. Albion, MI 49224-9525 517.629.5591 Editorial Staff: Dana Jacob, Communications Director; Becky Domingo, Marketing Coordinator


ooking over this issue of Starr News, it occurred to me that Starr

Martin L. Mitchell, Ed.D. President/ CEO

Commonwealth once again has so much to celebrate as an organization. As we approach nearly 100 years of service to at-risk children and families, we also are able to celebrate so many new accomplishments.

There are many new faces, projects, goals, and initiatives taking place at Starr, keeping us true to mission but reminding us that we are actually 100 years young. For Starr, this means embracing transformational change as we continue to uphold the vision and values that founder Floyd Starr passionately charted for this organization. We will never forget our history and the hundreds of thousands of at-risk youth and vulnerable families we have served to date. It is from those experiences that we are able to rejuvenate the organization and remind our Board, Staff, and Donors that the potential impact in the next 100 years is equally important, if not critical. Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you please join me in welcoming the new faces you will find among these pages? I also hope that you will take time to learn about how Starr is expanding its footprint in Battle Creek. These are just some of the ways in which Starr is committed to being â&#x20AC;&#x153;Forever Young.â&#x20AC;? Through our strategic plan, we also have outlined other growth areas and opportunities for the organization and will excitedly share those with you in the future. During a time when so many are being impacted by the weakened economy, we are blessed and fortunate to have such strong support from you. Thank you for believing in us since 1913.

Martin L. Mitchell, Ed.D., President/ CEO

Starr News


Renovations and expansion of the Starr Battle Creek site are nearing completion, much to the delight of the staff and students who have witnessed the original building rapidly outgrow its capacity. Through the assistance of the federal government and local, major funders, Starr Commonwealth will proudly unveil its newly remodeled and expanded Battle Creek site later this fall. An open house is tentatively scheduled for mid-October. Due to increased demand for services and the acquisition of other programs during the past three years, Starr Battle Creek realized the need to expand its facilities near downtown Battle Creek on Garfield Road to accommodate the clinical staff necessary to treat the growing number of children and families in Starr’s care. For example, the number of youth in Starr’s Intensive In-home Mental Health program tripled in three years, resulting in the need for additional clinical staff and office space. And, with the acquisition of The Advocates programs – Suspension Center, Juvenile Diversion Program, and Credit Recovery & Enhancement – Starr also found itself split between two buildings. These programs currently are operated from CHANGING the St. Philip Tiger Room, a space loaned to the organization by a nearby church LIVES until Starr’s expansion is complete.


Starr News

“We’ve had a long history of serving youth and families in Calhoun County, and in the past few years we’ve quickly outgrown the building,” said Sabrina Corbin, Executive Director of Starr Battle Creek. “I speak for everyone – the staff and families we serve – when I say we will all be so relieved when the building is finished this fall.”

Since 1997, Starr Commonwealth has been part of the local landscape of Cereal City – the affectionate name given to Battle Creek, Michigan because Kellogg Company headquarters are stationed there. After acquiring the building from the Battle Creek Child Guidance Center, Starr began to operate homeand community-based programs and services to at-risk Calhoun County youth and families. Locally, the same strength-based practices that have been trusted since Starr’s founding in 1913 have been in practice in Battle Creek to recognize the self-worth and value in children struggling with behavioral, emotional, and educational challenges. In addition to the former Advocates programs and Intensive In-home Mental Health, Starr Battle Creek also provides Foster Care, Supervised Independent Living and Day Treatment services. In October 2010, Starr received a grant in the amount of $876,600 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Economic Development Initiative funds) to help renovate Starr Battle Creek. Under the management of Schweitzer Inc., the groundbreaking took place last fall for renovations including a 3,500 square-feet, two-story addition housing four classrooms and four staff offices. This additional space will help Starr expand its community-based day programs – Day Treatment, Sensory Integration Room Suspension Center, Credit Recovery and Enhancement, and Juvenile Diversion – to offer a much-needed option for school- and parent-referred youth. Other grants have also been secured to provide computers, teaching technology and classroom furnishings for the new renovations. These funders include the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Frederick S. Upton Foundation, The Miller Foundation and The Guido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation. “We are so incredibly fortunate to have a community who cares enough to support early intervention and preventative services for at-risk youth,” Corbin said. “With our expanded facility, we look forward to continuing to live out Starr’s mission of creating positive environments where children flourish.” For more information about Starr Battle Creek’s community-based programs and how you can support its growth, call 269.968.9287.

Starr News


The youth and staff of Starr Columbus’ MyPlace Independent Living program celebrated milestones and accomplishments, both academic and personal, achieved by eight MyPlace youth on June 30, 2011. Shameikia Smith, Senior Independent Living Counselor, said the celebration was about recognizing the various goals the youth had established as they entered the program. “Each youth came to MyPlace with a different set of circumstances,” Smith said. “When it came to their educational and personal goals, we celebrated how they overcame obstacles and pursued those goals.” MyPlace students Zach and Marcus celebrated obtaining their GEDs. Zach met his goal of obtaining his as soon as possible once in placement, completing it in less than three months. Marcus looks forward to starting college in August and attending Central State University where he aspires to play collegiate football.

MyPlace Celebration

Students Asa, Mitch, and Aislyn obtained their GEDs prior to their placement at MyPlace; however, they were included in the celebration as Smith felt it important to recognize them for their educational achievements.


“We strive to ensure that there is a sense of normalcy for all of our residents and even though they did not receive their GEDs while in placement, they had not been recognized formally for receiving them until our MyPlace Student Celebration,” Smith said. Antoine celebrated his high school graduation, which took place prior to his placement at MyPlace. His admission was deferred in order to allow Antoine to graduate without interruption to his education. Therefore, his graduation was formally recognized and celebrated with the MyPlace residents and staff. Damian was recognized for completing his first year of college at Columbus State Community College. He is leaving MyPlace in August to attend Lincoln College where he plans to pursue his passion of performing arts, specifically dance. Tyra was recognized as most improved resident. “Tyra entered into MyPlace after being a ‘Missing Child’ for almost a year,” Smith said. “She returned and requested assistance as she pursued her personal goals. She demonstrated her ability to ‘bounce back’ even when life sometimes is not so nice, all while improving her outlook and attitude tremendously.” Smith proudly states, “Tyra is now enrolled at Columbus State Community College where she is pursuing her GED!” As a token of congratulations, each youth received a personalized blanket with their name and the year embroidered, signifying them as members of the “MyPlace Class of 2011.” With many thanks to Bob Evans and all those who attended, the MyPlace Student Celebration was truly a special day for our students.


Starr News

C haplainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s M essage As a child I was always fascinated with marching bands. In particular, I was fascinated with the Drum Major, who often was the most gifted and talented musician in the band. Our local High School band would, at times, march through the streets of my neighborhood. My brothers and our friends would all run out to the street jumping up and down and cheering as the band marched by. The atmosphere was electric! It was one moment when people in our black, working class neighborhood could let go of the day-to-day challenges we faced, and just enjoy being who we were. To me, the Drum Major was glorious with his or her crisp uniform, large hat, and sense of control of the situation. The Drum Major would march out ahead of the band, high stepping, head held back, large baton moving through the air, whistle blowing as they led the band through the streets. All of the attention seemed to be on the Drum Major as they put the band through their routine, making sure band members were where they were supposed to be, and conducting the band, so that the air was filled with joyous and magnificent sound. The spotlight always seemed to be on the Drum Major.

Dr. King emphasized that the person who is greatest among you will be your servant. This goes against what our society deems to be a great person.

A number of years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a sermon in which he encouraged people to become a Drum Major for the Lord. However, he did what Jesus would often do in his teachings, he flipped the script. The truly great Drum Major was not the one leading the band with the attention and spotlight on them; they were the one in the back, out of the spotlight drawing very little attention to themselves. The truly great Drum Major was the one who used their gifts and talents to serve others,

to encourage others, to unconditionally accept, care about and love others, even to make sacrifices on behalf of others. They made sure that the attention was not on them, but on their fellow brothers and sisters. What Dr. King was challenging people to do, challenging each of us to do, was to deepen our understanding of the Gospel message, a message which highlights love. Love for God with our entire being, translating into a love for our neighbors, which equals our love for ourselves. If you want to be important, wonderful! If you want to be recognized, wonderful! If you want to be great, wonderful! However, recognize this: the person who is greatest among you shall be your servant. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what true greatness is! Dr. King flipped the script, encouraging a way of being and thinking which, in so many ways, goes against what our society deems to be a great person. As young people become involved with the many quality programs of Starr Commonwealth, I pray that as people who carry out the work of Starr, we are able to help them flip the scripts that they bring with them into our programs. In doing so, perhaps, they will become truly great in the living of their lives as they help others and themselves.

Starr News


Working at a nonprofit human services organization, such as Starr Commonwealth, comes with an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment for the impact made on children and families as a direct result of your work. Not only do Dawn Stewart, Executive Director of Starr Detroit, and Ashley Gray, Program Supervisor at Starr Detroit, share a passion for Starr’s clients, they also share a pastime that provides them an outlet from the day’s stressors – motorcycles. Stewart has been working at Starr since 1997 and in the field of social work since 1994. With a bachelor’s in social science and master’s in counseling, both from Michigan State University, Stewart is well equipped to oversee Detroit’s community-based programming. “The most enjoyable aspect of my job is the opportunity to see things from a global perspective, as well as my daily interaction with staff and students,” Stewart said. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, Gray has worked in the field for seven years, and has been with Starr since 2006. As Program Supervisor for community-based programs, including Substance Abuse and New Boundaries (a reintegration program), Gray enjoys her interaction with the youth. “Bringing ideas of new programs for Detroit is exciting for me. I helped the Detroit site launch a mentor program for clients and life skills for those in the substance abuse program,” Gray said. The long hours and sometimes emotional work that Stewart and Gray put in can take a toll on the body, mind, and spirit. As Caelan Kuban, Director of Starr Institute for Training’s National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) said, “The joy and heart-warming feelings of this work make it easy to ignore

Social workers find self-care on two wheels


Starr News

the impact that challenging work has on you physically and emotionally.” Kuban recommends practicing “self-care” by engaging in activities or practices to relax, have fun, regulate emotions and de-stress. Stewart and Gray often practice self-care on the road together. “Riding helps me de-stress as it allows me to completely focus on the ride and my surroundings. I don’t think about work, school or anything else, except the ride,” said Stewart, who started riding her 2006 Harley Davidson Deuce two years ago. Gray, who has been riding for three years, owns a Suzuki GSX-R600 Sport Bike. “Riding can be dangerous, but it is very relaxing,” she said. “I just put my headphones on and ride. Usually I ride with Dawn and we don’t necessarily have a destination in mind. We go to bike nights, it’s nice to wind down – we usually ride for a couple hours.” When youth of Starr Detroit find out that Stewart and Gray ride, they are very skeptical. “Kids don’t believe it, they ask to see pictures because they just don’t see women riding,” Gray said. For Stewart, the kids are “usually shocked because I guess they feel I’m too conservative to be a ‘biker chick,’ but both boys and girls think it’s totally cool,” she said. Although Stewart grew up around bikes and many in her family rode, she was still reluctant to tell her mother about her hobby. “I just had the nerve to tell my mother… she didn’t hit the roof like I thought she would,” shared Stewart. For more information about programs offered through Starr Detroit, please visit or call 313.794.4447. The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) is a program of the Starr Institute for Training. Visit for more information on trainings, webinars and certifications.

Corny Romanowski new trustee Under the leadership of Chairman Kyle Caldwell, the Starr Commonwealth Board of Trustees elected a new board member during its annual meeting in July. Cornelia (Corny) Conyngham Romanowski of Shavertown, Pennsylvania will serve on the Development Committee. Romanowski graduated from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in education and has worked as a preschool and substitute teacher. She currently serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre, on the board of the Home for Homeless Women, and is a volunteer of Wyoming Valley Meals on Wheels. As a member of Stephens Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, she serves as a lay worship assistant. She is a former member of the Women’s Auxiliary at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. With her own son currently attending Montcalm School for Boys and Girls, Corny is very familiar with the therapeutic benefits and outcomes of Starr Commonwealth’s programs. She frequently visits campus for special events and is an avid supporter of the work we do for youth and families. We warmly welcome Corny to the Board of Trustees and look forward to her enthusiasm and perspective.

Starr News


Montcalm School graduates 13 students The point I want to make to you is this – you are a child of God, created by God, loved by God, endowed by God with every gift and talent which you will need in order to be a successful person in life, so act like it! Claim it! Believe it! And make it yours!” ~Chaplain Ponds

On June 18, 2011 Starr Commonwealth and Montcalm School for Boys and Girls marked a special occasion with the commencement ceremony of 13 Montcalm students. Among those 13 graduates were six girls, signifying the first girls to partake in Montcalm’s Commencement ceremony since relocating the girls school to Albion, Michigan.

The ceremony was marked with a great deal of joy, pride and accomplishment. Chaplain Ken Ponds gave an inspirational speech to the graduating students, encouraging each student to learn to live each day fully, decide what type of world you want to live in, be a “life-long” learner, enjoy life, and establish an eternal legacy. Ponds said, “Graduates, you are children of God. Live your lives in such a way that all of creation will rejoice that you were here!” Mr. Jeff Cornhill and the All Starr Travel Choir, consisting of graduates Mariah and Allison, performed a sensational rendition of “Leavin’” for the 2011 graduating class and those in attendance. Mrs. Kelley Jones, Director of Montcalm School, encouraged the graduates to remember what they learned at Montcalm as a foundation for their future success.

Back row: Allison, Angelika, Mariah, Linda, Stephanie and Sarah; Front row: Tyler, Masakazu, Thomas, Cameron, Patrick and William; Not pictured: Grant

“As you turn your tassels as a sign of commencement, remember all that you have learned throughout your years,” Jones said. “Every decision, life choice and action has shaped you into the graduate looking back at you in the mirror today. Now is the time for you to start fresh and begin a new exciting chapter in your life. Take hold of everything that you have learned and create new memories, forge new relationships, and enter into adulthood feeling confident in yourself, knowing that you have all of the tools to succeed!”


Starr News


Some of the graduates remain on campus today as youth in the Structured Transitional Living (STL) program for young adults. This allows them to live semi-independently to gain important life skills while also attending the nearby community college for credit. Other graduates will embark upon new educational endeavors this fall as they attend colleges and universities around the country. We congratulate the Montcalm School Class of 2011, and wish each graduate a very bright future. “To me this day means the beginning of my bright new future. I never thought I’d be here now!” ~ Mariah “My future goal is to go to school for Fire Science and become a fire fighter. The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.” ~ William “This day means that I actually did the work myself with the encouragement of teachers and parents. I’m ready for more timely, intense and very doable tasks.” ~ Thomas “I will be attending Eastern Kentucky University this fall and will begin studying Nursing. I will graduate and become a registered nurse at a hospital.” ~ Linda “While my future will open a new world for me to learn about, I look forward to being able to grow with the flow of life.” ~ Allison For more information on Montcalm School, a therapeutic private residential program of Starr Commonwealth, visit or call 866.244.4321.

Reaching out I will write a more formal letter later, but wanted to say I am thankful for your facility and the impact it had on my life as a small boy. I was not perfect then, am not now, but am a much better man because of experiences and people such as those I had in my youth with your organization. It was and remains a positive memory for me. I was at your facility for a very short time, but it had a tremendous impact on an abused, angry young boy at a crucial point in his life, and I will be forever grateful for that. Sincerely, W.T.Pierce Starr Commonwealth is quite fortunate to receive so many wonderful notes of appreciation and messages from youth who once received our services. Through traditional mail, e-mail, and social media, we often hear from successful adults who were once troubled youth. Many of them simply write to stay, ‘thank you’ and some wish to find ways they can give back. Alumni are encouraged to register in the Alumni Directory by visiting and share their memories with us!

With Much Appreciation

We are very thankful to the many generous donors and supporters of Starr Commonwealth who contributed more than $52,000 to our Spring Appeal. It is with your generosity and kindness that we have succeeded in serving at-risk youth and families for nearly 100 years and that we will continue Floyd Starr’s legacy into the next century of service. Thank you!

Starr News





What do you get when you cross a troubled inner-city youth with a network of family and mentors who refuse to see him fail? In Wes Moore’s case, you get a success – an individual who, in spite of four military school runaway attempts, winds up a Rhodes Scholar, a White House fellow, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, a best-selling author, a youth advocate, and a business leader. A gifted writer and inspiring speaker, Moore demonstrates the impact a powerful leader can have in a person's life. He graduated as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He earned a master’s degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004. In his New York Times Bestseller, Moore tells the fascinating story of “the other Wes Moore” – a man who shared his name and a similar personal history but arrived at a starkly different fate. Compelled by their similar upbringings, Moore penned The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates in an effort to discover how small choices make big differences.

Pushing this message far beyond one relevant only to his personal experience, Moore relates it to leadership at large. He presents the compelling argument that it is support systems – dedicated networks of family, mentors, teachers, and friends – that make the most profound and lasting impact on a person's life. Seeking to eliminate this gap between potential and opportunity, Moore works to empower leaders to push their students or employees past what is probable into what is possible. Moore was just 3 years old when his father, a respected radio and television host, died in front of him. His mother, hoping for a better future for her family, made great sacrifices to send Moore and his sisters to private school. Caught between two worlds – the affluence of his classmates and the struggles of his neighbors – he began to act out, succumbing to bad grades, suspension, and delinquencies. Desperate, his mother sent him to military school, and after four escapes, he finally stopped fighting the system and became accountable for his actions. On December 11, 2000, The Baltimore Sun ran an article about how Moore, despite his troubled childhood, had just received The Rhodes Scholarship. At the same time, The Sun was running stories – eventually more than 100 in all – about four African-American men who were arrested for the murder of an off-duty Baltimore police officer during an armed robbery. One of the men convicted was just two years older than Moore, lived in the same neighborhood, and in an uncanny turn, was also named Wes Moore. Moore realized in their two stories was a much larger tale about the consequences of personal responsibility and the imperativeness of education and

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Starr News

FOUNDER’S DAY Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011 Starr Commonwealth, Albion, Michigan SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES 9 am to 1:30 pm: Car and bike show 10:00 to 11:00 am: Chapel service 11:00 am to 12:30 pm: Chicken luncheon (one meal per person; donations appreciated) 11:00 am to 1:00 pm: Campus activities 1:30 to 3:00 pm: Program, featuring guest speaker Wes Moore 3:00 to 4:00 pm: Book signing

community for a generation of boys searching for their way. Inspired by his experience and findings, he penned The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, a memoir about his


A B O A R D !

We are pleased to welcome two new members to Starr Commonwealth’s Strategic Executive Team. Both will be instrumental in the implementation of Starr’s new strategic direction and our impact on children and families across the country.

Okpara Rice Okpara Rice joins Starr Commonwealth as the new Executive Director of Starr Columbus. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Okpara comes to us with a wealth of experience in leading nonprofit entities in Chicago and New York. Most recently, Okpara served as the Director of Pleasantville School, a division of Jewish Child Care Association of New York, where he led a team of 13 administrators and 120 staff. He also managed all contracts and supervised all areas of operations. Prior to his work in New York, Okpara served as Director of Residential Services for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls of Chicago. Okpara received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Loyola University and his master’s of social work from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. He also earned his Executive Management Certification from Georgetown University. Currently, Okpara serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers where he stays abreast of national trends in our industry.

Moore works to empower leaders to push their students or employees past what is probable into what is possible. life and that of the other Wes Moore. Seeking to help other young people redirect their lives, Moore is committed to being a positive influence and helping kids find the support they need to enact change. Pointing out that a high school student drops out every nine seconds, he says that public servants – the teachers, mentors and volunteers who work with our youth – are as imperative to our national standing and survival as are our armed forces. “Public service does not have to be an occupation,” he says, “but it must be a way of life.”

As Executive Director of Starr Columbus, Okpara will be responsible for over-seeing quality programs to ensure all services are strength-based, fiscally viable, and promote community wellness. Leadership for the development of relationships and implementation of cooperative strategies affecting public policy, governmental affairs, nonprofit agency relations, networking and ongoing business development also are important to this position.

Martin Gaudiose Joining Starr Commonwealth as Senior Vice President of Business Development is Martin Gaudiose of Powell, Ohio. Marty has more than 20 years experience in the nonprofit and public sector. He possesses in-depth knowledge of behavioral health and rehabilitations operations at all levels, in addition to a demonstrated history of working in close collaboration with local, state, and federal entities to provide solutions for the needs of youth and families. With a master’s degree in educational guidance and counseling and a bachelor’s degree in corrections and psychology, Marty also is licensed as a Professional Clinical Counselor. He comes to Starr from Vision & Vocational Services of Columbus, Ohio, where Marty served as Chief Executive Officer since January 2008. His impressive list of accomplishments includes writing, developing, spearheading, pursuing, securing, and leading some of the most impactful programs in Ohio, many of which increased accessibility to care. As Senior Vice President of Business Development for Starr Commonwealth, Marty will be responsible for writing, promotion, pricing, and sales of all current and new program activities. He will oversee the development and execution of Starr’s business development plan as Starr proceeds with the objectives and initiatives outlined in the strategic plan. Starr News


Honor a graduate. Here’s the perfect opportunity to honor a loved one, your family or your marriage and tell the world of your support for Starr Commonwealth. When you reserve a commemorative brick, bench or picnic table, you get to choose the Starr campus – Albion or Columbus – where you’d like it displayed. You also get to choose the message you’d like engraved, and your tax-deductible charitable contribution will help our campuses remain beautiful, comfortable and easily accessible for all. Take a minute now to fill out the attached order form below and own a piece of the walk. Please return the form below along with payment to: Starr Commonwealth, 13725 Starr Commonwealth Rd., Albion, MI 49224

Official Order Form Designate a Campus: ___Albion Campus ___Columbus Campus

Mr. & Mrs.




Miss _________________________________________________________________ Your Name Daytime Phone e-mail

__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address


Designation: ___Memorial



___4"x 8" Bricks (1 to 3 lines) at $100/each = _________ ___8"x 8" Bricks (1 to 6 lines) at $200/each = _________ ___Bench at $2000/each

= _________

(1-4 lines; 25 spaces) ___Picnic Table at $1500/each

= _________

(1-4 lines; 25 spaces) Total Donation _________ Please bill my ___VISA



___ Check enclosed

____________________________________________ Card #

____________________________________________ Expiration Date



___Employee ___Alumni Here’s the text for my engraving. Up to 15 characters per line including spaces and punctuation. Use “&” for “and” to save space.

nnnnnnnnnnnnnnn #2 n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n #3 n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n #4 n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n #5 n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n #6 n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n #1

by Amy Reimann, Director of Archives and Alumni Affairs

There have been countless notable personalities and famous visitors to Starr Commonwealth over the past 98 years. Many have donated artifacts and photographs to the Starr Commonwealth archives and collections. Among these items resides the desk nameplate of Wilbur Brucker. Mr. Brucker had a long and storied career in Michigan and national politics and served our nation in many important capacities. Brucker was born in Saginaw and attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1916. He served in the Michigan National Guard on the Mexican border in 1916 and also served in the U.S. Army from 1918-1919 during World War I. He was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1919 and entered private practice. He became prosecuting attorney of Saginaw Brucker beside his County in 1922 and Attorney official portrait in Washington, DC, General of Michigan from January 1961 1928-1930. Brucker became Governor in 1930. Serving only one term, he was succeeded in 1932 by William Comstock. He returned to private law practice until he was tapped by President Dwight Eisenhower to serve as Secretary of the Army from 1955-1961. While many notable events occurred during his stint as Secretary, a few of them include creating the Army Chorus group and overseeing the launching of the first military satellite.

Brucker’s involvement with Starr Commonwealth can be noted in some of the photographs in the archives.In his capacity as a leader in the Knights Templar organization – of which he became Most Eminent Grand Master – Brucker participated in many Starr ceremonies, such as cornerstone dedications. The group also provided funding for Starr’s gymnasium which was completed in 1960. Brucker was a

Brucker’s autographed photo located in the Starr Archives, dated Nov. 4, 1955. Brucker wrote: ”To Floyd Starr...a great American who is is doing a magnificent work with boys.”

prominent attendee of the 50th Founder’s Day celebration in 1963, and can be seen seated on the stage near Floyd Starr. Shortly after Brucker’s death in 1968, his wife, Clara, presented Floyd Starr with the wooden carved nameplate from his desk as a token of her appreciation. Brucker is buried with his wife at Arlington National Cemetery.

If you have questions or comments about any Starr historical topics, please contact Amy Reimann, Director of Archives and Alumni Affairs, at 800.837.5591. Starr News


F eatured F riend As a former Starr Commonwealth student, Michael Reygaert knows the benefits of being at Starr and can attest to the ways it forever changes a youth’s life for the best. Michael was at Starr Commonwealth’s residential program in Albion from 2003-2005. After successfully completing the program, Michael attended all four years of high school in western Michigan. During his senior year, Michael served as captain of the cross country team, and his hobby has turned into a passion. He continues to run marathons and helps others train as well. Upon high school graduation, Michael was given a John Seita Scholarship, an award named for a former Starr youth that is given to former foster care youth and young adults in transition. It assists with Michael Reygaert tuition expenses for undergraduate courses at Western Michigan University. The Seita Scholars Program aims to increase the number of youth from foster care earning bachelor’s degrees, to assist former foster youth with the transition to adulthood through achieving undergraduate education, and to create a community of former foster youth scholars among Michael was interested WMU students. Additionally, Michael is the recipient of a Starr Scholarship in giving back to Starr that helps him pay for the room and board expenses of living on WMU for all they have done campus that are not covered by the Seita Scholarship. for him. He created As a junior, Michael is currently pursuing two separate bachelor’s degrees, the Michael Reygaert one in psychology and another in human resource management. Endowment Fund and Michael was interested in giving back to Starr for all it has done for him. contributes monthly. He was looking for a lasting investment that he could make over time. A named endowment seemed like a wise way to invest that would also give back over his lifetime and many more. He plans on sending a modest amount each month to fund the Michael Reygaert Endowment. Named endowments are considered fully-funded at $2,500, but can continue to grow to any amount the donor wishes. When funded, Starr will use the interest earned to fund campus improvements and other board-designated activities. If you would like more information on how you can start a named endowment, or ways in which you can become a friend of the organization, please contact Gary Tester, Chief Development Officer at or 800.837.5591, ext. 2425.

We guard your privacy.

Starr Commonwealth does not sell or trade donor contact information. We do recognize and celebrate our donors’ contributions by using their names in various publications. If you would like your gift to remain anonymous, please let us know. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Development Office at 800.837.5591, ext. 2436 or


Starr News

HONOR GIFTS are thoughtful ways to remember a special person and/or a special occasion, such as a new birth, birthday, anniversary, graduation, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, while also helping Starr children. When sending an honor gift, please provide the address of the honoree. We will send an acknowledgement card to let them know of your thoughtfulness, but we won’t mention the gift amount. You may call in your honor gift for faster acknowledgement at: 800.837.5591. Honor gifts also may be made online at:

SPECIAL REMEMBRANCES Honor and Memorial Gifts

MEMORIAL GIFTS offer an enduring tribute to the memory of a friend or loved one, while extending a helping hand to the children of Starr Commonwealth. When sending a memorial gift, please provide the address of a family member of the deceased to whom we can send an acknowledgement card. We will let them know of your thoughtfulness, but won’t mention the gift amount. You may call in your memorial gift for faster acknowledgement at: 800.837.5591. Memorial donations also may be made online at: Here is a listing of Honor and Memorial gifts received from 05/11/2011 to 07/25/2011. Donors are listed below the name of the person in whose memory or honor they contributed. Gifts not listed here will appear in a future issue of Starr News. If we missed your name or an error has occurred with your listing, please forgive us and contact us so we may correct it in the next issue.



CHARLES AYMOND Dr. George H. Lauff ALAN AND LINDA (MUUL) BERGER Mr. and Mrs. Dallas E. Seiler WALTER LUDWIG Mrs. Lara Lane REV. KEITH AND HELEN OLSON Mr. and Mrs. George Chambers LINDSAY SMITH Mrs. Lara Lane WARREN AND MARIA VAN WICKLIN Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness MARY M. WAGONER Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness

GERALD ADAMS Mrs. Carolyn Adams GERALD C. BROWN Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell Ms. Elsie Williamson LOIS CHAPIN Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Colter DR. HAROLD L. DALY Dr. Miriam S. Daly MAURICE N. DAVIS Mr. and Mrs. Tom Gagnon ALICE DRISCOLL Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell

Watch your gift grow. Do you work for a company that offers a matching gifts program? Or, are you retired from a matching gifts company? If so, you could double – maybe even triple – your gifts to Starr Commonwealth children simply by letting us know. Just ask your employer or former employer to provide you with the paperwork you need. Fill it out and send it to Attention: Development Office, Starr Commonwealth 13725 Starr Commonwealth Road, Albion, MI 49224-9910 Thank you for caring!

EARL E. DUNN Mr. and Mrs. Harley Dodge Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell Ms. Elsie Williamson PATRICIA L. ENDRESS Mr. Richard B. Endress DR. WILLIAM B. GEORGE Prof. Richard L. Pinkerton AL HALL Mrs. Mildred Williams LETHA HARMAN Mr. Millard Harman, Jr. NELDA HAYES Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell Mrs. Max Mitchell H. ROWENA HERRING Mr. John E. Herring EDWARD G. HOWE Mr. and Mrs. Brian V. Howe JOHN (JACK) LAUFF Mrs. Mary Finocchario Ms. Pat Ward Mr. Peter Trim Ms. Stella Huerter WATSON N. LEY Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness CORA STARR LITTLE Tyler Little Family ABIGAIL LOUISE MATTHEWS Mr. and Mrs. John M. Matthews LESTER AND BERNICE MCCOY Mr. John G. McCoy continued on page 19

Starr News


KNOWLEDGE = EMPOWERMENT The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC), a program of the Starr Institute for Training, recently held its annual summer Childhood Practitioners Assembly in Clinton Township, Michigan. More than 300 school counselors, juvenile therapists, private practice psychologists, and community health workers representing 31 states attended the conference in mid-July. In addition, attendees came from Puerto Rico, Canada, and Hong Kong to learn about TLC’s sensory-based structured therapeutic interventions for working with traumatized children and adolescents. In today’s recessed economy and technology-driven society, TLC strives to provide multiple opportunities for people to become certified in TLC’s trauma interventions, including in-person at conferences and through online courses available on its website “We’re truly pleased with the attendance at this year’s summer assembly and the number of new individuals seeking certification through TLC,” said Caelan Kuban, Program Director for TLC. “TLC-certified professionals have provided assistance to residents of traumatized communities across the country and internationally after some of the biggest tragedies. It’s amazing to see our impact grow and to know that children are being cared for in the aftermath.” In September, Starr Commonwealth’s Albion campus will host a series of trainings for professionals who work with youth, facilitated by TLC and the Circle of Courage, another program of the Starr Institute for Training. Those trainings include: Children of Trauma: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sept. 12: Trauma-Informed Practices is the first of three TLC core courses that will lay the foundation to help you distinguish between grief and trauma and see the trauma as an experience rather than a diagnosis. Cost is $45, which includes lunch and 6 CEUs. Starr Reclaiming Youth Seminars: Reclaiming Youth International and the Circle of Courage Institute team up to present three different trainings.

• Response Ability Pathways (RAP): This two-day training provides practical tools to connect with young people in pain. Cost is $395.

• Deep Brain Learning (DBL): Apply evidence from neuroscience and positive psychology to build respectful alliances for teaching and treatment. Cost is $180.

• Developmental Audit (DA): This two-day training focuses on strength-based assessment, tapping into the private logic and goals of youth to develop positive plans for growth. Cost is $395. For more information on the Starr Institute for Training, including TLC and Circle of Courage, please visit Registration for the above trainings is also available online or by calling 800-837-5591.


Starr News

Honor/ Memorial Gifts continued ERNESTINE J. NEARPASS Mr. and Mrs. Harley Dodge Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell Ms. Elsie Williamson PETER N. PETERSON Mr. Paul E. P. Carlson ELDON C. ROSEGART Ms. Joan J. Graham JESSE EARL SHAW Mr. and Mrs. Randy R. Neumann DR. LARRY W. SIMPSON Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Bell Capital City Pipes and Drums & Highland Dancer Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Carey Mr. and Mrs. Richard Causby Mr. and Mrs. G. Alan Coupland Mr. and Mrs. Gary L. English Mr. Andrew Gresko Mr. Robert Huestis Mr. and Mrs. William Karn

Mr. and Mrs. Art Kumpf Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kumpf Dr. Joseph G. Lalonde Medical Symposium Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Morrissey Dr. Elizabeth A. Odenweller Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Perkins Mr. and Mrs. Ron Pusateri Mr. and Mrs. Tim Spare Dr. and Mrs. Dale Svendsen The Lakes Golf and Country Club Mr. Larry Waller Ms. Sandra M. Winland RUSS SMITH Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell PAUL L. SOEBBING Ms. Joyce Soebbing RACHEL SOEBBING Ms. Joyce Soebbing JOHN A. SPEICHER Mrs. Lucie Speicher

"UNCLE" FLOYD STARR Mrs. Carolyn Adams DAVID STARR, JR. Mrs. Sylvia S. Richey DAVID STARR, SR. Mrs. Sylvia S. Richey MARY E. TATROE Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness BEVERLY JUNE THOMSON Mr. and Mrs. Harley Dodge and Family Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Mitchell and Family Mrs. Max Mitchell Ms. Elsie Williamson MARY L. TRIM Dr. George H. Lauff THERESA VESTEVICH Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Colter BYRON J. WIGMAN Mr. and Mrs. Brian V. Howe Names appearing in green denote gifts designated for Hannah Neil Center

Spotlight on Tom Tate Tom Tate, Senior Vice President of Research, Evaluation, Training & Technology, was recently honored with Circle of Courage’s 2011 Spotlight on Excellence Award during the Reclaiming Youth International’s Black Hills Seminar. The Spotlight on Excellence Award is presented to programs that have made an outstanding contribution to reclaiming children and youth. This year’s award was given to the Academy for Positive Peer Culture, under the leadership of Tom Tate of Starr, and Erik Laursen, Vice President of Learning & Program Development at UMFS in Richmond, Virginia. For more than 30 years, Tom has helped guide the development of programs for troubled children in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. He co-authored Partners in Empowerment, a nationally recognized training publication for peer group practitioners, as well as several articles on the attributes of effective child care workers, strength-based assessment and intervention, and servant leadership. He has also presented numerous workshops nationally and internationally and served as a consultant to peer group programs around the country. Tom began his career with Starr Commonwealth in the fall of 1991 as an Assistant Director on the Van Wert Campus where he eventually became Director. As Starr continued to grow he was promoted to Director of Ohio Programs with oversight of Van Wert, Columbus, and the Albion campus for a short period of time. In 2004, Tom was promoted to Senior Vice President of Research, Evaluation, & Training with the Technology area added in 2009. His commitment to the mission of Starr Commonwealth and passion for serving youth is evident to anyone who listens to Tom speak about the work we do. He is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who also possesses a passion for hunting and The Ohio State University. We are truly honored to have Tom Tate as part of the Starr family and congratulate him on his Spotlight on Excellence Award. Starr News


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Board of Trustees

Martin L. Mitchell, Ed.D. President Chief Executive Officer

Kyle Caldwell, Chair President and CEO Michigan Nonprofit Association Lansing, MI

Wm. Chuck Jackson, MA Executive Vice President Chief Clinical Officer Christopher L. Smith, BBA., CPA Executive Vice President Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth A. Carey, MSW Executive Vice President Chief Strategy and Administrative Services Officer Gary Q. Tester, MRC Executive Vice President Chief Development Officer

Lawrence Givens Blackmond and Givens, Inc. Southfield, MI George A. Goodman Ypsilanti, MI

Michael Leach, Vice Chair Chief Financial Officer Nationwide Insurance Columbus, OH

H. Ronald Griffith President (Retired) Baker College of Jackson Jackson, MI

Tom Kolassa, Secretary Senior Vice President Hub International Battle Creek, MI

Jack Kresnak President and CEO Michiganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Children Lansing, MI

Honorable Eugene A. Moore, Immediate Past Chair Chief Probate Judge (Retired) Oakland County Pontiac, MI

Dr. Pamela Lemerand Professor Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI

Erick Stewart President Stewart Industries LLC Battle Creek, MI Gary Taylor Owner Taylor Auto Sales Inc. Van Wert, OH Bruce Vande Vusse Attorney Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. Farmington Hills, MI

Anne Willson DuprĂŠ Granddaughter of Floyd Starr Toronto, Canada Diana Starr Langley Montecito, CA Sylvia Starr Richey Granddaughter of Floyd Starr Seal Beach, CA

President Emeritus George Wilson General Agent Wilson Insurance Services Gilbert Wiseman Agency Flint, MI

Arlin E. Ness President Emeritus Anthem, AZ

Locations Trustees Emeritus

Scott Bennett Vice President UBS Financial Services Birmingham, MI

Albert Little Vice President and Business Development Officer Greenleaf Trust Kalamazoo, MI

Ralph J. Burrell President and CEO SymCon, Inc. Detroit, MI

William C. Rands Managing Partner Sagres Partners, L.P. Grosse Pointe, MI

Michael J. Gable Chief Operating Officer Howard and Howard Royal Oak, MI

Craig Carrel President and Partner Team 1 Plastics Albion, MI

Jon A. Rhoades Vice President (Retired) Central Mutual Insurance Van Wert, OH

George D. Goodman Executive Director (Retired) Michigan Municipal League Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Velma Clay Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (Retired) Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center Battle Creek, MI

Donald J. Ribar Chief Operating Officer Haladon Technologies Upper Arlington, OH

Dr. Russell G. Mawby Chairman Emeritus W.K. Kellogg Foundation Battle Creek, MI

Cornelia Romanowski Educator Shavertown, PA

William K. Stoffer Chairman and CEO Albion Machine & Tool Co. Albion, MI

Honorable John Hallacy District Court Judge 10th District Court Battle Creek, MI

Honorary Trustees

Margaret Starr Leutheuser Daughter of Floyd Starr Haverford, PA

Michigan: Albion, Battle Creek, Detroit, Clinton Township Ohio: Van Wert, Columbus South Dakota: Lennox

Starr News Summer 2011  
Starr News Summer 2011  

Summer edition of Starr News.